Tom Pope: Port Vale release club's record post-war goalscorer

Port Vale's Tom Pope celebrates scoring against Manchester City
Tom Pope's goal against Manchester City in January 2020 made it 1-1 but the Premier League side would win 4-1

Port Vale have released the club's record post-war goalscorer Tom Pope as one of 15 players who will leave the League Two side this summer.

The 35-year-old striker scored 115 goals in 343 appearances for the Valiants across two spells at the club.

Boyhood Vale fan Pope memorably scored in their FA Cup third-round defeat at Manchester City last year.

He netted three times in 23 appearances during an injury-hit 2020-21 season as Darrell Clarke's side finished 13th.

"Since I've been at the club Tom has been the consummate professional. He's worked hard and helped me and the dressing room," Clarke told the club website.external-link

"He's had a difficult season with injuries but his commitment to the cause has been first class - as you'd expect of a club legend - and his record will stand the test of time."

Only Wilf Kirkham - who scored 164 times for Vale between 1923-33 - has more goals for the club than Pope, who was the top scorer in English football's top four leagues with 33 in the Valiants' 2012-13 League Two promotion season.

Veteran goalkeeper Scott Brown, 36 - who played every one of the Valiants' league games this season - and midfielder Luke Joyce, 33, are among the other players to be let go.

Port Vale retained list

Under contract: Tom Conlon, Alex Hurst, Nathan Smith, Leon Legge, David Amoo, Jake Taylor, David Worrall, Theo Robinson, Danny Whitehead, Devante Rodney, Scott Burgess, James Gibbons

End of loan deals: Will Swan, Mustapha Olagunju

Out of contract, released: Dino Visser, Tom Scott, Adam Crookes, Shaun Brisley, Scott Brown, Luke Joyce, Ryan Campbell-Gordon, Zak Mills, David Fitzpatrick, Cristian Montano, Daniel Trickett-Smith, Tom Pope, Mark Cullen, Kurtis Guthrie, Harry McKirdy

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