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Club News

Tom Pope: Vale through and through

21 December 2018

Club News

Tom Pope: Vale through and through

21 December 2018

Prolific goal scorers are hard to come by in football, but with 98 goals to his name in a Vale shirt, Tom Pope certainly fits into that category. With 10 strikes already this season, Neil Aspin was keen to tie the experienced striker down to a new deal.

So, with Christmas nearly upon us, Pope provided everyone with an early present. The 33-year-old who now captains his boyhood club signed a two-year contract extension on Friday afternoon, meaning he will continue to walk out at Vale Park until the summer of 2021.

Although his goals often dominate the headlines, his character and commitment to the cause always stands out, and he has been at the heart of some of Vale's more successful spells in recent history. To mark his renewed stay in Burslem, we take a look at some of his most memorable moments at the club.

Lincoln City v Port Vale - January 2011

After joining Vale on a loan spell from Rotherham United, Pope made his debut for the team he supports on the 29th January 2011. The Valiants slipped to a 1-0 defeat away at Sincil Bank in League Two as Ashley Grimes scored the only goal of the game three minutes from time.

Port Vale v Bradford City - February 2011

Pope scored his first goals for the club during the 2-1 victory over Bradford City at Vale Park, registering a brace to move his side within two points of the automatic promotion places. He rose highest to head home a Doug Loft corner four minutes into the second half, and he then got on the end of a Justin Richards flick to find the net from close range 15 minutes later.

August 2011 - Pope makes his move permanent

After making 13 appearances for the Valiants during his loan spell, he left Rotherham United to join Micky Adams' squad at Vale Park, arriving on a free transfer. He was then available for the 2011/12 League Two campaign, and he was an ever-present as Port Vale secured a 12th-placed finish.

Port Vale v Barnet - August 2012

Despite a disappointing goal tally during his first full season at Vale Park, the striker got off to a flying start in 2012/13 as he scored during the 3-0 opening day victory over Barnet in League Two. It's safe to say finding the net became a regular occurence from then on...

Port Vale v Rotherham United - September 2012

Facing your former club can often be a daunting prospect for any footballer, but Pope inflicted major damage upon Rotherham at Vale Park. The Valiants cruised to a 6-2 triumph, and he managed to score four of those goals to cap off a sensational afternoon in a white shirt. He went on to score seven goals in as many games during September, and he scooped the League Two Player of the Month award.

Wycombe Wanderers v Port Vale - April 2013

The 27th April 2013 will be a date that lives long in the memory of Vale supporters, with Pope included in that bracket. Despite not scoring this time around, Lee Hughes' late equaliser against the Chairboys secured automatic promotion to the third tier, and Pope finished the season with 33 goals in all competitions. He was also voted in the division's Team of the Year and he picked up Vale's Player of the Year accolade as well.

Chesterfield v Port Vale - August 2017

Following a two-year stint with Bury, the forward returned to Vale in the summer of 2017 as Michael Brown re-signed him on a free transfer. Despite it being a frustrating afternoon on the pitch at the Proact Stadium on the 19th August 2017, it proved to be Pope's 200th appearance for the club.

Port Vale v Northampton Town - September 2018

The Valiants' 2-0 home success over the Cobblers towards the beginning of the current season marked his 250th outing, and he chipped in with an assist for his side's second goal of the afternoon, teeing up Manny Oyeleke who curled an effort into the top corner from 20 yards.

More of the same please, Tom!

With his future at the club now confirmed and with double figures to his name in terms of goals this season, Pope will be determined to ensure there are many more good days to be had. Macclesfield Town are the opposition this weekend, and with two goals to go until he clocks up a century, the striker will be hungry. All you've got to do is feed the Pope!

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