Port Vale pays tribute to Gordon Leadley, who passed away in December 2020 after an association with Port Vale stretching back to 1940.
Gordon’s earliest Vale memories were of supporting the club in the wartime and then post-wartime era, when Vale Park was a very different place to the all-seater stadium it is now.
He was always admired by both the players and the management at Vale and speaking in 2019, he reflected on his relationship with the staff at Port Vale.
“I have a laugh and a joke with them and I talk to them.”
“I’ve seen promotions, I’ve seen them under John Rudge in the Second Division when we just missed out on the play-offs.”
“I’ve got a lot of memories here and I’ve seen a lot of people come and go.”
Having supported the club for over 80 years, Gordon will have seen the club play in three separate divisions in the Football League, including eight promotions, and two Football League Trophy victories as well as the club’s run to the FA Cup semi-final in 1954.
In Gordon's teenage years, he played for local football club Burslem Albion as a goalkeeper. He was also a trainer for the Boys Brigade Battalion and Port Vale juniors. He then became a local referee and was on the committee of the Sentinel Cup. Recently, Gordon was awarded a presentation for 50 years’ service, a first-time honour for the Sentinel Cup.
Gordon was a particularly prominent figure during the years of John Rudge, with our Club President recounting memories of Gordon washing both his and the players cars, as well as purchasing the staff’s wives’ flowers on a regular basis.
Port Vale staff paid their respects to Gordon in his final visit to Vale Park on Wednesday, during a funeral procession which was accompanied by members of Gordon’s immediate family.
The word he used to sum up Port Vale was ‘success,’ as it was his constant wish to see the club be successful.
Gordon will be dearly missed by everybody associated with Port Vale Football Club.