1962–63 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1962–63 season
ChairmanJoe Machin
ManagerNorman Low
(until October)
Freddie Steele
(from October)
StadiumVale Park
Football League Third Division3rd (54 Points)
FA CupFourth Round
(knocked out by Sheffield United)
League CupFirst Round
(knocked out by Bristol Rovers)
Top goalscorerLeague: Tony Richards (13)
All: Tony Richards (13)
Highest home attendance22,207 vs. Sheffield United, 13 March 1963
Lowest home attendance4,673 vs. Hull City, 20 April 1962
Average home league attendance8,130
Biggest win5–1 vs. Southend United, 24 September 1962
Biggest defeat0–3 vs. Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic, 13 May 1962

The 1962–63 season was Port Vale's 51st season of football in the English Football League, and their fourth season in the Third Division. An impressive season saw them finish in third position, one away from promotion. However promotions for both their rivals Stoke City (second to first tier) and Crewe Alexandra (fourth to third tier) meant that Vale had a poor season in comparison. The major talking point of the season was Norman Low's departure and Freddie Steele's return, which came as a shock to the fans.

Overview[]

Third Division[]

The pre-season saw the arrival of John Rowland, a 'tall and skilful' outside-right from Nottingham Forest for £6,000.

The season opened with six points from four games, with three clean sheets to boot. Rowland was dropped from the first eleven following a 2–0 defeat at Ashton Gate on 1 September. Vale then became inconsistent, and so Low added young forward Terry Harkin to the squad from Coleraine, and transfer-listed Stan Steele after he began to be targeted by hecklers at Vale Park. Despite beating Southend United 5–1, the club continued to sink down the table. They then began a nine-game unbeaten streak on 20 October with a 1–1 draw with Carlisle United at Brunton Park. However ten days later manager Norman Low tendered his resignation, to the shock of fans and pundits. Low cited disagreements with the board as the reason for his departure. The club felt they needed a marquee signing and so approached first Tom Finney and then European cup winning coach Béla Guttmann, who had just departed Benfica, both declined the role. Low's successor instead proved to be his predecessor, Freddie Steele, in another development that took many by surprise. Roy Sproson later noted "He [Steele] had changed. He had not got the enthusiasm or drive as before, but the lads still responded to him".

It took until the sixth game of Steele's reign for a goal to be conceded (525 minutes) as 'the Steele Curtain' again descended upon Vale Park. The goal was scored by former Valiant turned bogey player Ronnie Allen for Crystal Palace in a 4–1 home win for Vale. They finished the year chasing promotion, despite losing 4–3 to Reading at Elm Park. No league games were played in January or February due to the Big Freeze. To help with finances during this spell of two months without competitive action, Bert Llewellyn was sold to Northampton Town for £7,000 and Arthur Longbottom was sold to Millwall for £2,000. Back in action in March, Steele found his offence wanting, and so purchased Tony Richards from Walsall for £9,000. Richards immediately impacted himself on the club's scoring charts, eventually finishing as top-scorer for his two months work. For the four weeks following 20 April, Vale recorded eight wins from their final ten matches, though this would prove to be too little to late as far as promotion was concerned.

They finished in third spot with 54 points, four short of promotion, though enough to earn them £500 in talent money. Their 58 goals conceded total was fewer only than Swindon Town.

Finances[]

On the financial side, a profit of £2,275 was made despite an operating loss of £20,557. A donation from the Sportsmen's Association and social club stood at a highly impressive £22,832. Whilst wages remained fairly constant at £33,120, gate receipts had fallen by £8,000. The club's overdraft stood at £41,000, leading to a discussion over whether or not to take out a mortgage on Vale Park. The club management took the decision to replace the black and amber kit with the traditional white shirts, black shorts and black and white socks – the kit Steele's men triumphed in almost ten years previously. On the playing front, Peter Ford's departure to Macclesfield Town was the only transfer of note.

Cup competitions[]

In the FA Cup, Vale took their revenge upon Bristol Rovers, dumping them out of the competition at the first stage with a 2–0 win at Burslem on 21 November. Three weeks later Aldershot suffered the same fate, in what was Sproson's 500th appearance for the club. In the Third Round they beat Fourth Division Gillingham 4–2 at Priestfield. They then lost 2–1 to First Division Sheffield United in front of 22,207 rain-soaked supporters.

