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Port Vale FC
Vale Park

Capacity: 18,947 (all seated)
Address: Hamil Road, Burslem,
Stoke On Trent, ST6 1AW
Main Telephone No: 0871 221 1876
Main Fax No: 01782 834 981
Ticket Office: 0871 222 1950
Team Nickname: The Valiants
Year Ground Opened: 1950
Pitch Size: 114 x 77 yards
Shirt Sponsors:
GMB
Home Kit Colours: White and Black
Away Kit Colours: Black and Amber Stripes
Kit Manufacturers: Errea
Official Web Site: www.port-vale.co.uk
Unofficial Web Sites:
One Vale Fan
North London Valiants
Vital Port Vale (Vital Football Network)
Port Vale Online
Supporters Club

Map


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Contents

What's Vale Park Like?
Future Ground Developments

Looking Towards The Railway Stand
(photo)
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Signal One Stand (photo)
Where To Drink?
Bycars Stand (photo)
How To Get There And Where To Park
By Train
Lorne Street Stand (photo)
Admission Prices
Ground Layout
Local Rivals

Programme & Fanzines

Disabled Facilities
Fixtures 2014-2015
Record & Average Attendance
Fans Ground Reviews
Hotel Accommodation
Vale Park Location Map

 

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What's Vale Park Like?
The ground has a good mixture of the old and the new, it is just let down overall by the fact that the Lorne Street Stand, which was partly opened in 1999, is still yet to be fully completed. This stand which is two-tiered has a row of executive boxes situated between its large lower tier and much smaller upper tier. With a planned capacity of 5,000 it is of a good size and I’m sure it would look quite smart when finished. However the outstanding works include half the lower tier towards the Hamil Road End. This area is currently empty of seating and is largely just a concrete base. On a positive note the original clock that was seen on the old stand has been incorporated into the new construction, above the players tunnel and Directors area in the centre of the stand.

On the opposite side is the Railway Stand which was opened in 1954. It is a fair sized stand that is covered to the rear. It has a number of supporting pillars that run across the middle of the stand. Originally it had a large paddock terrace in front, but this was subsequently filled with seating in the 1990’s. At one end is the Hamil Road End, which is a good sized single tiered stand. It also has an electric scoreboard situated just below its roof. Again it has a number of supporting pillars (although fewer in number than the Railway Stand), plus it has windshields to either side. Opposite is the Bycars Road End, which although old looking was built in 1992. It also is partly covered to the rear and has some supporting pillars to either side. Situated in one corner, in-between the Bycars & Railway Stand is an odd looking two-tiered structure that looks if it has been ‘wedged’ into the stadium. In fact this area is the only portion of the old ground that still remains from when the ground was originally built in 1950. Rob from the One Vale Fan website adds; 'Incidentally, the steelwork and roof of this structure were brought from the club's previous stadium in Hanley, where it formed part of the
"Swan Passage" stand. So the roof on that little corner of the ground is very old indeed!' Filled with seating it is currently used as a Family Stand. On one side of the Hamil Road Stand there is a Police Control Box, which keeps a watchful eye over the crowd. The pitch is also one of the widest in the League. Outside the Lorne Street Stand is a statue of former player and manager Roy Sproson.

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Future Ground Developments

Adrian Gaffney informs me; 'With new owners in place the Club now hope to finally complete the Lorne Street Stand.'

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Looking Towards The Railway Stand


Looking Towards The Railway Stand

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What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Up to 4,500 away supporters can be accommodated in the Signal One Stand, where the view and facilities located on the concourse behind the stand are good. Even a relatively small number of away fans can really make some noise from this stand, as the acoustics are excellent. However, the slope is quite shallow, which might affect your view should a tall person be seated in front. Normally though, you could still move to another seat if necessary.

I've been to Port Vale on a number of occasions and always found it be a good day out. However the experience has sometimes been a little intimidating, not due to the Port Vale supporters but more because of the huge Police presence in and around the ground. One Police Officer said to me as we left the ground five minutes early, as my team were losing 4-0. "Leaving already? there's still five minutes to go!". Now who said that Police Officers don't have a sense of humour? The P.A within the ground is quite deafening at times and there is no escape, even in the toilets, as it is piped through! The food available on the concourse is the usual fayre of Rollover Hot Dogs (£2.50), Steak Pies (£2.50), Meat & Potato Pies (£2.50), Cheese & Onion Pasties (£2.10) and Sausage Rolls (£1.50).

If you wonder at half time why the Port Vale fans seem transfixed with staring at the away end, it is not intimidation, but the electric scoreboard perched on the roof of this stand! (which the away fans can't see). Also at half time the Vale fans in the Railway Stand tend to transfer from one side to another so that can be nearer the goalmouth that Port Vale are attacking. Vince Smith a visiting Northampton Town fan adds; 'I must say it was an enjoyable day out at Vale Park, with very friendly stewards, turnstile operators and very good food served by friendly staff. All in all a very pleasant experience and far more enjoyable than a visit to their near neighbours.'

And for a bit of trivia, Dave Seddon, a visiting Brentford supporter informs me; 'the roof of the Caudwell Stand was originally that of the Main Stand at Chester City's old Sealand Road ground'. Stephen Wood adds; 'The roof of the away end was indeed bought by Bill Bell back in 1991-92 for £300,000 as Chester were moving grounds. It was installed during the 1992-93 season and the first team we played when the roof was fully constructed was, you guessed it, Chester!'

Please note that cash is not accepted at the away turnstiles, you have to buy a ticket from the portacabin in the car park by the away end. This portakabin is 'cash only'. If you wish to pay by credit or debit card you will need to purchase tickets from the Main ticket office.

