Tommy Cheadle

Last updated

Tommy Cheadle
Personal information
Full nameThomas Cheadle [1]
Date of birth(1919-04-08)8 April 1919
Place of birth Stoke-on-Trent, England [1]
Date of death 4 September 1993(1993-09-04) (aged 74) [1]
Place of death Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent, England [1]
Position(s) Defender; forward
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1946–1957 Port Vale 333 (14)
1957–1959 Crewe Alexandra 37 (0)
Total370(14)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thomas Cheadle (8 April 1919 – 4 September 1993) was an English footballer. He played for Port Vale in various positions for over a decade. It was his time as a "hard-man" centre-back, captaining some of the most successful Vale sides in the club's history, that made Cheadle a legend at the club. He helped the "Valiants" to win the Third Division North title and to reach the FA Cup semi-finals in 1953–54. He ended his career in 1959, following two years with Crewe Alexandra.

Contents

Playing career

Born in Stoke-on-Trent, Cheadle worked at Mossfield Colliery and in the local pottery industry before he joined the army. [2] During World War II, in a battlefield in the Netherlands in 1944, he received a shrapnel injury after throwing a faulty grenade that nearly went off in his hand. [3] At a rehabilitation centre, Cheadle spoke to Vale trainer Ken Fish, who told him to report to Port Vale after the war as the club may have a place for him. Playing in Army matches, Cheadle was coached by Matt Busby, who managed to secure a trial for Cheadle for Liverpool against Stoke City. [4] Cheadle took the advice of Fish and came to The Old Recreation Ground and signed professional forms in March 1946 for £8 a week. [1] He made his league debut in a 4–1 victory against Ipswich Town on 2 March. [1] His first goal was against Southend United in a 2–1 win on 20 April. [1]

Signing as a professional in May 1946, he spent the 1946–47 season playing across the back four, and also spent time as a centre-forward in a few games. [1] He played 37 games in 1946–47, and scored his first goal in the Football League at The Old Recreation Ground in a 5–1 win over Reading on 2 November. [1] For the 1947–48 season, Cheadle spent 16 straight games as a striker, scoring a patch of seven goals in seven games. [1] He hit a total of eight goals in 23 Third Division South games in 1947–48. [1] He scored twice in 23 games in 1948–49, before making 46 appearances as a centre-half in 1949–50 under the stewardship of Gordon Hodgson. [1] Cheadle was one of the starting XI who played in the first match at Vale Park. [4] He played 36 games in 1950–51, including a draw with Millwall on 28 October at The Den, a game which he played until the end despite breaking three teeth in a hefty collision. [1] He featured 40 times in 1951–52, surviving Ivor Powell's brief reign to establish himself as a key part of new manager Freddie Steele's first team plans. [1] He was an ever-present throughout the 49 games in the 1952–53 campaign, as the "Valiants" finished as runners-up in the Third Division North. [1]

He was captain during the 1953–54 season, where Vale made it to the FA Cup semi-finals and won the Third Division North title. [1] The team had conceded just 21 goals in 46 games with Cheadle at the heart of the 'Iron Curtain' defence consisting of Ray King (goalkeeper), Cheadle, Reg Potts, Stan Turner and Roy Sproson. [4] In the semi-final clash with West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park he was dispossessed for the "Throstles" equaliser and gave away the penalty for Albion's winning goal. [1] Cheadle featured only 26 times in the Second Division in 1954–55. [1] He played 19 games in 1955–56 and 14 games in 1956–57, as the club suffered relegation under new boss Norman Low. [1] His final game was a 6–0 defeat to Sheffield United on 25 March, a game in which Cheadle scored an own goal. [1]

Now 38 years old, he moved to nearby Cheshire outfit Crewe Alexandra as a player-coach in July 1957. [4] He played 37 league games for the "Railwaymen" as the club finished bottom of the Third Division North in 1957–58 under Maurice Lindley and 18th in the Fourth Division in 1958–59 under the stewardship of Harry Ware. He retired as a player at Gresty Road in 1959.

Style of play

Former teammate Roy Sproson said that: "Tom was quick and strong and nobody could beat him. Pound for pound, in fact, I would say Tom is the hardest man I have ever met." [5] In fact he had 22 stitches in the head after various collisions with opposition players, his toughness earning him the nickname "wooden head" from his teammates. [6]

Post-retirement

Following his retirement, Cheadle became a postman in Porthill. [4] The pub at Vale Park was named Tommy Cheadle's in honour of his contribution to the club. [7]

Statistics

Source: [8]

ClubSeasonDivisionLeagueFA CupTotal
AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Port Vale 1946–47 Third Division South 32350373
1947–48 Third Division South23800238
1948–49 Third Division South22210232
1949–50 Third Division South42140461
1950–51 Third Division South32040360
1951–52 Third Division South39010400
1952–53 Third Division North 46020480
1953–54 Third Division North38080460
1954–55 Second Division 26000260
1955–56 Second Division19000190
1956–57 Second Division14000140
Total3331425035814
Crewe Alexandra 1957–58 Third Division North32010330
1958–59 Fourth Division 501060
Total37020390
Career total3701427039714

Honours

Port Vale

Related Research Articles

Port Vale F.C. Association football club in Stoke-on-Trent, England

Port Vale Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The team competes in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. Port Vale is one of the few English league clubs not to be named after a geographical location, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent and Mersey Canal. They have never played top-flight football, and hold the records for the most seasons in the English Football League (109) and in the second tier (41) without reaching the first tier. After playing at the Athletic Ground in Cobridge and The Old Recreation Ground in Hanley, the club returned to Burslem when Vale Park was opened in 1950. Outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club. The club's traditional rivals are Stoke City, and games between the two are known as the Potteries derby.

