Ward Tommy Image 1 Port Vale 1936

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Description

Chatham, Kent born centre forward Tommy Ward began his football career with hometown Kent League club Chatham, from where he was signed by Third Division (South) club Crystal Palace in 1933, making his debut in an FA Cup third round tie against Aldershot in January 1934, playing at left half, playing 9 matches for The Eagles in that position through to April. In the 1934 closed season he left Selhurst Park to move to First Division club Grimsby Town, where he spent 1934-35 on their books without making a first team appearance as Grimsby finished fifth in the League Championship, the club’s highest ever League finish, and remained a further season with The Mariners without making the break through.

Ward joined Third Division (North) club Port Vale in the summer of 1936, initially playing 3 matches at right half, but he switched to play at centre forward in November 1936 with some success, scoring 18 goals during the remainder of the season including hat-tricks in a 4-0 win over Chester in December 1936 and a 4-2 win over Gateshead in January 1937, finishing as the club’s top goalscorer.

After missing the start of the next season, Ward returned to the first team in October, but he was was transferred to First Division neighbours and rivals Stoke City in exchange for Harry Davies and a small fee in February 1938 after 22 goals in 46 appearances for Port Vale, and he finally made his top flight bow with The Potters, scoring on his debut in a win over Chelsea, then in a 1-1 draw with Preston North End, then twice in a 3-2 win over Manchester City, Stanley Matthews scoring the third. After two further matches he lost his place, probably through injury, and never played for Stoke City again, returning to play for Port Vale in February 1939.

He added 7 goals in 15 appearances for Vale before the season end, when he signed for Mansfield Town in the 1939 closed season, scoring twice on his debut for The Stags in a 4-5 defeat to former club Crystal Palace, then once more in two further matches before the outbreak of the Second World War in early September 1939 forced the abandonment of the season and effectively ended his career.

 

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