Captain: – Ryan Shawcross
Chairman: – Peter Coates
Rivals: – Port Vale, Cardiff City and West Brom.
Founded in the year 1863 Stoke City is one of the oldest professional clubs in the world. In fact they are the second oldest club in England after Notts County Football Club.
Nicknamed “The Potters” (and not after Harry for Mary´s sake) Stoke City FC were initially known as “Stoke Ramblers”. Despite their long history in English Football they have only managed to win one major trophy till date and that was the League Cup in 1972 beating Chelsea 2-1 in the finals.
Stoke City have a fierce rivalry with Port Vale and the games between these two clubs are called the Potteries derby.
Stoke play their home matches at the Britannia Stadium since 1997. The ground has a capacity of 27,740.
Stoke City early days…
The first ever match that Stoke City played was against a team called EW Mary XV at the Victoria Cricket Ground. The club’s founder and first captain Henry Almond was also the club’s first scorer.
Initially known as the “Stoke Ramblers” the club changed its name to Stoke FC in 1878 and they started playing their home matches in the Victoria Ground around the same time as well. They would continue to play at the Victoria Ground till 1997.
It was only in 1885 that Stoke became recognized as a professional football club. Stoke was one of the founding members of the football league in 1888 and during the first two seasons finished dead last in the table. After finishing bottom for two consecutive times Stoke failed to get re-elected to the football league for the 1890 season so went to play in the Football Alliance. They won the Football Alliance in their first attempt and as a result were elected back to the football league for the 1891 season.
They continued to play in the football league for 15 seasons till 1907 when they were relegated once again, trouble followed them after relegation as they found themselves bankrupt and finally lost their Football league team status.
Stoke joined the Birmingham and District league in the 1908 season and continued to play in that league till the 1919 season when they rejoined the football league.
Calm before the storm
Stoke F.C finally changed their name to Stoke City F.C in 1925. In the 1930 season the footballing world saw the debut of one of the greatest players of that generation in Stanley Mathews. Stanley Mathews made his debut for Stoke City at the age of 17 vs Bury. In the next 10 years while playing for Stoke Stanley Mathew became world renowned and even earned the nickname “Wizard of Dribble”.
In 1932/33 season Stoke earned promotion from the second division as champions and by 1934 they were one of the top football clubs in the world. They were at the peak of their powers towards the end of the 1930’s but the Second World War meant that the greatness they were supposed to achieve would remain a dream.
And the Storm Came…
Disaster struck the club in 1946 as 33 fans died and over 500 were left injured as the crush barriers gave way in a FA Cup tie between Stoke and Bolton, the incident would thereafter be known as the “Burnden Park Disaster”.
Stoke challenged for the First Division title in 1946/47 season but in the end fell second as they couldn’t win the last game of the season hence giving the title to Liverpool. It was in the same season that Stanley Mathews left the club for Blackpool.
In the 1952 season stoke was relegated from the First Division they would play the next 7 years in the Second Division.
Good Times Again
In 1960 Tony Waddington was appointed as coach, he was a someone that believed experience triumphs youth and the first thing he did was to bring a 46 yr old Stanley Mathews back to the club. In his first season back to the club they finished 8th in the Second Division and in the very next season got promoted back to the First Division.
They finished mid-table in their first season back to the top flight and after 5 years into his second spell for the Club Stanley Mathews finally retired from professional football in 1965.
Stoke won their first and only major trophy in 1972 when they bagged the league cup after beating Chelsea in the final. However good times don’t always last and they were relegated back to the 2nd Division in the 1976 season.
Even though the team got promoted back after the 1978 season they got relegated back in the 84/85 season and further went down to the 3rd Division in the 1989/90 season.
Premier League Era
Stoke won the Football league trophy in the 1991/92 season and got promoted to the second Division in the next season, they almost won promotion to the Premier League in the 1995/96 season but got defeated in the play-offs.
After 119 years Stoke finally moved from the Victoria Ground after the 1997/98 season and made a new home at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke won the football league trophy in the 2001/02 season and also got promoted to the championship in the same season, Stoke in the next few seasons turned themselves into a solid Championship club.
Their Premier league dream finally came true under the management of Tony Pulis when they promoted after finishing second in the Championship in the 2007/08 season. In their first season in the Premier they finished at an impressive 12th place and in the next season they finished 11th. Stoke reached the FA Cup Final in 2010-11 and qualified for the Europa league next season..
In the 2011/12 season Stoke achieved another mid-table finish, 2012/13 season was a repeat of their other seasons and at the end of the 2012 season Tony Pulis left the club.
Mark Hughes became Pulis’s successor and in the 2013/2014 season they finished in the upper half of the Premier League table for the first time by securing the 9th spot.
Stoke’s impressive 5-0 win over Bolton in the 2010/11 FA cup campaign:
The 2014/15 season for Stoke City
Stoke hasn´t had a spectacular 2014/15 season so far and they seem to be in the same gear as they were in there previous few seasons. They have a total of 26 points from 21 games and currently lie 11th on the table (As of January 11th).
Stoke look destined for another mid table finish but if they can put on a run of results then the Euro league spots won’t be out of their reach. Currently they lie 8 points behind the 6th spot team. So Stoke will look for a strong second half of the season.
Most Appearances: – Eric Skeels (592)
Top Goalscorer: – John Ritchie (176)
More details including the squad and other facts coming in the February Update…
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