1961–62 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1961–62 season
ChairmanJoe Machin
ManagerNorman Low
StadiumVale Park
Football League Third Division12th (45 Points)
FA CupFifth Round
(knocked out by Fulham)
League CupFirst Round
(knocked out by Blackpool)
Top goalscorerLeague: Arthur Longbottom (16)
All: Bert Llewellyn / Arthur Longbottom (20)
Highest home attendance28,226 vs. Sunderland, 31 January 1961
Lowest home attendance4,770 vs. Swindon Town, 14 April 1962
Average home league attendance8,993
Biggest win4–0 (twice)
Biggest defeat1–4 vs. Southend United, 16 October 1961

The 1961–62 season was Port Vale's 50th season of football in the English Football League, and their third season in the Third Division. The season was most notable for the win over Sunderland in the FA Cup, which followed a goalless draw at Roker Park in which the Vale defence prevented Brian Clough from even having a shot. The club also hosted a friendly against the Czechoslovakia national football team, and later took a tour of Poland. In the league they failed to gain promotion, and had to settle for mid-table obscurity.

Overview[]

Third Division[]

The pre-season saw Norman Low spend some of the £10,000 in transfer funds he was allocated. He spent £2,000 acquiring inside-forward Arthur Longbottom from Queens Park Rangers. Low then repaid West Bromwich Albion the £10,000 for Stan Steele in order to bring him back to Vale Park. This meant a 'shock' for the fans, as Cliff Portwood was sold to Grimsby Town for £6,000 to balance the books. Another £2,000 was spent on bringing centre-half John Nicholson from Liverpool. Free signings included winger Stan Edwards (Everton), goalkeeper Peter Taylor (Middlesbrough), and Joe Maloney (Shrewsbury Town). Low declared that the logic behind the signings was to improve the defence and that his side was now 'capable of getting promotion'. To whip the new signings into shape trainer Lol Hamlett took them on a seven-mile run.

The defence began poorly, in an opening day 4–2 defeat to Shrewsbury Town at Gay Meadow. Maloney was subsequently dropped and sold to Crewe Alexandra for 'a small fee'. The first match at Burslem saw Vale ' casually steamroller' Hull City 4–0. On 2 September, John Nicholson made the first of his club record 208 consecutive appearances, that would end on 8 September 1965. On a four match sequence without a win, The Sentinel commented that "gloom has descended". The mood lifted with a 1–0 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate on 9 September, in the first of five wins in six games.

On 2 October Czechoslovakia beat Vale 3–1 in front of 22,895 fans at Vale Park, repaying the club for their successful tour of the country at the end of the 1959–60 season. Later that month Dennis Fidler was sold to Grimsby Town for £2,000, and the "Valiants" struggled. Vale then signed Colin Grainger from Leeds United for £6,000, and the former England international scored on his debut. In December, Low further added to his firepower by signing Ralph Hunt from Swindon Town for £3,500. Hunt scored a hat-trick in his second game for the club, a 4–1 win over Shrewsbury Town. He also hit the back of the net in the following two victories. Vale then struggled in the league, losing four games on the bounce. Around this time rivals Stoke City faced an upsurge in support with the return of Stanley Matthews. Low attempted to tempt Tom Finney out of retirement, but was unsuccessful.

By the end of February Vale lay just four points clear of relegation and star player Grainger was out injured. Beating Barnsley 2–0, they picked up six points out of a possible ten. They then remained unbeaten throughout the opening six games of April to ensure survival. At this time Noel Kinsey's contract was cancelled, as he wished to go into the pottery business in Norwich. At Vale Park, an £8,000 social club was opened, as the club management stated their intention to turn the ground into 'a real family social centre'.

They finished the season in twelfth position with 45 points, closer to the drop than promotion. A strong defence was not supported by a weak attack. Llewellyn and Longbottom scored twenty goals each in all competitions, but received little support.

Finances[]

On the financial side, declining attendances failed to prevent a profit of £1,261. This profit came thanks to a hefty £16,250 donation from the Sportsmen's Association, as well as Vale's daily pools. Gate receipts stood at £44,388, whilst expenditures rose to £73,059 despite wages being kept at around £31,000. Peter Taylor was allowed to leave for Burton Albion as he failed to dislodge Ken Hancock, Taylor later became acquainted with Brian Clough at Burton. Low also sold three players for £2,000 each: Brian Jackson to Peterborough United, Ralph Hunt to Newport County, and David Raine to Doncaster Rovers.

In May the team took a tour of Poland, playing four friendlies, climbing the Tatra Mountains, and sailing on the Tatras river. When one boat capsized, 'the lads told the attendant in colourful Potteries language what they thought of him'. The final game of the tour was a goalless draw with Legia.

