In Both Camps, Port Vale

Picture: Mitch Clark

Port Vale do have a proud history being seen as a professional football club for so many seasons and as we all know been the home of several former Leicester players as they either were at Vale Park before or after their stay at Leicester.

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Mitch Clark joined Leicester from Aston Villa and the 22 year old has had spells at Port Vale on loan and added up 55 league appearances and scored 1 goal. He had a trial at Blackpool this summer but has now returned to Leicester and hopefully see out his deal and be part of the U.23 set up as he continue to be an important player in that squad.

Steve Guppy did sign for Leicester being brought in by MON from Port Vale costing £800 000 which at that time was a major fee and also in a time and period were Vale Park hosted Championship football. Guppy played for Port Vale from 1994 to 1997, a total of 105 league games, scoring 9 goals.

John Ridley had a short spell at Leicester, from 1978 to 1979, but at Port Vale among their greatest players ever, being with the club in two seperate periods playing a total of 270 league games and scoring 8 goals, spending most of his football career at Vale Park, playing here from 1973 to 1978 and then spending another three years at the club from 1982 to 1985. John, who sadly passed away a year ago, had his period in the limelight playing alongside George Best at Fort Lauderdale Strikers and also having Gordon Banks and Ian Callaghan as team mates during his short spell in the NASL in 1978 before joining Leicester.

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Mark Bright joined Leicester from Port Vale in 1984. He was a bit unnoticed as his first year at the club he was mostly seen as a sub and not in the first team starting frame as places up front were occupied by a well known pairing, Alan Smith and Gary Lineker. When Lineker moved to Everton we surely remember Mark Bright from that 1985/86 season opener when he scored two and Lineker was sent “back home” with a 1-3 defeat in the bag, must have been a strange Filbert Street feeling for the Leicester local born. Mark Bright never managed to build on those two goals and replacing Lineker as a permanent solution, later moving to Crystal Palace and building his famous partnership with Ian Wright and also having some great years up front with Sheffield Wednesday. Today and for many years a great and very respected pundit with good and informative updates on Twitter acount, good to be following “Brighty“.

One player that never hit it off at Leicester was Louis Dodds, spending his first years in football being a fox, but making his full professional breakthrough at Port Vale, playing 289 league games and scoring 51 goals during eight years with the club from 2008 to 2016. He later returned for a loan spell a number of years later adding up another 12 league games without scoring.

Nicky Cross a forward mostly known for his days at West Bromwich Albion, played at both Leicester and Port Vale, and added up a major total of games in both camps. Played 58 league games for Leicester, 144 at Port Vale. Spent five years from 1989 to 1994 at Port Vale and two year before at Leicester. Nikky Cross also had spells at Walsall and Hereford.

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York City legend Gary Ford joined Port Vale from Leicester in 1987 spending a couple of seasons at Vale Park before making a move to Norway and representing clubs such as Tromso and Harstad, both in the far north. He later returned to England and played for Hartlepool.

Colin Gibson had a short loan spell at Port Vale while playing for Man Utd, scoring two goals in six games. He later joined Leicester and as we all know won the European Cup and League while at Aston Villa. Lee Glover spent a few years at Port Vale playing there from 1994 to 1996, adding up 85 league games in which he scored 18 goals, mostly known for his days at Nottingham Forest and had a short loan spell at Leicester during those days, playing five games, scoring once.

Few might remember Mark Grew, joining Leicester from West Bromwich to be taking the gloves from Mark Wallington, but after a few failed results during the start of the 1983-84 season, Wallington returned to the first team and also seeing the young Ian Andrews coming through. Grew moved on and later signed for Port Vale and doing a grand job, playing from 1986 to 1992, adding up 184 league games.

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Geoff Horsfield and Micky Adams are two previous Leicester men that has a past at Port Vale as well. Horsfield playing a handfull of games at Port Vale, being in management and on the coaching staff for a whjile. Micky Adams had a number of good years in charge at Vale Park, being the manager at the club from 2009 to 2014 with a short period in between at Sheffield United. We all remember Micky from his days at Leicester being the manager from 2002 to 2004.

Paul Kerr spent a short period on loan at Leicester while on the books at Port Vale. He is mostly known for his time with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough and also had spells with Millwall and Wycombe Wanderers.

David Lowe signed for Leicester from Ipswich back in 1992, adding up 94 appearances and scoring 22 goals while a fox. His time with Port Vale was short loan spells just before and during his time at Leicester. Lowe later joined Wigan and also had a spell at Wrexham.

Winger Tony Sealy did play for both clubs, spending time on loan at Port Vale and settling well at Leicester in the years from 1985 to 1987. Sealy emigrated to Hong Kong and his life in football has been sensational since moving to The East, being the manager of Hong Kong FC for 21 years, from 1995 to 2016, he has later moved into administration.

Players in both camps,

Goalkeepers

Mark Grew

Defenders

Mitch Clark
Bob Hazell
Colin Gibson

Midfield

Steve Guppy
John Ridley
Tony Sealy
Gary Ford
Paul Kerr

Forwards

Louis Dodds
Nicky Cross
Geoff Horsfield
David Lowe

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