Travel to Burslem

Rovers travel to Port Vale on Saturday 15th Oct for their first meeting of the season against the Valiants.

Vale Park is in the town of Burslem, one of the six towns which make up Stoke On Trent.  The journey by road from Nailsworth is usually just over 2 hours (about 110 miles)  Post Code for SAT NAV: ST6 1AW.  There is a fair sized car park located outside the away end (Car Park C) which costs £5 (pay on the day), otherwise there is street parking, though this gets a bit limited as you get closer to the ground.

BY SUPPORTERS CLUB COACH.  For full details of Away Travel which has changed from last season, this includes pick up times: – click here: – FGR Away Travel – Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club ( further information, including pickup point locations Away travel arrangements 22/23 – Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club (

Book coach ticket with your match ticket from FGR.  There’s a 25% discount for FGR Supporters Club members.  Go to Tickets | WE ARE FGRor phone on 0333 123 1889 Monday to Friday, between 9am and 3pm.  Please try to book as early as possible

Rail travel would be to Stoke (4 miles away from Burslem) but you won’t be able to get back on the same day so unlikely to be a choice.

There is a bar just outside the away turnstiles (The Vale Social, also called Tommy Cheadles) which welcomes both home and away fans.   Burslem centre is close by, but a number of the pubs don’t welcome away fans.  However, The Bull in St Johns Square is recommended by travelling supporters and real ale fans.  There are kiosks in all of the ground’s stands.

Tickets can be bought at the booth near the away end and cost;

Adults £24
Aged 62 & over £19
Under 22’s £16
Under 18’s £12
Under 12’s Free

Ground Layout of Port Vale

Vale Park has a capacity of just over 19,000, with up to 4,500 in the away end.  Average attendances are around 8,000 for league matches this season (up from 5,000 last season) and the visits of Bolton and Sheffield Wednesday attracted crowds of over 10,000 and 11,000 respectively.

The away stand, also known as the Hamil Road Stand is behind one of the goals and is pretty good for atmosphere.

How are they doing?

Port Vale came up from League 2 last season with FGR.  They beat Mansfield 3-0 in a play-off final at Wembley.

Vale have started the season well.  They have 15 points from 12 games leaving them in 14th place, 4 points above Rovers.  They have 4 wins, 5 defeats and 3 draws.  Their best win was last Saturday when they defeated Derby County away 2-1 after coming from behind.  This was a controversial game with Derby reduced to 10 men in the 2nd half, and 2 Port Vale penalties (one of them missed).  The result was a shock for Derby.

The summer signing of Ellis Harrison (number 22) has been paying dividends for Vale.  The 28 year old striker was signed from Fleetwood and has repaid them with 6 goals so far this season.  No other Vale player has scored more than 1 goal in the league so far.

Another to watch out for is 21 year old central defender Will Forrester (number 15) who has been excellent in Vale’s last few games.  Forrester moved from neighbours Stoke City this summer.

Like Rovers, Vale aren’t prolific in front of goal (just 12 in 12 games).  Also like Rovers, they don’t often keep a clean sheet (just 2 so far).  They lined up as a 3-4-1-2 against Derby with Harrison and former Man Utd academy graduate James Wilson up front.

Ellis Harrison makes permanent switch to Vale Park | News | Port Vale

Ellis Harrison is Vale’s top scorer with 6 this season

The Manager

Vale are managed by former Bristol Rovers manager, Darrell Clarke.  Clarke managed Bristol Rovers between March 2014 and December 2018.  He moved to manage Walsall but only stayed for about 18 months before making a shock move to local rivals Port Vale in February 2021.  Former Swindon & Mansfield manager David Flitcroft is Director of Football at Vale.

Clarke’s arrival saw a strong return to form for Vale in the latter part of the 2020/21 season and they secured their promotion last season via the play-offs.

Darrell Clarke has been leading a Vale revival

About the Club

Carol and Kevin Shanahan took over as Port Vale’s owners in May 2019 (Carol is the club’s Chair) and the atmosphere at the club is now much more optimistic than before their arrival

What else do you need to know about Port Vale?

  • Nicknamed ‘The Valiants’, Port Vale are one of only 3 EFL clubs that aren’t named after a geographical location.  Their name is a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent & Mersey canal.
  • The ‘Great Pottery Throw Down’ and ‘Peaky Blinders’ have both been filmed at nearby Middleport Pottery on the Trent & Mersey canal.
  • The club is in Burslem near Stoke on Trent, one of the 5 towns of The Potteries.
  • The club crest features 2 Portland Vases representing the association with Josiah Wedgewood, and a Staffordshire knot.
  • Veteran striker Tom Pope (35) used to make headlines with his use of social media when he played for Vale (he retired a year or two ago).  He once claimed he would score 40 goals a season if he played against Man City defender John Stones every week.  He revised this to 50 goals a season after he scored against City in their FA Cup tie in January 2020.  During his career he served 2 separate one-match bans for his comments on Twitter.
  • Vale’s most famous fans are Robbie Williams and former world darts champion Phil (‘The Power’) Taylor.  Taylor is Burslem born and bred, won the World Darts Championship 16 times, and is regarded as the best darts player ever.
  • Port Vale’s traditional local rivals have been Stoke City but, more recently, since Stoke and Port Vale have been in different divisions, games against Crewe Alexandra have been a bigger rivalry.
  • Port Vale supporters produce 3 unofficial fanzines, The Memoirs of Seth Bottomley, the Vale Park Beano, and Derek I’m Gutted!
  • Vale have played 110 seasons in the football league without ever reaching the top tier (this is a record!).  41 of these seasons have been played in football’s 2nd tier.
  • Some of Vale’s more vociferous supporters are called the VLF.  VLF stands for Vale Legendary Failures!

Famous Vale fan Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor

Robbie is from Burslem!

Boomer the dog is Vale’s (apparently very popular) mascot