List of Port Vale F.C. seasons

Port Vale F.C. is an English professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, playing in EFL League Two, the fourth level of the English football league system, as of the 2019–20 season. After becoming one of the more prominent football clubs in Staffordshire, Burslem Port Vale were invited to become founder members of the Football League Second Division in 1892. They spent 13 non-consecutive seasons in the division, punctuated by two seasons in the Midland League, before they resigned due to financial difficulties and entered liquidation in 1907. The name of Port Vale continued in the North Staffordshire Federation League, and this new club were successful enough to be reinstated into the Football League in October 1919. They spent 16 non-consecutive seasons in the Second Division, punctuated by them winning the Third Division North title in 1929–30, before dropping back into the third tier for a much longer stay at the end of the 1935–36 campaign. The 1953–54 season saw manager Freddie Steele's "Iron Curtain" defence win both a Third Division North title and a semi-final place in the FA Cup. They failed to build on this success however, though went on to finish as champions of the first ever Fourth Division season under Norman Low's stewardship in 1958–59.

The club had little success throughout the 1960s and 1970s, despite being briefly managed by Stanley Matthews, and in fact were forced to apply for re-election after breaking FA rules on illegal payments in 1968. Gordon Lee guided the club to promotion back to the Third Division the following season, where they would remain until relegation at the end of the 1977–78 campaign. John McGrath steered the club to promotion in 1982–83, though he departed after relegation became inevitable the following season. His assistant, John Rudge, stepped up to become the club's longest-serving and most successful manager, leading the club from 1983 to 1999. Under his leadership Port Vale won promotions in 1985–86, 1988–89 and 1993–94, lifted the League Trophy in 1993 and reached a post-war record finish of eighth in the second tier in the 1996–97 season. After Rudge's reign ended the club entered a decline, slipping into the fourth tier whilst twice entering administration in 2003 and 2012. The decline was arrested when Norman Smurthwaite brought the club out of administration in 2012 and manager Micky Adams achieved automatic promotion from League Two in the 2012–13 season, though they were relegated back into League Two at the end of the 2016–17 season after a failed experiment with a continental staff and playing style.

First team matches were recorded for the first time in 1882, meaning records go back over 125 years, friendlies are not included in this data (including goal tallies). As of the 2019–20 season, Port Vale have never played top-flight football, they have spent 41 seasons in the second tier, 46 seasons in the third tier, 21 seasons in the fourth tier of the Football League, as well as 16 seasons in non-league football. No team has played more second tier seasons or Football League seasons in total (108) without ever reaching the top-flight.

