Port Vale: Messages of encouragement flood in for old boy Steve
JOHN Rudge led the touching messages of support for former Port Vale winger Steve Fox that flooded in yesterday.
Rudge was assistant manager to John McGrath when Fox arrived at Vale Park in 1982.
He took over in the hot-seat a year later, so is well placed to comment on what Fox was like as a player.
"Stevie was a skilful wide man who would always create a lot of chances," said 67-year-old Rudge, pictured right.
Cheap Van Insurance For 17,18 & 19 Year Old Drivers - Call Insure365 01782 898188, Free Legal Protection Cover Included valued at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Monday, June 24 2013
"He was quick and had good ability on the ball. He was part and parcel of the team which got us promoted in 1982/83.
"He was definitely an extrovert – the best players often are – but he was a good character."
News of Fox's health problems came as a shock to Rudge, who these days is director of football at Stoke City.
He said: "I was really very sad to hear about it, particularly as he is only 54. I'd like to wish him all the best."
Former team-mate Mark Bright remembered Fox as a 'great player in a good team'.
"He was only four years older than me, but he helped me and the other younger players such a lot," said 50-year-old Bright, now a BBC pundit who is currently commentating at the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
"He was only 24 or 25 at the time, but he had more experience than me. I think it was my first year as a professional and he helped me to believe in myself.
"He was also a funny guy who had a dry sense of humour."
Robbie Earle said Fox was one of the most technically gifted players at Port Vale when he joined the club.
"Stevie was the star attraction and a bit of a maverick," he recalled, "but was a great foil for the physical presence of Ernie Moss and big Bob Newton.
"He was a big kid at heart and I recall how he used to keep encouraging me as a young player and was always there to offer guidance and advice.
"Well 30 years later, it's roles reversed and all I can do is wish him well and encourage him to keep battling on."
Long-serving Vale secretary Bill Lodey added: "I'm very sorry to hear an ex-player who was so well liked is fighting such a serious illness.
"We wish him and his family all the best."