Cup competitions[]

In the FA Cup, Vale brushed past Bradford Park Avenue with a 1–0 win at Horsfall Stadium. In the Second Round they faced Crewe Alex, who they beat 3–0 in a replay, following a 1–1 draw at Gresty Road. Vale then beat Northampton Town 3–1, all the goals coming from Bert Llewellyn. In the Fourth Round they travelled to Sunderland's Roker Park, holding the "Mackems" to a goalless draw in front of 49,468 noisy Sunderland fans - not even £50,000 star striker Brian Clough could master the Vale defence. For the return, 28,226 witnessed a 3–1 victory for the Vale over the Second Division side in 'a magical piece of soccer history'. The Vale had 'spat and hissed like angry alley cats' for their win, intimidating tricky winger Harry Hooper. In the Fifth Round they were beaten by First Division Fulham at Craven Cottage with a disputed late penalty. The referee also gave the "Cottagers" a goal kick when the ball had in fact crossed the line for a goal – to the fury of the Vale supporters.

In the League Cup, First Division Blackpool took a 2–1 win at Bloomfield Road to dump Vale out of the competition.

League table[]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts
10 Hull City 46 20 8 18 67 54 1.241 48
11 Bradford Park Avenue 46 20 7 19 80 78 1.026 47
12 Port Vale 46 17 11 18 65 58 1.121 45
13 Notts County 46 17 9 20 67 74 0.905 43
14 Coventry City 46 16 11 19 64 71 0.901 43

Results[]

Port Vale's score comes first

Football League Third Division[]

Results by matchday[]

Round12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546
GroundAHHAAHAHAAHHAHHAAHAAHHAHAHHHAHAHAAHHAHAHAAAHHA
ResultLWLLDDWWWDDWDLWLLWDLDLLWWWDLLLLWLDWWLLDDWWDWLL
Position15101218171615131110655665556106131311991010121316121513131012141616121212101212
Source: Statto
A = Away; H = Home; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss

Matches[]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
19 August 1961 Shrewsbury Town A 2–4 8,632 Fidler, Longbottom
21 August 1961 Hull City H 4–0 11,480 Poole (2), Llewellyn, Jackson
26 August 1961 Peterborough United H 0–1 18,797
31 August 1961 Hull City A 1–3 8,095 Longbottom
2 September 1961 Northampton Town A 1–1 9,573 Llewellyn
4 September 1961 Southend United H 0–0 10,317
9 September 1961 Bristol City A 1–0 10,670 Poole
16 September 1961 Bradford Park Avenue H 3–2 9,279 Steele, Llewellyn, Longbottom
21 September 1961 Notts County A 3–2 8,676 Jackson, Llewellyn, Poole
23 September 1961 Grimsby Town A 1–1 8,910 Poole
25 September 1961 Notts County H 1–0 11,707 Whalley
30 September 1961 Coventry City H 2–0 9,821 Longbottom, Poole
4 October 1961 Reading A 0–0 11,779
7 October 1961 Watford H 1–3 10,120 Steele
9 October 1961 Reading H 2–1 7,208 Steele, Longbottom
14 October 1961 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic A 0–1 13,675
16 October 1961 Southend United A 1–4 8,090 Nicholson
21 October 1961 Torquay United H 4–1 10,383 Jackson (2), Grainger, Llewellyn
28 October 1961 Lincoln City A 1–1 4,708 Llewellyn
11 November 1961 Queens Park Rangers A 1–2 7,087 Llewellyn
18 November 1961 Halifax Town H 1–1 9,374 Longbottom
2 December 1961 Crystal Palace H 0–1 9,761
9 December 1961 Portsmouth A 0–1 11,925
16 December 1961 Shrewsbury Town H 4–1 8,837 Hunt (3), Jackson
23 December 1961 Peterborough United A 3–1 9,294 Hunt (2), Llewellyn
26 December 1961 Newport County H 3–0 12,182 Llewellyn, Longbottom, Hunt
13 January 1962 Northampton Town H 1–1 8,229 Llewellyn
20 January 1962 Bristol City H 0–2 7,262
3 February 1962 Bradford Park Avenue A 1–2 9,294 Sproson
10 February 1962 Grimsby Town H 0–2 10,071
24 February 1962 Watford A 0–2 7,778
5 March 1962 Barnsley H 2–0 4,958 Longbottom, Steele
10 March 1962 Torquay United A 0–2 4,565
12 March 1962 Newport County A 1–1 2,524 Longbottom
17 March 1962 Lincoln City H 4–0 6,239 Steele (2), Longbottom, Edwards
19 March 1962 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic H 1–0 8,993 Llewellyn
24 March 1962 Barnsley A 1–2 4,670 Longbottom
31 March 1962 Queens Park Rangers H 2–3 4,936 Longbottom (2)
7 April 1962 Halifax Town A 3–3 2,938 Steele, Longbottom, Llewellyn
14 April 1962 Swindon Town H 1–1 4,770 Longbottom
16 April 1962 Coventry City A 1–0 5,907 Edwards
20 April 1962 Brentford A 2–1 11,175 o.g., Llewellyn
21 April 1962 Crystal Palace A 0–0 10,519
23 April 1962 Brentford H 3–0 5,928 Longbottom, Edwards, Steele
28 April 1962 Portsmouth H 2–3 6,186 Llewellyn (2)
30 April 1962 Swindon Town A 0–1 7,331