Key

Seasons

Season Division P W D L F A Pts Pos FA Cup
[1][lower-alpha 1]
EFL Cup
[3][lower-alpha 2]
Competition Result Name G Ave[lower-alpha 3]
League[lower-alpha 4] Other[lower-alpha 5] Top scorer[lower-alpha 6]
1882–83 Port Vale did not play league football DNE Staffordshire Cup
NS Charity Cup
  • R2
  • W
Enoch Hood 2
1883–84 Port Vale did not play league football DNE Staffordshire Cup SF Charles Simpson 1
Port Vale F.C. renamed to Burslem Port Vale F.C.
1884–85 Burslem Port Vale did not play league football DNE Staffordshire Cup
NS Charity Cup
Burslem Cup
  • R2
  • W
  • W
Ernie Payne 5
1885–86 Burslem Port Vale did not play league football R5 Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
NS Charity Cup
  • SF
  • R3
  • RU
Billy Reynolds 7
1886–87 Burslem Port Vale did not play league football R3 Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • SF
  • SF
Billy Reynolds 11
1887–88 Burslem Port Vale did not play league football 1Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • R2
  • R3
n/a
1888–89 The Combination[lower-alpha 7] 267415405722 2Q Staffordshire Cup
NS Charity Cup
  • R4
  • SF
Jimmy Ditchfield 8 2,200
1889–90 Burslem Port Vale did not play league football 2Q Staffordshire Cup SF Frank McGinnes 2
1890–91 Midland League 24113105949258th 2Q Staffordshire Cup
NS Charity Cup
  • R2
  • W
Frank McGinnes 19 1,429
1891–92 Midland League 2112185233253rd 1Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
S Charity Cup
  • R1
  • SF
  • W
Frank McGinnes 19 1,394
1892–93 Second Division 22631330571511th 1Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • R2
  • R1
Meshach Dean 6 1,344
1893–94 Second Division 28134116664307th 1Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • R2
  • R2
Billy Beats 20 2,185
1894–95 Second Division 30741939771815th 1Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • R2
  • R2
Meshach Dean 8 1,367
1895–96 Second Division 30741943781814th 2Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • R1
  • R1
Ernest Beckett 8 1,771
Burslem Port Vale failed re-election to the Football League and instead entered the Midland League.
1896–97 Midland League 28143116456317th 5Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
Wellingboro' Cup
S Charity Cup
  • R1
  • P
  • SF
  • W
Dick Evans
Danny Simpson
14 967
1897–98 Midland League 2210374632235th R2 Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • R2
  • W
Dick Evans
Danny Simpson
11 1,400
Burslem Port Vale won re-election back into the Football League.
1898–99 Second Division 34175125634399th 5Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • RU
  • RU
James Peake 17 4,500
1899–00 Second Division 341461439493411th 5Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • RU
  • RU
Howard Harvey 17 1,518
1900–01 Second Division 341111124547339th R1 Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • QF
  • QF
Adrian Capes 11 2,087
1901–02 Second Division 341091543592912th 5Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • SF
  • SF
Adrian Capes 20 2,931
1902–03 Second Division 34138135762349th 4Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
Bass Charity Vase
  • R1
  • R1
  • R1
Adrian Capes 18 2,250
1903–04 Second Division 341091554522913th R1 Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • R1
  • R1
Adrian Capes 17 2,250
1904–05 Second Division 341071747722716th 6Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • SF
  • R1
Dick Allman 8 2,536
1905–06 Second Division 381242249822817th R1 Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • SF
  • SF
Harry Mountford 15 3,200
1906–07 Second Division 381271960833116th R2 Staffordshire Cup SF Billy Beats 15 4,147
Burslem Port Vale F.C. liquidated and reformed as Port Vale F.C.
1907–08 North Staffordshire Federation League 168353428195th DNE May Bank
NS League Cup
  • R2
  • R6
Bert Beech 11 600
1908–09 North Staffordshire & District League 26113125751258th DNE Staffs Junior Cup
Hanley Cup
May Bank
Burslem Cup
  • R1
  • R2
  • R2
  • R2
Bert Beech 17
1909–10 North Staffordshire & District League 2621148925431st DNE Staffs Junior Cup
Hanley Cup
May Bank
Burslem Cup
  • W
  • RU
  • R3
  • R2
Joe Brough 43 5,250
1910–11 North Staffordshire & District League 2614395041314th DNE Staffs Junior Cup
Hanley Cup
May Bank
Burslem Cup
NS Nursing Cup
  • R3
  • R3
  • R3
  • R2
  • SF
J. Tunnicliffe 11 7,000
1911–12 The Central League 3215125462342 2nd DNE Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • SF
  • W
Frank Cannon 18 5,346
