John Poole (footballer, born 1932)

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John Poole
Personal information
Full nameJohn Arthur Frederick Poole [1]
Date of birth(1932-12-12)12 December 1932 [1]
Place of birth Stoke-upon-Trent, England [1]
Date of death 2020 (aged 87)
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) [2]
Playing position(s) Goalkeeper
Youth career
Penkhull Youth Club
Stoke City
Port Vale
Senior career*
1953–1961 Port Vale 33 (0)
1961–1963 Macclesfield Town 79 (0)
1963 Werrington
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Arthur Frederick Poole (12 December 1932 2020) was an English football goalkeeper who made 33 league appearances for Port Vale in the Football League between 1953 and 1961. He later played for non-League sides Macclesfield Town and Werrington.


Playing career

John Poole was born in Stoke-on-Trent on 12 December 1932. [3] After playing for numerous youth sides, including Ashley, Penkhull Youth Club, and Stoke City's youth team, Poole graduated through the Port Vale juniors to sign professional forms in September 1953. [1] He did his national service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and served in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. [4] Manager Freddie Steele handed him his debut on 28 April 1956, in a 3–2 win over Middlesbrough at Vale Park. [1] Remaining as understudy to Ray King, he featured in three Second Division games in the 1956–57 relegation campaign. [1] He played three Third Division South games in 1957–58, as new manager Norman Low recruited former Wales international Keith Jones as the "Valiants" new number one. [1]

Poole did not play in the 1958–59 Fourth Division winning campaign, but had a run of games in the 1959–60 season, including playing in front of a Vale Park record crowd of 49,768 in 2–1 defeat to Aston Villa in the FA Cup. [3] [1] He managed to earn the first team goalkeeping spot off Ken Hancock in November 1959, but he lost this position after fracturing his nose in a 6–3 defeat at Mansfield Town on 25 April 1960 – the penultimate game of the season. [1] Manager Norman Low informed Poole's wife with a brief phone call: "Hello, Mrs Poole, Norman Low here. John's in the hospital with a broken nose. The good news is he hasn't fractured his skull. Goodnight!" [5] He played just three Third Division matches in 1960–61, as Hancock firmly established himself as the club's preferred goalkeeper. [1] Poole left on a free transfer in May 1961, and later played for Macclesfield Town and Werrington. [1] Poole retired from playing in 1963. [3]

Style of play

Poole was a goalkeeper with great anticipation and bravery. [4] He played one game with a broken wrist. [4]

Personal life

Upon his retirement he became a keen Port Vale fan; he co-founded the club's Ex-Players Association with former teammate Ken Hancock. [6] He worked as a motor mechanic. [4] He married Pat, who was named as Miss Port Vale 1954. [3] He had two sons: Greg and Duncan; and two grandchildren: Reece Poole and Katie Poole. His uncle, Tom Davis, also played for Port Vale in the 1920s. [7] Poole's death was announced by Port Vale on 19 November 2020. [3]


Source: [8]

ClubSeasonDivisionLeagueFA CupOtherTotal
Port Vale 1955–56 Second Division 10000010
1956–57 Second Division30000030
1957–58 Third Division South 30000030
1958–59 Fourth Division 00000000
1959–60 Third Division 2305000280
1960–61 Third Division30000030
Macclesfield Town 1961–62 [9] Cheshire County League 4202070510
1962–63 [9] Cheshire County League3702040430

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 234. ISBN   0-9529152-0-0.
  2. King, Ray (2011), To the End of the Road, p. 108, ISBN   9781844269501
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Remembering John Poole and Stan Trafford". 19 November 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Baggaley, Michael (23 November 2020). "'Wonderful guy' - Tributes paid to former Port Vale keeper John Poole". StokeonTrentLive. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  5. Johnson, Dave. Fifty Shades of Black & White: Tales From the Vale. p. 183.
  6. "Port Vale: Ex-players chip in to help fans stay dry". The Sentinel . 17 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  7. Jackson, Barry (8 December 2018). "Great-uncle Tom played for Port Vale in the 1920s". The Way We Were. The Sentinel.
  8. John Poole at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  9. 1 2 "Stats". Retrieved 12 July 2016.