Former Wigan Athletic loanee goalkeeper Mark Grew is the caretaker manager of Port Vale following the dismissal of Jim Gannon yesterday (Monday 21st August 2011).
Mark arrived at Springfield Park following an injury sustained by John Brown in a League game at Darlington in which Noel Ward had to deputise between the sticks for an hour.
There were visions of the flu struck Ward having to become the goalkeeper for the following League encounter against Halifax Town at the Shay on 16th December 1978 as well, but at the last minute manager Ian McNeill had secured the services of Mark from West Bromwich Albion on a short term loan deal, and he made his Latics League debut for that game.
In doing so he became the first Latics goalkeeper to leave the field with a victory on his League debut for the club when the Blues won 2-1. He played for 4 consecutive League games before returning to the Hawthorns following the return of John Brown.
His career since those days has been wide and varied. He has taken in stints at Leicester City, Oldham Athletic, Ipswich Town, Fulham, Derby County, Port Vale, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City, Stafford Rangers and Hednesford Town and then he embarked on a career in the coaching side of the game.
He spent eight years as a youth coach at Port Vale working up to the position of caretaker manager in 1999 before his dismissal in 2002. He was hastily brought back to the club though and since then he has been caretaker manager on three occasions, including this one!
He originally spent five days in the role from 18th until 22nd January 1999. He then went two days better when he filled the role again from 20th December 2010 until 6th January 2011! So far it is one day and counting!
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