1912–13 The Central League 38197125538454th 3Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • W
  • R1
Eli Adams 20 5,500
1913–14 The Central League 381711107862454th R1 Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
  • RU
  • R1
Chris Young 37 9,348
1914–15 The Central League 38253108442533rd 5Q Birmingham Cup
Staffordshire Cup
NS Infirmary Cup
  • R3
  • SF
  • W
Chris Young 40 7,250
No competitive football was played in the 1914–1915 season due to the First World War.
1916–17 Lancashire Section 30771650402115th Subsidiary 12th Jack Needham 12 5,386
1917–18 Lancashire Section 30981347552611th Subsidiary 14th David Bowcock 7 3,507
1918–19 Lancashire Section 301041639782412th Subsidiary 4th Harry Howell 9 5,772
Port Vale were elected to the Football League in October 1919, taking on Leeds City's league record and remaining fixtures mid-season.
1919–20 Second Division 421681859624013th R1 Staffordshire Cup
NS Infirmary Cup
  • W
  • W
Bobby Blood 26 11,247
1920–21 Second Division 4211141743493617th 6Q NS Infirmary Cup
  • RU
Bobby Blood 20 14,143
1921–22 Second Division 421482043573618th R1 NS Infirmary Cup
  • W
Tom Page 10 11,619
1922–23 Second Division 421491939513717th 5Q NS Infirmary Cup
  • RU
Tom Butler 9 10,204
1923–24 Second Division 4213121750663816th 5Q NS Infirmary Cup
  • RU
Billy Briscoe
Tom Page
10 8,489
1924–25 Second Division 42178174856428th R1 Wilf Kirkham 33 10,769
1925–26 Second Division 42196177969448th R3 Wilf Kirkham 35 10,739
1926–27 Second Division 421613138878458th R4 NS Infirmary Cup
  • RU
Wilf Kirkham 41 10,736
1927–28 Second Division 42188166857449th R5 Wilf Kirkham 14 11,127
1928–29 Second Division 421542371863421st R3 Wilf Kirkham 15 10,207
1929–30 Third Division North 42307510337671st R2 NS Infirmary Cup
  • RU
Sam Jennings 21 9,176
1930–31 Second Division 42215166761475th R4 Sam Jennings 17 10,445
1931–32 Second Division 421372258893320th R4 NS Infirmary Cup
  • RU
Tom Nolan 11 9,564
1932–33 Second Division 4214101866793817th R3 Wilf Kirkham 15 8,876
1933–34 Second Division 42197166055458th R3 Welsh Cup SF Tom Nolan 22 10,051
1934–35 Second Division 4211121955743418th R3 Tom Nolan 16 8,463
1935–36 Second Division 4212822561063221st R4 Jack Roberts 12 7,787
1936–37 Third Division North 4217101558644411thR3 Northern Cup SF Tommy Ward 18 7,298
1937–38 Third Division North 4212141665733815th R1 Northern Cup R1 Jack Roberts 28 ♦ 6,716
1938–39 Third Division South 421491952583718th R2 Southern Cup SF Tom Nolan 17 7,587
1939–40 Third Division South
Western Region
2
22
0
10
1
2
1
10
0
52
1
56
1
22
22nd
8th
FL War Cup
Staffordshire Cup
P
R1
Jack Roberts 13 2,568
No competitive football was played between 1940 and 1944 due to the Second World War.
1944–45 FL North 1
FL North 2
18
21
5
5
2
2
11
14
22
27
36
60
12
12
46th
54th
FL North Cup
Midland Cup
48th
P
Alf Bellis 10 5,969
1945–46 Third Division (South) North 209653425243rd R3 FL North Cup 8th Bill Pointon 19 7,212
1946–47 Third Division South 421791668634310th R4 Morris Jones 26 10,582
1947–48 Third Division South 421611156354438th R1 Ronnie Allen 13 13,569
1948–49 Third Division South 4214111751543913th R1 Walter Aveyard 13 12,069
1949–50 Third Division South 4215111647424113th R4 Cliff Pinchbeck 16 12,983
1950–51 Third Division South 4616131760654512th R3 Cliff Pinchbeck 19 10,832
1951–52 Third Division South 4614151750664313th R1 Albert Mullard 13 11,225
1952–53 Third Division North 46201886735582nd R2 Coronation Cup
  • RU
Basil Hayward 22 14,504
1953–54 Third Division North 46261737421691st SF Basil Hayward 25 16,653
1954–55 Second Division 4212111948713517th R4 Cyril Done 13 20,869
1955–56 Second Division 4216131360584512th R4 Len Stephenson 14 18,985
1956–57 Second Division 428628571012222nd R3 Cyril Done 9 14,046
1957–58 Third Division South 4616102067584215th R2 Stan Steele 22 10,457
The Third Division North and Third Division South were reorganised into the Third Division and Fourth Division.
1958–59 Fourth Division 422612811058641st R1 Stan Steele 22 12,757
1959–60 Third Division 461981980794614th R5 Supporters' Club
  • RU
Graham Barnett 17 10,733
1960–61 Third Division 461715149679497th R3 R2 Supporters' Club
  • W
Cliff Portwood 26 9,702
1961–62 Third Division 4617111865584512th R5 R1 Bert Llewellyn
Arthur Longbottom
20 8,993
1962–63 Third Division 46238177258543rd R4 R2 Tony Richards 13 8,130
1963–64 Third Division 4616141653494613th R4 R2 Tony Richards 13 10,056
1964–65 Third Division 469142341763222nd R2 R1 Albert Cheesebrough 7 5,508
