Port Vale Memorabilia Project - Recent Times

The Sproson Statue & Sproson Park

Roy Sproson, a true Vale legend, holds the record for the club making 842 appearances between 1950-1972 serving under 8 managers and then became manager from 1974-1977.
Elder brother Jess went through the junior ranks to make his debut for the Valiants in 1940 and his son Phil also played 11 seasons for Vale including scoring a goal in the FA Cup tie v Tottenham.
(Pictures of the Sproson statue and the plaque in Sproson Park(formerly Bycars Park)

Ex-players and the new generation

Photo of a group of ex-players presenting a replica ball to junior supporter and leader of the “Save the Vale” campaign at Smallthorne Primary, Max Buchanan in 2012.
Ex-Players from left to right: Graham Barnett, John Poole, Terry Miles, John Reeves, Mick Porter,
Harry Poole, Ken Hancock.

Port Vale Groundsman

Groundsmen are the unsung heroes of sports venues and Steve Speed is no exception working from first light to dusk on many days of the year. Here he is working with his staff to remove tons of snow after the unseasonable blizzards of March 2013.

Chris Birchall

Picture of him after scoring for Trinidad and Tobago. Made 43 appearances for the national side and fitted in really well. While in USA made personal contacts with the Beckham family and with Robbie Williams.

Some Port Vale  Personalities - Martin Foyle

Martin was Port Vale’s record signing at £375,000 from Oxford in 1991. He spent nine seasons at the club scoring 107 goals making him the club’s record post-war goalscorer.

As an apprentice at Southampton he remembers hard work 9.00-5.00 with loads of jobs to do-do youngsters today have it too soft? He would love to be a professional again today with all goals televised –which would feature him every week!

In the past it was possible to find out how much a player was paid but the public today never knows with add on clauses, sponsorship etc.

We asked Martin about football today-is it better today than in the past. He doubts that with some rules still poor eg. offsides/handball issues. He feels there are too many foreign players in our leagues with less opportunities for homegrown youngsters especially in the premiership mirroring the thoughts of the England manager.