birthday.th July one month short of his 90thEveryone at the Vale is sad to hear of the death of our former goalkeeper Ray King, who passed away in Thailand on Saturday 19
He was undoubtedly the greatest goalkeeper the Vale ever had, and will forever be remembered for his part in the glorious 1953/54 season when the Vale became known all over the country for reaching the FA Cup semi-finals as a Third Division club, also winning the championship of the Third Division (North) that season. That wasn’t the full story though, as Ray kept 29 clean sheets, still a Football League record (jointly with Gillingham’s Jim Stannard), and he only conceded 5 goals at Vale Park all season!
Ray was also the closest a Vale player has ever been to representing the full England team. At the end of the 1953/54 campaign he made an appearance for the ‘B’ team against Switzerland and was on the bench for a full international against Yugoslavia in Belgrade.
August 1924, Ray began his football career with Newcastle United. He later played for Leyton Orient and Ashington before joining the Vale in May 1949, where his brother George was a striker.thBorn in Warkworth, Northumberland on 15
He was sold to Boston United for £2,500 in July 1957 where he became player manager, and he also managed Poole Town and Sittingbourne. He later became a masseur and eventually returned to his native North East. When his wife died in 2009, he went to live with his son Gary in Thailand.
Truly a Port Vale legend, without a doubt