1965–66 Fourth Division 461592248593919th R3 R1 John Rowland 23 6,015
1966–67 Fourth Division 4614151755584313th R2 R1 Mick Cullerton 12 5,114
1967–68 Fourth Division 4612151961723918th R1 R2 Roy Chapman 25 4,886
1968–69 Fourth Division 4616141646464613th R3 R1 Roy Chapman 12 4,361
1969–70 Fourth Division 46201976133594th R2 R1 John James 17 6,894
1970–71 Third Division 4615121952594217th R1 R1 John James 15 5,437
1971–72 Third Division 4613151843594115th R3 R1 Bobby Gough 10 4,366
1972–73 Third Division 462111145669536th R3 R2 Sammy Morgan
Ray Williams
11 5,429
1973–74 Third Division 4614141852584220th R3 R1 John Woodward 18 3,959
1974–75 Third Division 461815136154516th R1 R1 Terry Bailey
Ray Williams
14 4,346
1975–76 Third Division 4615161555544612th R2 R1 Mick Cullerton 21 4,133
1976–77 Third Division 4611161947713819th R5 R1 Debenhams Cup
  • RU
Ken Beamish 18 4,356
1977–78 Third Division 468201846673621st R2 R1 Ken Beamish 16 3,947
1978–79 Fourth Division 4614141857704216th R1 R1 Bernie Wright 15 3,287
1979–80 Fourth Division 4612122256703620th R1 R1 Neville Chamberlain 11 3,462
1980–81 Fourth Division 4612151957703919th R3 R1 Neville Chamberlain 13 2,738
1981–82 Fourth Division 461816125649707th R3 R2 Ernie Moss 17 3,639
1982–83 Fourth Division 462610106734883rd R1 R1 Robert Newton 20 4,806
1983–84 Third Division 4611102551834323rd R1 R2 FL Trophy R2 Eamonn O'Keefe 11 4,023
1984–85 Fourth Division 4614181461596012th R3 R2 FL Trophy R2 Alistair Brown 21 3,267
1985–86 Fourth Division 46211696737794th R2 R2 FL Trophy ASF Andy Jones 18 3,581
1986–87 Third Division 4615121976705712th R2 R2 FL Trophy AQF Andy Jones 37 ♦ 3,312
1987–88 Third Division 4618111758566511th R5 R1 FL Trophy R1 Darren Beckford
David Riley
10 3,847
1988–89 Third Division 462412107848843rd R3 R2 FL Trophy P Darren Beckford 23 6,731
1989–90 Second Division 4615161562576111th R4 R2 Members' Cup R2 Darren Beckford 21 8,978
1990–91 Second Division 4615121956645715th R4 R2 Members' Cup R1 Darren Beckford 23 8,092
1991–92 Second Division 4610152742594524th R3 R3 Members' Cup R2 Martin Foyle 16 7,382
The creation of the Premier League resulted in the First Division, Second Division and Third Division becoming the second, third and fourth tier respectively
1992–93 Second Division 46261197944893rd R3 R1 FL Trophy Ian Taylor 19 8,092
1993–94 Second Division 462610107946882nd R4 R1 FL Trophy AQF Martin Foyle 18 8,377
1994–95 First Division 4615131858645817th R2 R2 Martin Foyle 20 9,218
1995–96 First Division 4615151659666012th R5 R1 Anglo-Italian Cup Tony Naylor 12 8,217
1996–97 First Division 461716135855678th R3 R3 Tony Naylor 20 7,840
1997–98 First Division 4613102356554919th R3 R1 Lee Mills 16 8,263
1998–99 First Division 461382545754721st R3 R1 Martin Foyle 9 6,991
1999–00 First Division 467152448693623rd R3 R1 Tony Rougier 9 5,906
2000–01 Second Division 4616141655496211th R1 R1 FL Trophy Tony Naylor 21 4,458
2001–02 Second Division 4616102051625814th R2 R2 FL Trophy AQF Stephen McPhee 14 5,210
2002–03 Second Division 4614112154705317th R1 R1 FL Trophy AQF Marc Bridge-Wilkinson 9 4,436
2003–04 Second Division 462110157362737th R2 R1 FL Trophy AR1 Stephen McPhee 27 ♦ 5,810
The First Division, Second Division and Third Division were renamed as the Championship, League One and League Two respectively.
2004–05 League One 461752449595618th R2 R1 FL Trophy AR2 Billy Paynter 13 4,973
2005–06 League One 4616121849546013th R4 R1 FL Trophy AR2 Leon Constantine 12 4,666
2006–07 League One 461862264656012th R2 R4 FL Trophy AR2 Leon Constantine 26 4,726
2007–08 League One 469112647813823rd R2 R1 FL Trophy P Luke Rodgers 12 4,417
2008–09 League Two 461392444664818th R2 R1 FL Trophy R1 Marc Richards 11 5,522
2009–10 League Two 4617171261506810th R2 R3 FL Trophy R3 Marc Richards 23 4,939
2010–11 League Two 4617141554496511th R3 R2 FL Trophy R2 Marc Richards 20 5,533
2011–12 League Two 462091768605912th R1 R1 FL Trophy R1 Marc Richards 17 4,820
2012–13 League Two 462115118752783rd R2 R1 FL Trophy R3 Tom Pope 33 ♦ 5,727
2013–14 League One 46187215973619th R4 R1 FL Trophy R2 Tom Pope 16 6,249
2014–15 League One 461592255655418th R1 R2 FL Trophy R2 Tom Pope 12 5,290
2015–16 League One 4618111756586512th R2 R2 FL Trophy R2 A-Jay Leitch-Smith 13 4,993
2016–17 League One 4612132145704921st R3 R1 EFL Trophy GS Alex Jones 10 4,813
2017–18 League Two 4611142149674720th R1 R1 EFL Trophy R2 Tom Pope 19 4,583
2018–19 League Two 4613132040545220th R1 R1 EFL Trophy QF Tom Pope 14 4,431