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Signal One Stand


Signal One Stand

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Where To Drink?
Unfortunately the choice of pubs for away supporters to drink in near to the ground or in the town centre is very limited as Nick Williams a visiting Plymouth Argyle fan informs me; 'Apart from the Bulls Head, which was very welcoming, every other pub in the town that we found had signs up saying " Home fans only". This also included the closest pub to the ground, the Vine.'

Luckily the Bull's Head which is located in St John's Square, is a cracking pub. It is the local outlet for the nearby Titanic Brewery and is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. It is friendly for away fans. It has a BBQ on matchdays, has up to nine real ales on offer as well as up to 10 traditional ciders and perries. To find this pub: From the outside of the away end, turn right and go down to the bottom of Hamil Road (passing the Vine Pub on your left). Turn right at the t-junction and then go straight across the traffic lights at the crossroads. Proceed past KFC, Wades and the New Inn on the right and then if you look over to your left, you will see a square with the Bulls Head, which is located on the right of this square.

Pete Gardner a visiting Oxford United fan informs me; ‘Both the Leopard and Post Office Vaults, which are both near to the Bulls Head were welcoming to us.’ It is about a ten minute walk from the ground. Otherwise inside the stadium
alcohol is available in the form of bottles of Greene King IPA (£2.70) & Carlsberg (£3.10).

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Bycars Stand


 Bycars Stand

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How To Get There And Where To Park

The ground is located in the town of Burslem, one of the six towns comprising Stoke On Trent. Leave the M6 at junction 15 or 16 and take the A500 towards Stoke on Trent. Follow A500 until the A527 Tunstall/Burslem exit, where you take the A527 towards Tunstall/Burslem. At the next island just past the Price Kensington factory turn right for Burslem town centre. Continue on this road up the hill, crossing another island and into Burslem town centre. Continue straight on over the traffic lights at the cross roads and then take the first road on the left which takes you down to the ground. There is a large car park located outside a superstore next to the ground which costs £5, otherwise street parking.

Map showing the location of Vale Park (at the bottom of this page).

Post Code for SAT NAV:
ST6 1AW

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By Train

Longport station is the closest to the ground, but is a good 30 minute walk away and is not well served by trains as Stoke On Trent station is. Therefore most fans end up at Stoke On Trent railway station, which is over four miles away and take a taxi up to the ground.

Bus information from Stoke station:

Stephen Parr informs me; 'Come out of the main station doors at Stoke-on-Trent. Turn left past a bus stop and the taxi rank. Walk to the end of this road, which only takes a couple of minutes. Then on your left is a railway bridge, but cross over the road and turn right. Up towards a bus stop opposite Signal Radio.
Get the number 21, First is the bus company. Pay upto Burslem. Get off the bus outside a modern building called Ceramica, just after a big crossroads. If you sit on the door side of the bus, then you can see 'Ceramica' and 'Port Vale F.C.' road signs. And on the drivers side is 'Burslem Methodist Church'. These are signs to stand up to get off. Once off the bus outside Ceramica. Cross over the road and turn left. Then an immediate right at Jenkins Street. This road leads into Hamil Road, which is then a 5 minute straight walk to Vale Park'.

Dermot McKeown adds; 'I would advise travelling supporters to get a taxi from Stoke station as suggested and not to get the bus. We did this and it took over an hour to reach Burslem (admittedly the bus was 15 minutes late in picking us up at the station) and we ended up missing the kick off.'

Directions & information for Longport station:

John Midgley a visiting Huddersfield Town fan informs me; 'Services run hourly from Crewe, Stoke & Derby to Longport. We managed to walk to the ground in around 25 minutes without too much trouble.

Cross over the line (if travelling from Stoke/Derby) and walk along Station Street. At the mini-roundabout follow the main road round to the left going up the hill. After a couple of minutes take the first major left onto Newcastle Street (B5051). Enter Burslem. Pass the Bull's Head pub at St. John's Square. Bear left onto Market Place. Shortly after cross main road onto Jenkins Street which becomes Hamil Road. The ground will soon be visible on the left. Turn left into Lorne Street'.

Remember if travelling by train then you can save on the cost of fares by booking in advance. Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can normally save. Click on the trainline logo below:

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Lorne Street Stand


Lorne Street Stand

Thanks to Tim Rigby for providing the photo above.

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Admission Prices

Home Fans:
Lorne Street Stand: Adults £23, Aged 62 & over £18, Under 18's £12, Under 9's Free
All Other Areas Of The Ground:
Adults £22,
Aged 62 & over £17, Under 18's £10, Under 9's Free

Away Fans:
Adults £22, Aged 62 & over £17, Under 18's £10, Under 9's Free

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Ground Layout


Layout

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Local Rivals
Stoke City.

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Programme & Fanzines
Official Programme £3 - Sold from booths within the ground.
Vale Park Beano Fanzine £1
Derek I'm Gutted Fanzine £1

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Disabled Facilities
For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the
Level Playing Field
website.

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Fixtures
Port Vale FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

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Record & Average Attendance
49,768 v Aston Villa,
FA Cup 5th Round, February 20th, 1960.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record:
12,601 v Wolverhampton Wanderers
League One, August 31st 2013

Average Attendance:
2013-2014: 6,249 (League One)
2012-2013: 5,727 (League Two)
2011-2012: 4,820 (League Two)

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Fans Reviews Of Vale Park
Duane Mitchell (Grimsby Town) 12/11/11
Myles Munsey (Neutral) 26/3/11
Matt Harris (Gillingham) 16/10/10

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Hotel Accommodation
If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the football ground.

Access their Port Vale Hotels and Guest Houses page.

Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.



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Map showing the location of Vale Park, railway station and listed pubs



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Feedback
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me duncan@footballgroundguide.com and I'll update the guide.


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Copyright Duncan Adams
All rights reserved
Last Updated: 6 August 2014