John Robert Rudge (born 21 October 1944) is an English former football player and football manager.
His playing career began at Huddersfield Town in November 1961, but he made little impact at the club and was transferred to Carlisle United in December 1967. In January 1969 he joined Torquay United, and twice finished as the club's top scorer, before he moved on to Bristol Rovers in February 1972. He helped the club to win promotion of the Third Division in 1973–74, before departing for Bournemouth in March 1975. His time on the coast was disrupted by injury, and he retired in 1977. He scored a total of 79 goals in 230 league and cup appearances in a sixteen-year career in the Football League.
He managed Port Vale for a sixteen-year period between 1983 and 1999, easily the longest spell in the club's history. He masterminded some of the club's most successful campaigns, leading them to promotion in 1985–86, 1989 and 1993–94; he also led them to the Anglo-Italian Cup final in 1996, and to victory in the Football League Trophy final in 1993. However he was sacked in January 1999, and subsequently was appointed director of football at their rivals – Stoke City, a position he held until May 2013.Close