Notes

  1. Beginning with the 1925–26 season, the FA Cup was structured so that the third round proper contained 64 teams. Prior to that date, the structure had varied, so rounds are not directly comparable to the round of the same name after 1925.[2]
  2. The EFL Cup competition started as the Football League Cup in the 1960–61 season.[4]
  3. League matches only (excluding play-offs). Sourced from Kent (1993), The Port Vale Record 1879–1993 up to and including the 1992–93 season, from the English National Football Archive (subscription required) thereafter.
  4. Sourced from Kent (1993), The Port Vale Record 1879–1993 and from 1992–93 onwards sourced to Football Club History Database.[5]
  5. All first-team competitive tournaments are included, where applicable. Sourced from Kent (1993), The Port Vale Record 1879–1993 and from 1992–93 onwards sourced to Soccerbase.[5]
  6. Includes goals scored in all first-team competitions listed in the season, excluding friendlies. Sourced from Sourced from Kent (1993), The Port Vale Record 1879–1993, English National Football Archive (subscription required) and from 2010–11 onwards sourced to Soccerbase.[6]
  7. An attempt was made to set up a league called The Combination involving clubs not invited to join the Football League. Lack of proper organisation meant it was wound up in April 1889 with many fixtures still outstanding.[7]

References

General
  • Kent, Jeff (1993). The Port Vale Record 1879–1993. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-9-8.
Specific
  1. "The FA Cup Past Results". The Football Association. Retrieved 7 May 2018. Individual seasons accessed via dropdown menu.
  2. "1892–93 FA Cup" and "1925–26 FA Cup". Football Club History Database. Richard Rundle. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  3. "Port Vale football club complete match record". 11v11.com. AFS Enterprises. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  4. "History Of The Football League". The Football League. 22 September 2010. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013.
  5. "Port Vale". Football Club History Database. Richard Rundle. Retrieved 7 May 2016. Select season required via dropdown menu.
  6. "Port Vale: Player Appearances". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 9 May 2017. Select season required via dropdown menu.
  7. Shury, Alan & Landamore, Brian (2005). The Definitive Newton Heath F.C. (2nd ed.). Nottingham: SoccerData. p. 11. ISBN 1-899468-16-1.
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