Stoke & Staffordshire

Roy Sproson statue unveiled at Port Vale

Roy Sproson statue
Image caption The bronze statue of Roy Sproson measures 16ft tall

A bronze statue of a Port Vale legend has been unveiled after more than 10 years of fundraising.

The monument to Roy Sproson, who played for the club 842 times between 1950 and 1972, was paid for by fans who raised £96,000.

The 16ft (5m) high statue was completed two years ago but the club's financial problems have delayed its unveiling.

More than 1,000 fans were present to see Sproson's widow Joyce unveil the statue before the York City game.

The supporters' club previously said it had delayed putting up the statue because of worries it might have been sold for scrap if the club, which has been in administration since March, had folded.

However, it was assured by the administrators, who are currently running the club, that the statue would always be owned by the supporters' club.

The statue, which shows Sproson heading a football towards a goal, now stands outside the main entrance of the club's stadium in Burslem.

Sproson, who died in 1997 aged 66, went on to manage the club from 1974 to 1977.

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), who was at the statue's unveiling, said it was a "very special day for the club and for football".

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