PORT VALE – 1993-94
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? DIVISION TWO RUNNERS-UP
PORT VALE have always lived in the shadow of near neighbours and bitter rivals Stoke City – but for a brief spell under John Rudge in the 1990s the tide turned.
Rudge who, ironically, now works for Stoke, built a side which won promotion to the First Division as runners-up to Reading.
They finished just a point behind the Royals with 88, which was a point less than their total 12 months earlier when they finished third.
Vale secured promotion with a run of eight wins out of their last ten games, finally going up with a 3-1 victory at Brighton on the final day of the season.
Dean Glover, who was an ever present for them that season, says it was nice to get one over on their rivals for a change.
Glover scored one of the three goals at Brighton in front of 6,000 travelling fans and still speaks highly of the side Rudge put together.
“It was a great season,” he says. “Having come through the years previously, we had been building up to that season, everything seemed to click into place.
“We are the second team in Stoke-on-Trent and it’s always been that way and we still are, obviously. But over those few years we seemed to have got the better of them.
“That rubbed salt into the wounds of the Stoke fans. Talk to people now and they still reminisce about those times.
“Even Stoke fans admit that they couldn’t really get one over on us because of the team we had put together.
“Stoke-on-Trent is a Stoke-orientated city because there are obviously more of them than Vale, but it was always good banter.
“But there was never any pressure in the sense of expectation.It was only in the sense that we got one over Stoke in the games that we played against them.
“It was always nice to beat them because you had always been the second team, but we had that wonderful spell when we were better than them on the playing side.
“John Rudge did exceptionally well for Vale, he had a good eye for players and he seemed to bring in ones who gelled together.
“We were a very f amily- or i entated club, all the players had a great social life together and it triggered on from that.” 1. Peter Billing: Back in his native Liverpool and working as a floor manager for IMG Media and provides stats for the Press Association. 2. Mike Harrison: He was last known to be working for local rivals Stoke City. 3. Neil Aspin: Managed Harrogate Town and has been in charge of FC Halifax since 2009 leading them to back-toback promotions in his first two seasons in charge. 4. Paul Musselwhite: He went into coaching as goalkeeper coach at Lincoln City and now York City 5. Gareth Griffiths: He is now a partner of Pro Sport Wealth Management LLP and a director of Virtual Vista Ltd. 6. Trevor Wood: The former Northern Ireland international goalkeeper is believed to be living in the Eastbourne area. 7. Peter Swan: He has coached, worked as a procurement manager and in the media, writing two columns a week for the Hull Daily Mail 8. Ian Taylor: He became a media pundit and then club ambassador for Aston Villa, and has several business interests in music and sport. 9. Robin van der Laan: He has been head international coach for Manchester United Soccer Schools. He also runs the Robin van der Laan Soccer School and Academy in Oakville, Canada. 10. Bobby Downes: He went on to become assistant manager of Wolves, director of youth at Watford and Blackburn Rovers before becoming a Preston North End scout. 11. Ian Miller: He has coached at Wolves, Blackburn, Blackpool, Bury, Leicester, Man City and Leeds United and is now assistant manager at Huddersfield. 12. Allan Tankard: He went to work for Mow Cop, a minibus and van hire company, before setting up CMP mini buses based in Stone, Staffordshire. 13. Bernie Slaven: He became a pundit for Real Radio co-presenting the Legends Phone-In and then from August 2012 on Star Radio. 14. Martin Foyle: He has coached at Port Vale and Wrexham, managed York, coached Bristol Rovers and then managed Northwich Victoria and now Hereford United 15. Dean Glover: He joined the back-room staff at Vale Park and was manager between 2008 and 2009. In 2012 he returned to the club as a youth coach. 16. Darren Hughes: He has been helping out his best friend, former Wales and Liverpool star Dean Saunders, at Doncaster. 17. Simon Mills: After his career was ended by injury he became a drayman for a brewery in his native Sheffield. 18. Jim Joyce: He has been physio at Southampton, Yeovil Town, Aldershot and Brighton. 19. John Rudge: After leaving Vale Park in January1999 he was appointed director of football at arch rivals Stoke City. 20. Andy Porter: He has been caretaker manager of Chester City, Port Vale, York City and managed Kidsgrove Athletic. He is now Hereford’s United’s assistant manager. 21. Kevin Kent: He has worked for Barclays Bank and been Indonesia’s Academy director. Has also coached at Port Vale, Mansfield and Manchester United. 22. Bradley Sandeman: He lives in Maidstone, where he became a postman, and has been also assistant manager of Tunbridge Wells. 23. John Jeffers: Lives in Wallasey, in Merseyside and runs his own motor finance company. 24. Dean Stokes: Has managed Alsager Town and Rochdale Town, and now works at Abraham Moss High School, Crumpsall, Manchester as a PE teacher. 25. Nicky Cross: He has managed Redditch United and Studley KBL before going to work in the finance industry. 26. Paul Kerr: He became a financial advisor for the PFA and is now running his own company Paul Kerr Associates in Yarm, Stockton-onTees.
BOSS: John Rudge