Roy Sproson

Roy Sproson was an English footballer and football manager for Port Vale. A one-club man, he holds the all-time appearance record for Vale, making 837 starts for Vale between 1950 and 1972. This includes a run of 128 consecutive appearances between April 1954 and March 1957. He is also fourteenth on the all time Football League appearance list.

Freddie Steele (footballer) English footballer and manager

Frederick Charles Steele was an English professional footballer who played as a forward for Stoke City and England. He also had spells at Mansfield Town and Port Vale as a player-manager, leading Vale to a league title. He remains a legendary figure in the histories of both Stoke and Vale. His nephew is former England cricketer David Steele.

Carl Basil Hayward was an English footballer and manager. He was the younger brother of Doug and Eric Hayward.

Norman Harvey Low was a Scottish football player and manager. He was the son of Scottish international footballer, Wilf Low.

Kenneth James Griffiths was an English footballer. A forward, he scored 59 goals in 221 games in the Football League.

Reginald Potts was an English football defender, nicknamed "Dan" after Desperate Dan.

Albert Thomas Mullard was an English footballer who played at right-half and inside forward.

John Cunliffe was an English footballer who played on the left wing. He made 309 appearances in the Football League, scoring 55 goals.

Alan Bennett was an English footballer who played on the left-wing. He made 133 league appearances in a nine-year career in the English Football League. He played for Port Vale between 1949 and 1957, and was a member of the Third Division North winning side in 1953–54. He retired in 1958, following one season with Crewe Alexandra.

Albert George Leake was an English footballer who played as a half-back.

Stan Turner English footballer

Stanley Simpson Turner was an English footballer. A tough-tackling defender, he made 246 appearances for Port Vale during one of the club's brightest periods. He helped the "Valiants" to win the Third Division North title and to reach the FA Cup semi-finals in 1953–54.

Colin Askey is an English former footballer who played on the right wing. He made a total of 341 league and cup appearances in a 15-year career in the English Football League, scoring 40 goals. His son, John Askey, played for and managed Macclesfield Town.

Michael John Hulligan was an English footballer. In a seven-year career in the Football League with Port Vale, he made 209 league and cup appearances and scored 23 goals. He helped the club to win the Third Division North title in 1953–54.

Charles Raymond Hancock was an English football goalkeeper. He was Ken Hancock's elder brother. He played for Port Vale between 1948 and 1956, and later turned out for Northwich Victoria. He was Vale's regular custodian as the club finished second in the Third Division North in 1952–53.

Leonard Barber was an English footballer who played as a forward for Port Vale in the Football League. He played a minor role in the club's Third Division North title winning campaign in 1953–54.

Derek Tomkinson is an English former footballer who played at inside-forward for Burton Albion, Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra, and Macclesfield Town. He helped the "Valiants" to win the Third Division North title in 1953–54.

James Elsby was an English footballer. A full-back, he played 12 games in the Football League for Port Vale in a seven-year career at the club from 1948 to 1955. He helped the club to win the Third Division North title in 1953–54. His nephew, Ian Elsby, also played for Port Vale.

The 1953–54 season was Port Vale's 42nd season of football in the English Football League, and their fifth season overall in the Third Division North. Freddie Steele's side were crowned Third Division North champions with 69 points out of a possible 92, eleven points ahead of their nearest rivals. They also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, and would be denied an appearance in the final due to a controversial goal from a dubious penalty. These achievements were based upon a record-breaking 'Iron Curtain' defence, and a solid squad of nineteen players, most of whom had taken the club to second in the league the previous season.

The 1956–57 season was Port Vale's 45th season of football in the English Football League, and their third successive season in the Second Division. An unmitigated disaster from start to finish, they were relegated in bottom place with just 22 points from 42 games. It was the end of an era, as the reputation of 'the Steele Curtain' had taken a severe blow, and its architect Freddie Steele left the club in January. The season was considered to be one where the old guard 'cracked', and thus many loyal servants of the club were let go in the summer of 1957, including Ray King, Reg Potts, Stan Turner, Tommy Cheadle, and Stan Smith.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 59. ISBN   0-9529152-0-0.
  2. Baggaley, Michael (8 April 2019). "Remembering a Port Vale legend - Tommy Cheadle would have been 100 today". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  3. Sherwin, Phil (2013). Men of Steele. Hanley, Staffordshire: Pass. p. 19. ISBN   978-0-9926579-1-8.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Maitland, Chris (17 November 2004). "Tommy Cheadle – Vale defender from 1946 – 1957". Port Vale site. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
  5. Harper, Chris (10 February 1975). "Sproson's Eleven". The Sentinel. Archived from the original on 19 November 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  6. Cheadle, Tommy; Dave Porter (Christmas 1954). "Tommy Cheadle's good Companions". Charles Buchan's Football Annual. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  7. "Tommy Cheadle's". port-vale.co.uk. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  8. Tommy Cheadle at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  9. Sherwin, Phil; Askey, Steve (2013), Men of Steele: The story of Port Vale's stunning 1953/54 season, Pass Publishing, ISBN   978-0-9926579-1-8