All At Sea guide to: Port Vale away

7 Apr

VALE Park reminds me of Roots Hall in some ways. Yes it’s a lot bigger but it has the feel of a ground that was done up on the cheap, and of course Blues and Vale crossed swords regularly in the second flight during the 1990s, when the club was forced to make the ground all-seater.
They did it like us, by borrowing bits and pieces from other clubs and bolting seats onto terraces. It’s not exactly a palace, but it does seat around 20,000, making it one of the biggest venues in the division.
Port Vale is of course not an actual place. The club plays its home games in Burslem, one of the six towns that make up the city of Stoke-on-Trent. It is in the north of the city, unfortunately about four miles from Stoke station. There is a closer stop – Longport – but few trains run here.
Fortunately it takes just 90 minutes to get here from London and taxis are fantastically cheap. Stoke is an industrial Midlands city which has seen better days but has plenty of character.
The pubs around the ground are lacking a little finesse but you’ll find cheap, good beer.
Many away fans end up in the Vine, on Hamill Road, which is the closest pub to the away turnstiles, but there are plenty of alternatives in Burslem, the centre of which is about a 10 minute walk from the ground.
The away end costs £19 for adults, £13.50 for OAPs, £8 for under 19s and free for those lucky enough to be under nine.
Vale are currently undergoing a bit of a massive choking session since the departure of Micky Adams but are still in with a shout of the play-offs, so there should be a half-decent crowd in attendance.


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