Almost 26 years on from Port Vale’s play-off final win over Bristol Rovers, former defender and current coach Dean Glover reflects on the club’s 1988/89 season.
Signed midway through the campaign for a club record fee of £200,000, Glover came straight into the side and was a key part of the Valiants’ promotion success.
Having just missed out on an automatic place to Sheffield United, John Rudge’s side was forced to try its luck in the play-off lottery.
They beat Preston North End over two legs in the semi-final, drawing 1-1 on Deepdale’s infamous plastic pitch and winning 3-1 at home.
In the final, Vale took on a Bristol Rovers side that had finished ten points behind them in the table. They won 2-1 on aggregate with Robbie Earle scoring both goals.
It’s a day that will live long in Glover’s memory and the 51-year-old admits winning promotion via the play-offs is a feeling that's difficult to beat.
“The euphoria around it for us to be pushing to get into the second division was brilliant," he told Valiant Player in an exclusive interview.
“To actually get down to Bristol and have a support as we did, because we did have good followings away from home, and to come back here and fill the stadium was brilliant.
“Thankfully looking back at the game we had quite a few chances we could have won the game by more than one goal but it was a tight close affair.”
Click here to watch the full interview with Dean Glover on Valiant Player now.