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John James (footballer, born 1948) is confirmed dead at the age of 72.

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'The world will miss John💔
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John James (footballer, born 1948)
John James
Sir Stanley Matthews Port Vale Manager.jpg
Brian Wharburton, Paul Bannister, James, Stanley Matthews, John Bostock and Stan Turner (left to right)
Personal information
Full nameJohn Brian James[1]
Date of birth (1948-10-24) 24 October 1948 (age 72)
Place of birthStone, Staffordshire, England
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[2]
Position(s)Striker
Youth career
1964–1966Port Vale
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1966–1973Port Vale210(39)
1973–1975Chester98(40)
1975–1978Tranmere Rovers73(24)
1976Chicago Sting (loan)9(4)
Stafford Rangers
Total390+(107+)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
John Brian James (born 24 October 1948) is an English former footballer who played as a striker. He played in the English Football League for Port Vale, Chester and Tranmere Rovers, making 381 appearances in the process, and also played in the North American Soccer League for the Chicago Sting. He won promotions out of the Fourth Division with Port Vale, Chester and Tranmere.
Contents
1 Playing career
1.1 Port Vale
1.2 Chester
1.3 Tranmere Rovers
2 Style of play
3 Later life
4 Statistics
5 Honours
6 References
Playing career
Port Vale
James began his career in his native Staffordshire with Port Vale, turning professional in April 1966. He became a first team regular from September 1967 and went on to make more than 200 league appearances for Vale, including 43 in the club's promotion season from Division Four in 1969–70. His goals were crucial to the club, top scorer in both 1969–70 and 1970–71 with 17 and 15 goals respectively. He missed much of the 1971–72 campaign due to a cartilage injury requiring two separate operations. After returning to the squad in February 1972 he was much less effective and lost his first team spot.
Chester
In February 1973, James moved to Chester for £5,000, playing his first game alongside fellow home debutant Reg Matthewson in a 5–0 win over Darlington, that saw James amongst the scorers. The following season saw James net 21 league goals, the highest tally by a Chester player since Gary Talbot in 1968–69, but his most memorable campaign would follow in 1974–75.
James struck 13 times as Chester won promotion from the Fourth Division, but he was to enjoy national fame thanks to his goalscoring exploits in the League Cup during the same season. After wins over Walsall, Blackpool and Preston North End, Chester were drawn at home to First Division champions Leeds United. On a momentous night, Chester recorded a shock 3–0 win, with James scoring twice. He followed it up by scoring the winning goal in the quarter-finals against another top-flight side, Newcastle United, to set up a semi–final tie with Aston Villa. James found the net in the second leg to level the aggregate score at 4–4, only for Brian Little to grab a late Villa winner and break Chester's hearts.
Tranmere Rovers
Despite his contribution to Chester's success, James played just two first–team games for Chester after promotion and joined neighbours Tranmere Rovers in part-exchange for Paul Crossley in September 1975. Once more promotion from the Fourth Division was enjoyed, with James netting 19 times in 38 league games. After a spell playing for Chicago Sting in the North American Soccer League, he returned to Prenton Park and remained at the club before joining non–league Stafford Rangers in 1978.
Style of play
Speaking in 2016, a Port Vale supporter who remembered seeing James play compared him to a Duracell battery due to his high stamina levels.
Later life
James later moved to Torquay to run a newsagents.
Statistics
Source:
Club
Season
Division
League
FA Cup
Other
Total
Apps
Goals
Apps
Goals
Apps
Goals
Apps
Goals
Port Vale
1965–66
Fourth Division
10
0
0
0
0
0
10
0
1966–67
Fourth Division
7
0
0
0
1
0
8
0
1967–68
Fourth Division
41
2
1
0
1
0
43
2
1968–69
Fourth Division
34
4
4
1
1
0
39
5
1969–70
Fourth Division
43
14
4
3
1
0
48
17
1970–71
Third Division
45
15
1
0
1
0
47
15
1971–72
Third Division
14
1
0
0
0
0
14
1
1972–73
Third Division
16
3
2
1
2
0
20
4
Total
210
39
12
5
7
0
229
44
Chester
1972–73
Fourth Division
15
6
0
0
0
0
15
6
1973–74
Fourth Division
41
21
3
2
1
0
45
23
1974–75
Fourth Division
41
13
1
0
8
4
50
17
1975–76
Third Division
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
Total
98
40
4
2
10
4
112
46
Tranmere Rovers
1975–76
Fourth Division
38
19
1
0
0
0
39
19
1976–77
Third Division
16
4
2
0
2
3
20
7
1977–78
Third Division
19
1
2
1
1
0
22
2
Total
73
24
3
1
3
3
79
28
Chicago Sting (loan)
1976
NASL
9
4
9
4
Career total
390
107
19
8
20
7
429
122
Honours
Port Vale
Football League Fourth Division promotion (4th place): 1969–70
Chester
Football League Fourth Division promotion (4th place): 1974–75
League Cup semi-finalist: 1974–75
Tranmere Rovers
Football League Fourth Division promotion (4th place): 1975–76
John James (footballer, born 1948)
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