We are delighted and feel privileged to announce that John Rudge is the new Club President for Port Vale Football Club.
Described by many and rightly so as a footballing legend, John is a person who knows the club inside-out having had an affiliation with the club for over 20 years.
As a manager for Port Vale, he managed over 800 games for the club in what could be considered as the Vale's most successful period in it's history. From trips to Wembley and promotions up the divisions, Rudgie was there to manage it all.
A gentleman who always has time for everyone, Rudgie returned to the club as football advisor in 2017. Though his role was to help the manager and first team players, John has always gone above and beyond as an ambassador for anyone that has asked him for help.
From meeting fans in hospital to attending funerals, we as a club have been proud to have John as our ambassador over the years. Owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan said there's been some hard decisions to make since taking over the club, but appointing John Rudge as Club President was the easiest decision of them all.
"He's a link to the players, the club, the history of Port Vale. If you had to take one person in the history of this fantastic club and say give us one name of one person who is everyone's Valiants hero, it would be John Rudge." said Carol.
"John's an unassuming legend. When we were talking about how he's thought of, that's not how he sees himself. There's so much talk about flat caps and maybe we should all wear them now!
"If you were to do a poll or anything to every fan Vale on who should be the one person that represents the club with that title, which is an honour, it would be John Rudge and I'm so delighted that it is John Rudge."
Port Vale chief executive, Colin Garlick, said that the club president title couldn't have gone to anyone else other than the "gentleman" that is John Rudge.
"I think it means a lot to me and the club. If you look at what John achieved as the manager here and that success he had, whilst he was doing that it was how he went about his business. As a manager with many years standing in the game, it just reflected so well on the club the way he is not only as a manager, but as a person.
"I've only been here three years and I saw John Rudge from afar but John Rudge for me was Mr Port Vale. I knew people only ever spoke highly of John in the game and when I came here and met him, my respect for him just grew.
"You can hear a lot but when you sample the man first hand, he's such a character and an absolute gentleman. He'll do absolutely anything for anyone. His character, his humour is second to none and he's a top bloke.
"It's very fitting that he has that title of club president for what he's done for this football club and what he's still doing. If you look at legends in the game over the years like Billy Wright at Wolves, you can put John Rudge and Port Vale in that same bracket because he is so well respected by so many people up and down the country in the game and outside of it.
"The character of the man just says he's a great human being as well as what he achieved in the game."
John will be introduced as the new club president on the pitch today at 14:50, 10 minutes before kick off. We would like to ask all fans to take their seats at 14:45 to give John the warmest of receptions.