In the League Cup, Bristol Rovers won the First Round clash at the Memorial Stadium 2–0.

League table[]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts Promotion or relegation
1 Northampton Town 46 26 10 10 109 60 1.817 62 Division Champions, promoted
2 Swindon Town 46 22 14 10 87 56 1.554 58 Promoted
3 Port Vale 46 23 8 15 72 58 1.241 54
4 Coventry City 46 18 17 11 83 69 1.203 53
5 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic 46 18 16 12 63 46 1.370 52

Results[]

Port Vale's score comes first

Football League Third Division[]

Results by matchday[]

Round12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546
GroundAHHAAHHAAAHHAHAAHAHHAAHHAAHAAHAAHHAAHHAHAHHHAH
ResultWDWDLWLWLLWWLDDLLDWWDWWDLLWWLWLWWDLLWWLWWWWLWW
Position12128484811847681013121159988813121011910108791098106653643
Source: Statto
A = Away; H = Home; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss

Matches[]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
18 August 1962 Wrexham A 1–0 14,042 Llewellyn
20 August 1962 Millwall H 1–1 12,469 Longbottom
25 August 1962 Reading H 2–0 9,506 Llewellyn, Grainger
27 August 1962 Millwall A 0–0 20,553
1 September 1962 Bristol City A 0–2 9,626
3 September 1962 Colchester United H 4–2 11,719 Longbottom, Grainger, Ford, Poole
8 September 1962 Watford H 1–3 11,108 Grainger (pen)
10 September 1962 Colchester United A 1–0 5,919 Wright
15 September 1962 Bradford Park Avenue A 1–2 8,935 Llewellyn
17 September 1962 Southend United A 0–2 10,963
22 September 1962 Coventry City H 2–1 9,816 o.g., Grainger
24 September 1962 Southend United H 5–1 9,618 Edwards (2), Harkin (2), Ford
29 September 1962 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic A 0–2 9,715
1 October 1962 Notts County H 1–1 9,245 Edwards
6 October 1962 Bristol Rovers A 1–1 12,374 Poole
11 October 1962 Notts County A 0–1 14,320
13 October 1962 Brighton & Hove Albion H 1–2 7,503 Poole
20 October 1962 Carlisle United A 1–1 5,627 Steele
27 October 1962 Swindon Town H 2–1 5,825 Harkin (2)
9 November 1962 Barnsley H 1–0 8,798 Steele
17 November 1962 Northampton Town A 0–0 8,718
1 December 1962 Hull City A 1–0 7,259 Rowland
8 December 1962 Crystal Palace H 4–1 6,537 Llewellyn (3), Rowland
15 December 1962 Wrexham H 2–2 7,172 Grainger, Llewellyn
22 December 1962 Reading A 3–4 5,578 Ford (2), Miles
2 March 1962 Brighton & Hove Albion A 1–3 10,050 Edwards
9 March 1962 Carlisle United H 2–0 6,308 Rowland, Harkin
16 March 1962 Swindon Town A 3–2 12,090 o.g., Steele, Rowland
18 March 1962 Peterborough United A 1–3 10,162 Harkin
23 March 1962 Peterborough United H 3–2 10,260 Steele, Harkin, Edwards
29 March 1962 Barnsley A 1–2 4,368 Edwards
3 April 1962 Halifax Town A 4–0 2,808 Harkin (2), Richards (2)
6 April 1962 Northampton Town H 3–1 8,781 Richards (2), Harkin
12 April 1962 Shrewsbury Town H 0–0 11,315
13 April 1962 Queens Park Rangers A 1–3 5,690 Steele
15 April 1962 Shrewsbury Town A 1–2 6,819 Ford
20 April 1962 Hull City H 1–0 4,673 Rowland
22 April 1962 Halifax Town H 2–0 5,968 Richards (2)
27 April 1962 Crystal Palace A 1–2 13,183 Richards
29 April 1962 Queens Park Rangers H 3–2 5,974 Richards, Rowland, Sproson
4 May 1962 Coventry City A 1–0 18,307 Richards
6 May 1962 Bradford Park Avenue H 2–1 6,680 Miles, Steele
11 May 1962 Bristol City H 3–1 5,337 Richards (2), Rowland
13 May 1962 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic H 0–3 7,362
18 May 1962 Watford A 2–1 5,955 Richards, Wright
20 May 1962 Bristol Rovers H 2–0 5,015 Richards (pen), Miles

