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Club News

Thank you Gerry Keenan!

23 September 2019

After 20 years in the role, Gerry Keenan hosted his final game as match day host on Saturday against Mansfield Town following his relocation to Morecambe.

A hugely popular character at the club on match days, Gerry's story at the Vale begins when he signed for the club as a player. Born in Liverpool, he began his career as a right back in the Liverpool youth team when their manager was the legendary Bill Shankly. 

He didn't make the first team though and moved onto Skelmersdale United before joining Bury, managed by future Vale manager Bobby Smith in April 1975. He became a regular over the next three seasons, scoring three goals in 71 league appearances. Exactly 41 years ago to the day on Saturday, Gerry signed for the Vale for £15,000. 

He made his debut for the Vale in a home Fourth Division game against Bournemouth two days later and scored his first goal for the club two months later, in a 1-0 victory at Rochdale. He celebrated his first anniversary at the Vale by scoring twice in a 4-2 home win over Darlington but a series of knee injuries then hampered his progress.

After scoring seven goals in 114 appearances he was given a free transfer by manager John McGrath in may 1982, whereupon he became a player manager at Rochdale. 

Two years later, Gerry became player manager at Accrington Stanley, who in those days were in the North West Counties League. He has also been player manager at Ashton United, Rossendale United, Bacup Borough and St Josephs (Rossendale). 

Following his playing days he became a gas fitter, forcing at least one Vale fan to do a double take when he came to fix his boiler. As the new century dawned he returned to the Vale as a match day host. 

We'd like to wish Gerry the very best of luck in the future and thank him for everything he's done during his time at the club.


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