Day: October 26, 2012

Port Vales Latest Bidder Shows His Hand

The emergence of Altrincham-based businessman Paul Wildes and his Leicestershire business associate Norman Smurthwaite as the latest “preferred” bidder(s) for Port Vale triggered a wave of hope across Burslem. Some of it was live on telly too, as Vale gave Oxford United a 3-0 shoeing on the day Wildes name was made public. After the protracted, painful climax of the Valiant 2001 era and the summer saga involving Lancastrian businessman Keith Ryder, Vale fans would probably have been grateful if their latest putative saviour could tie his own shoelaces. Nevertheless Wildes, the senior but younger partner (36… yikes!), made a very good initial impression, steadfastly avoiding being tripped up in a very intense first week under the scrutiny of fans and the local media. Only Wildes has gone public. “Retired finance expert” Smurthwaite – the most ‘northern’ name since ex-Barrow striker Colin Cowperthwaite – will add his retired finance expertise only when required. “He’ll be there to lend an ear when I need it,” Wildes explained. This might not be often. Wildes has been described – though not by himself (see below) – as a successful “entrepreneur” and “venture capitalist” with “business interests ranging from property development to hairdressing.” And, it would seem, most points in-between (most points are). These include horse-racing, where he is “a profitable owner on the turf,” according to flatstats.co.uk. “Backing all runners to a...

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Match Of The Past: Sheffield Wednesday

We continue – and this is the penultimate one for this division: League One comes next – our series of archive matches of the clubs of the Football League Championship with one of the grandest of them all: Sheffield Wednesday. Founded, as The Wednesday in 1867 (and this, for those that didn’t already know it, was a name which the club kept until as late as 1929), the club joined the Football League in 1892 and would go on to become one of its more illustrious members, albeit one with a tendency to have its fortunes fluctuate a little both on and off the pitch. We have six matches from the clubs past, kicking off with a home match against Wolverhampton Wanderers which was filmed for the cameras of Match Of The Day in September 1967. Wednesday, by the way, are wearing the white sleeved shirts in that match. Our next three matches are from the 1970s, which were a difficult decade for the club. First up is a home match against Hull City from the 1972/73 season, and we follow this up with a home Second Division match against Manchester United from the 1974/75 season. The last of our three matches from this decade comes from January 1979, when FA Cup Third Round day was decimated by the weather to an extent that only a handful of matches...

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