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Darren Moore: Port Vale appoint ex-WBA, Doncaster, Huddersfield & Sheff Wed boss

Port Vale have appointed Darren Moore as their new manager.

The 49-year-old former West Bromwich Albion, Doncaster Rovers Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday boss has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract.

Moore succeeds Andy Crosby, who was sacked last week after a run of just one win in eight games.

"We identified Darren as our primary target to come in and galvanise and energise the club," said Vale director of football David Flitcroft.

"Following extensive conversations, it's clear to the board that he has a plan of how he wants to lead the club from the very front."

Following Saturday's 2-2 home draw with Stevenage, Vale remain in the relegation zone in 21st place, but level on points with the side above them, Charlton Athletic.

That was ahead of Tuesday evening's scheduled trip to promotion-chasing Peterborough United, which called off because of prolonged rain barely two hours before kick-off.

Moore added: "Our immediate aim is securing the club's League One status between now and the end of this season whilst putting the foundations in place to create a clear footballing identity.

"The contract is a long-term commitment, a testament to the long-term vision of the club."

Moore's road to Burslem

After 670 career appearances as an uncompromising centre-half with Torquay United, Doncaster, Bradford City, Portsmouth, West Brom, Derby County, Barnsley and Burton Albion, in which he scored 39 goals, Moore went into coaching when his playing days ended in 2012.

His first job as manager came when he took over as caretaker boss after West Brom parted company with Alan Pardew in April 2018. He restored spirits so remarkably quickly there was even hope that he could save the Baggies from the drop.

He was then appointed on a more permanent basis after their relegation from the Premier League and did a solid job the following season. But he was then sacked when Albion were fourth in the Championship, nine points off the automatic promotion places.

After almost two seasons with Doncaster, he was hired by Sheffield Wednesday in March 2021 to take over at Hillsborough, being narrowly edged out by Sunderland in the League play-offs in 2022, before guiding the Owls to a famous promotion a year later.

Despite racking up 96 points, they only finished third, then astonishingly made history by coming back from a four-goal deficit in the semi-final against Peterborough to reach Wembley, where they edged out Barnsley.

After leaving the Owls following promotion in June, he replaced Neil Warnock as Huddersfield boss in September - but the Terriers won just three times under him in 23 games.

Now, just 15 days after his sacking, he is back in football management for a fifth time.

Vale academy coach Will Ryder, who was put in charge of the first team on an interim basis following Crosby's sacking, was to have remained at the helm for the Peterborough game.

But Moore's first game is now a trip to Cheltenham Town this Saturday to take on former Vale boss Darrell Clarke.

Analysis - 'Statement of intent by Vale'

BBC Radio Stoke's Port Vale reporter Phil Bowers

This is a pretty big appointment for Port Vale - a man who most people would not have expected to have been on their radar.

The length of contract is a real big statement of intent, but he's really got to hit the ground running as Vale have some huge fixtures coming up.

His first game will be on Saturday at Cheltenham, who are now managed by one of his predecessors, Darrell Clarke, who will be very keen to put one over on Vale.

Moore is taking charge of a side that has lost confidence over the last few months, having been near the top of the league in September but had managed just three wins in their next 20 games before Andy Crosby went.