Mystery Sportsman: Stoke City defender was a genial Welsh giant
WHEN this big defender made his debut for Stoke City at 18, he was dubbed another John Charles, possessing both the physique and temperament of the genial Welsh giant.
By then, the Longton-born full back was an England youth international and had played for the Stoke-on-Trent Schoolboys team which twice won the English School FA Trophy.
Although dependable and hard-tackling, he was restricted to 53 games in five seasons in a Stoke side well endowed with talent in all departments.
However, he was rewarded with regular first-team football after moving to Blackpool, making nearly 300 appearances for the seaside club and scoring 10 goals. Leaving Bloomfield Road after eight years, he returned to the Potteries to round off his league career with Port Vale, gaining the respect of Vale fans over a further 92 games.
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Can you identify this former defender, now aged 61? Send your answers and comments to John Abberley, All Our Yesterdays, The Sentinel, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 5SS.
LAST week's mystery player was the former Port Vale striker Andy Jones, who was bought by John Rudge in 1985 for £3,000 and sold to Charlton two years later for £350,000.
Jones's goalscoring powers helped Vale to win promotion in his first season with the club and later he established a club record by scoring nine goals in two successive home games.
He scored five in a 6-1 win over Newport in the last home game of the 1986-87 campaign and netted all four goals in the first home game of the following season when Vale beat Aldershot 4-2.
Jones scored on his debut for Wales against Finland in 1987 and was capped six times by his country.