FA Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 4 November 1961 Bradford Park Avenue A 1–0 12,127 Jackson
R2 25 November 1961 Crewe Alexandra A 1–1 13,081 Longbottom
R2 Replay 27 November 1961 Crewe Alexandra H 3–0 19,029 Longbottom (2), Llewellyn
R3 6 January 1962 Northampton Town H 3–1 19,444 Llewellyn (3)
R4 27 January 1962 Sunderland A 0–0 49,468
R4 Replay 31 January 1962 Sunderland H 3–1 28,226 Jackson, Poole, Llewellyn
R5 17 February 1962 Fulham A 0–1 29,559

League Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 13 September 1961 Blackpool A 1–2 10,494 Llewellyn

Player statistics[]

Appearances[]

Pos. Name Football League FA Cup League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Ken Hancock 44 0 7 0 1 0 52 0
GK England John Cooke 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
GK England Peter Taylor 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
DF England Roy Sproson 46 1 7 0 1 0 54 1
DF England David Raine 7 0 5 0 0 0 12 0
DF England Selwyn Whalley 40 1 7 0 1 0 48 1
DF England Terry Lowe 6 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
MF England John Nicholson 42 1 7 0 1 0 50 1
MF England Terry Miles 44 0 7 0 1 0 52 0
MF England Brian Jackson 34 5 7 2 1 0 42 7
MF England Peter Ford 13 0 0 0 1 0 14 0
MF England Dennis Fidler 4 1 0 0 0 0 4 1
MF England Roy Gater 3 0 2 0 0 0 5 0
MF England Joe Maloney 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
MF England Colin Grainger 11 1 7 0 0 0 18 1
MF England Stan Edwards 22 3 0 0 0 0 22 3
MF England Colin Corbishley 8 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
FW England Harry Poole 39 6 5 1 1 0 45 7
FW England Stan Steele 35 8 2 0 1 0 38 8
FW England Bert Llewellyn 42 15 7 4 1 1 50 20
FW England Barry Hancock 5 0 1 0 0 0 6 0
FW England Ralph Hunt 14 6 0 0 0 0 14 6
FW England Arthur Longbottom 42 16 6 4 1 0 49 20
FW England Derek Edge 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

Top scorers[]

Place Position Nation Name Third Division FA Cup League Cup Total
1 FW  England Arthur Longbottom 16 4 0 20
FW  England Bert Llewellyn 15 4 1 20
3 FW  England Stan Steele 8 0 0 8
4 FW  England Harry Poole 6 1 0 7
MF  England Brian Jackson 5 2 0 7
6 FW  England Ralph Hunt 6 0 0 6
7 MF  England Stan Edwards 3 0 0 3
8 MF  England Colin Grainger 1 0 0 1
MF  England John Nicholson 1 0 0 1
DF  England Selwyn Whalley 1 0 0 1
MF  England Dennis Fidler 1 0 0 1
DF  England Roy Sproson 1 0 0 1
Own goals 1 0 0 1
TOTALS 65 11 1 77

Transfers[]

Transfers in[]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
May 1961 MF England Stan Edwards Everton Free transfer
May 1961 FW England Arthur Longbottom Queens Park Rangers £2,000
June 1961 MF England Joe Maloney Shrewsbury Town Free transfer
June 1961 GK England Peter Taylor Middlesbrough £750
July 1961 FW England Stan Steele West Bromwich Albion £10,000
July 1961 MF England Colin Grainger Leeds United £6,000
August 1961 DF England John Nicholson Liverpool £2,000
December 1961 FW England Ralph Hunt Swindon Town £3,500

Transfers out[]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
June 1961 MF England Joe Maloney Crewe Alexandra 'small'
October 1961 MF England Dennis Fidler Grimsby Town £2,000
April 1962 FW Wales Noel Kinsey Mutual consent
May 1962 MF England Colin Corbishley Chester Released
May 1962 FW England Derek Edge Crewe Alexandra Free transfer
May 1962 GK England Peter Taylor Burton Albion Free transfer
June 1962 MF England Roy Gater Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic 'small'
June 1962 MF England Brian Jackson Peterborough United £2,000
July 1962 FW England Ralph Hunt Newport County £2,000
July 1962 DF England David Raine Doncaster Rovers £2,000
Summer 1962 FW England Stan March Macclesfield Released

References[]

Specific
  1. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). "Flattering Only to Deceive (1960–1969)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 196–226. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7.
  2. Kent, Jeff (December 1991). Port Vale Tales: A Collection Of Stories, Anecdotes And Memories. Witan Books. p. 109. ISBN 0-9508981-6-3.
  3. Port Vale 1961–1962 : Results & Fixtures Archived 11 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  4. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
General