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Port Vale commemorated for 2021/22 promotion to League One in Civic reception with the City of Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Faisal Hussain

28 September 2022

Club News

Port Vale commemorated for 2021/22 promotion to League One in Civic reception with the City of Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Faisal Hussain

28 September 2022

Owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan, director of football David Flitcroft, first team manager Darrell Clarke and members of last season’s promotion-winning squad celebrated last season’s success in a Civic Reception on Wednesday evening.

  • Port Vale commemorated for 2021/22 League Two Play-Offs success in Civic Reception with the City of Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Faisal Hussain
  • The Valiants, who were named as the EFL Community Club of the Year in 2021, won promotion to League One for the first time in nine years in May, before hosting a sell-out concert at Vale Park just a week later when Robbie Williams returned home in support of the Hubb Foundation, Donna Louise Children's Hospice and UNICEF.
  • Port Vale chair, Carol Shanahan OBE: “For the city to honour us in this way means an awful lot. We, like most, probably don’t celebrate success as much as we should and I am so proud of what the players, staff and supporters achieved as a club back in May.”

MAIN PHOTO: Steve Bould (The Sentinel)

Players and staff from the Vale’s 2021/22 League Two Play-Offs success were commemorated at a Civic Reception with City of Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Faisal Hussain on Wednesday evening.

Vale owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan, director of football David Flitcroft, first team manager Darrell Clarke and players and staff from across the club were praised by the Lord Mayor, who said in a speech that “The team’s exploits on the field have turned heads and have rightly put the spotlight on Burslem and the city. But there is something more fundamental that has happened at the club. Under the Shanahans’ ownership, this is a club that has reconnected with its fanbase, its community and its city. A club that is helping change lives, giving hope and opportunity to people of all ages. We are very proud of you. You are all fantastic ambassadors for Stoke-on-Trent, and I, like many people across the city, have great civic pride in your achievements on and off the pitch.

"Under the Shanahans’ ownership, this is a club that has reconnected with its fanbase, its community and its city. A club that is helping change lives, giving hope and opportunity to people of all ages." - City of Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor, Faisal Hussain

Victory in the League Two Play-Offs final at Wembley came just three years after the Shanahan family rescued the Vale, bringing League One football back to Burslem for the first time since 2014.

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Port Vale first team manager Darrell Clarke, chair Carol Shanahan OBE, City of Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Faisal Hussain and Vale Director of Football David Flitcroft with a certificate and ceramic tile presented to the club by the City of Stoke-on-Trent Council.

The on pitch success followed Vale being named as the EFL Community Club of the Year in 2021 for its efforts in providing over 300,000 meals to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And just a week after the success in the Play-Offs, the club hosted a sell-out concert, welcoming Robbie Williams back to Vale Park in support of UNICEF and two local charities, the Hubb Foundation and Donna Louise Children's Hospice.

Commenting on the recognition at the Civic Reception, which was also attended by Cllr Abi Brown, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and Councillor Lesley Adams, Carol Shanahan OBE added:

For the city to honour us in this way, it means an awful lot. We, like most, probably don’t celebrate success as much as we should and I am so proud of what the players, staff and supporters achieved as a club back in May.

We won the Play-Off final on one Saturday and then the following Saturday we welcomed Robbie back to Vale Park for a sell-out concert, which was the first-time we had hosted an event of that nature in our time, and so by the time we had finished that, we were working straight away into the new season with the earlier start.

Robbie Williams.jpg

Robbie Williams played a sell-out concert at Vale Park just a week after Darrell Clarke's side secured promotion at Wembley.

So we didn’t really get any time to stop and reflect, and this recognition is a good opportunity for us to stop and reflect on what was a wonderful season for the club.”

Fittingly, Wednesday’s event immediately precedes what is likely to be the Vale’s biggest crowd of the 2022/23 season to date as Sheffield Wednesday head to Burslem in League One.

A strong away following and bumper crowd will see an attendance of over 11,000 supporters for the first time at Vale Park this campaign, with the club’s average home attendance currently at its highest since the Vale were playing second tier football in the old First Division in 1997/98.

The reason Kevin and I bought the club was that it was the best way in which we could help the community within Burslem. Football is a wonderful way of offering that support,” Carol explained.

We spoke early on about our ambitions to get the ‘used-tos’ back, as in people who were asked ‘do you come to the match?’ and would reply, ‘no, I used to’.

We are getting a lot of supporters saying to us that they had not been for many years but now they are coming back; we are also getting people coming to matches for the first time, more families, additional members of families, and I love seeing how many young supporters we have at matches through the mascot packages and Fan Zone.”

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