John Cunliffe (footballer, born 1930)

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John Cunliffe
Personal information
Full name John Cunliffe
Date of birth (1930-02-04)4 February 1930
Place of birth Wigan, England
Date of death 15 November 1975(1975-11-15) (aged 45)
Place of death Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Position(s) Left winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1950–1959 Port Vale 283 (52)
1959–1960 Stoke City 25 (3)
1960–1963 Macclesfield Town 98 (34)
Stafford Rangers
Buxton
Total 406+ (89+)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Cunliffe (4 February 1930 – 15 November 1975) was an English footballer who played on the left wing. He made 309 appearances in the Football League, scoring 55 goals.

Signed to Port Vale for almost the whole of the 1950s, he was on the wing for one of the most exciting periods of the club's history, with Vale Park still freshly built. He helped the club to the Third Division North title in 1953–54 and the Fourth Division title in 1958–59. In September 1959 he crossed the city to play one season with Stoke City. He then became a non-league player with Macclesfield Town, Stafford Rangers and Buxton.

Playing career[]

Cunliffe joined Gordon Hodgson's Port Vale in December 1950, and went on to feature in eight Third Division South games in 1950–51. He scored his first goal in the Football League on 30 April 1951, in a 2–0 win over Exeter City at Vale Park. He played 11 games in 1951–52 and 19 games in 1952–53, as new boss Freddie Steele took the "Valiants" to second in the Third Division North.

Vale went on to win the Third Division North title and reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1953–54; Cunliffe was a mainstay in the team, bagging nine goals in 50 appearances. In the Fifth Round of the competition, he was said to have outplayed Blackpool's Stanley Matthews. He scored five goals in 43 games in 1954–55, including goals in both FA Cup encounters with West Ham United. He hit seven goals in 41 games in 1955–56 and six goals in 33 games in 1956–57. However the club suffered relegation out of the Second Division under new manager Norman Low. He scored four goals in 45 matches in the 1957–58 season, as Vale registered a 15th-place finish in the Third Division South. Cunliffe missed only one match of the Fourth Division winning 1958–59 season, and found the net 15 times.

He transferred to rivals Stoke City, along with £2,000, in exchange for Peter Ford and Harry Oscroft in September 1959. He scored three goals in 25 Second Division games for the "Potters" in 1959–60, before he was allowed to leave the Victoria Ground by manager Frank Taylor. He signed with Macclesfield Town, scoring 34 goals in 98 Cheshire County League games for Frank Bowyer's "Silkmen". He later played for Stafford Rangers and Buxton.

Style of play[]

A skilled left winger adept at taking on defenders, his finishing was poor.

Career statistics[]

Source:

Club Season Division League FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Port Vale 1950–51 Third Division South 8 1 0 0 0 0 8 1
1951–52 Third Division South 11 2 0 0 0 0 11 2
1952–53 Third Division North 19 4 0 0 0 0 19 4
1953–54 Third Division North 42 8 8 1 0 0 50 9
1954–55 Second Division 40 5 3 2 0 0 43 7
1955–56 Second Division 39 7 2 0 0 0 41 7
1956–57 Second Division 31 6 2 0 0 0 33 6
1957–58 Third Division South 42 4 3 0 0 0 45 4
1958–59 Fourth Division 45 15 1 0 0 0 46 15
1959–60 Third Division 6 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Total 283 52 19 3 0 0 302 55
Stoke City 1959–60 Second Division 25 3 2 0 0 0 27 3
Macclesfield Town 1960–61 Cheshire County League 34 12 6 3 2 0 42 15
1961–62 Cheshire County League 32 13 2 2 7 3 41 18
1962–63 Cheshire County League 32 9 2 0 4 0 38 9
Total 98 34 10 5 13 3 121 42
Career total 406 89 31 8 13 3 450 100

Honours[]

Port Vale

References[]

  1. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 74. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
  2. Sherwin, Phil (2013). Men of Steele. Hanley, Staffordshire: Pass. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-9926579-1-8.
  3. Kent, Jeff (December 1991). Port Vale Tales: A Collection Of Stories, Anecdotes And Memories. Witan Books. p. 275. ISBN 0-9508981-6-3.
  4. "Profile". silkmenarchives.org.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  5. Kent, Jeff (December 1991). Port Vale Tales: A Collection Of Stories, Anecdotes And Memories. Witan Books. p. 59. ISBN 0-9508981-6-3.
  6. John Cunliffe at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  7. "Stats". silkmenarchives.org.uk. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  8. "Stats". silkmenarchives.org.uk. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  9. Sherwin, Phil; Askey, Steve (2013), Men of Steele: The story of Port Vale's stunning 1953/54 season, Pass Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9926579-1-8
  10. Kent, Jeff (1990). "Fame and Fortune (1950–1959)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 171–196. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7.