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A muddy trick that Jimmy Hill played.

Byline: By John Gibson

Here's mud in your eye! The toast from TV pundit Jimmy Hill wasn't exactly one of friendship or the act of a gentleman.

Port Vale were playing Fulham in the old Second Division and when Fulham won a corner King was blinded as mud was thrown in his eye.

"The referee saw my state and came running across," explained Ray.

"He actually licked the mud out of my left eye, amazing! I took a lot of skit about that, as you can imagine.

"We won 4-1 ( Bobby Robson scored their consolation after Johnny Haynes pulled the ball back from the by-line. As we were all walking off, Haynes came across, put his arm round my shoulder, and told me: `I didn't throw that mud, by the way. It was Jimmy!'"

King played 275 games for Port Vale as the linchpin of a defence nicknamed the Iron Curtain because it only let in 21 goals in 54 league and cup matches as Vale won the Third Division North championship in 1954, the year they also reached the semi-final of the FA Cup.

Vale beat Leyton Orient away, when King made what was described as the save of the century, and Cup holders Blackpool, Stanley Matthews and all, 2-0 before playing another First Division side in West Brom in the semis at Villa Park in front of 68,000.

Vale were cruising, 1-0 up at half-time and heading for Wembley before a freak own goal and a penalty that never was defeated them.

As a consequence of double success, league and cup, King was approached by a London firm that made sugar cigarettes for kids and asked if they could use his name and cigarette card to promote their product.

He was paid the princely sum of six quid for his endorsement.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 16, 2006
Words:304
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