Wilfred Thomas "Wilf" Kirkham
(26 November 1901 – 20 October 1974) was a Port Vale football
player who scored a record 164 goals in 276 Vale appearances, including a record 38 goals in one season. A cousin of Tom Holford
, he was noted for his "Kirkham Special" hook shots, intelligent football and prolific scoring record.
Kirkham progressed from a promising schoolboy footballer through Cobridge Church and Congleton Town
before heading to Sheffield
to go through teacher
training. Upon his return numerous clubs approached him, but Kirkham chose local side Port Vale.
Becoming a professional in 1923, making his debut against Leeds
on October 27, Kirkham made a promising start to his footballing career with 7 goals in 20 games. In the 1924–25 season
Kirkham smashed in 26 of Vale's 48 goals as well as 7 goals in 3 FA Cup
In September 1925 Kirkham scored a hat-trick
in a legendary 3–0 victory over rivals Stoke City, in that 1925–26 season
Kirkham managed 35 goals, the 1926–27 season
saw him put away a club record 38 league goals. However the 1928–29 season
was a poor one for Vale, the club were relegated and Kirkham transferred to Stoke City
for a £2,800 fee.
Kirkham was a success for the Potters, he scored two hat-tricks for club before breaking his leg on the opening day of the 1931–32 season
, which effectively ended his time at City.... Read More