FA Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 3 November 1962 Bristol Rovers A 2–0 8,180 Llewellyn (2)
R2 24 November 1962 Aldershot H 2–0 12,638 Llewellyn, Edwards (pen)
R3 27 February 1963 Gillingham A 4–2 6,713 Steele, Edwards, Ford, Grainger (pen)
R4 13 March 1963 Sheffield United H 1–2 22,207 Grainger

League Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 27 September 1962 Bristol Rovers A 0–2 6,126

Player statistics[]

Appearances[]

Pos. Name Football League FA Cup League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Ken Hancock 46 0 4 0 1 0 51 0
DF England Roy Sproson 42 1 4 0 1 0 47 1
DF England Selwyn Whalley 20 0 1 0 0 0 21 0
DF England Terry Lowe 35 0 4 0 1 0 40 0
DF England John Nicholson 46 0 4 0 1 0 51 0
MF England Terry Miles 37 3 3 0 1 0 41 3
MF England Peter Ford 25 5 3 1 1 0 29 6
MF England Colin Grainger 25 5 3 2 1 0 29 7
MF England Stan Edwards 27 6 4 2 0 0 31 8
MF Northern Ireland Bernard Wright 14 2 0 0 1 0 15 2
MF England Jim Watton 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
MF England Mel Machin 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
FW England Harry Poole 43 3 4 0 0 0 47 3
FW England Stan Steele 35 6 4 1 1 0 40 7
FW England Bert Llewellyn 18 7 2 3 1 0 21 10
FW England Barry Hancock 9 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
FW England Arthur Longbottom 10 2 0 0 1 0 11 2
FW England John Rowland 37 7 4 0 0 0 41 7
FW England Tony Richards 14 13 0 0 0 0 14 13
FW Northern Ireland Terry Harkin 17 10 0 0 0 0 17 10

Top scorers[]

Place Position Nation Name Third Division FA Cup League Cup Total
1 FW  England Tony Richards 13 0 0 13
2 FW  Northern Ireland Terry Harkin 10 0 0 10
FW  England Bert Llewellyn 7 3 0 10
4 MF  England Stan Edwards 6 2 0 8
5 FW  England John Rowland 7 0 0 7
FW  England Stan Steele 6 1 0 7
MF  England Colin Grainger 5 2 0 7
8 FW  England Peter Ford 5 1 0 6
9 MF  England Terry Miles 3 0 0 3
FW  England Harry Poole 3 0 0 3
11 MF  Northern Ireland Bernard Wright 2 0 0 2
FW  England Arthur Longbottom 2 0 0 2
13 DF  England Roy Sproson 1 0 0 1
Own goals 2 0 0 2
TOTALS 72 9 0 81

Transfers[]

Transfers in[]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
August 1962 FW England John Rowland Nottingham Forest £6,000
August 1962 MF Northern Ireland Bernard Wright Republic of Ireland Sligo Rovers Free transfer
September 1962 MF Northern Ireland Terry Harkin Northern Ireland Coleraine £2,000
September 1962 MF England Jim Watton Netherlands De Graafschap Free transfer
March 1963 FW England Tony Richards Walsall £9,000

Transfers out[]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
January 1963 FW England Arthur Longbottom Millwall £2,000
February 1963 FW England Bert Llewellyn Northampton Town £7,000
May 1963 MF Northern Ireland Bernard Wright Released
July 1963 MF England Stan Edwards Wales Bangor City Free transfer
Summer 1963 MF England Peter Ford Macclesfield Town Released

Loans out[]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Date until Ref.
April 1963 MF Northern Ireland Bernard Wright Stafford Rangers May 1963

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. "Why Port Vale tried to sign the 60's "Mourinho"". onevalefan.co.uk. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  3. Port Vale 1962–1963 : Results & Fixtures Archived 4 March 2016 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