January 21, 2008

Stoke City FC.

Filed under: Engl. Promotion Candidates — admin @ 6:45 am

Many Stoke FC fans were not happy when Tony Pulis came back last season for his second spell as manager.  This is because Pulis’ teams play a very defensive-minded, Route One/long-ball game (ie, dull).  And true to form, the 2006-’07 Stoke City team was miserly on defense, and low on offensive flair.  But not only did the club lead the League Championship with least goals allowed (41), they finished a surprising 8th place, just missing out on a shot at the promotion playoffs.

This season, they have continued to improve, and sit 4th in the League Championship, only 1 point away from the automatic promotion spots.  They are a big side, and can physically dominate their opponents.   And their offense has begun scoring more, with striker Ricardo Fuller notching 12 league goals; winger Liam Lawrence has 9 goals overall; as does striker Richard Cresswell.  Newly signed Leon Cort (7 goals) had a brace of goals last Saturday, in Stoke City’s 3-1 win over Preston.  That made it 12 games unbeaten in the league for Stoke (6 wins and 6 draws).  **{Read about Stoke City’s win in this article.}

** {See this recent article, from The Telegraph UK website.}

Stoke City FC is the world’s second oldest football club, formed in 1863 (the oldest club is Notts County FC, which was formed in 1862).  They were first known as the Stoke Ramblers.  In 1876, they merged with the Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke FC.  In 1888, the club became one of the 12 founding members of the Football League. 

Here are the 12 clubs that formed the Football League.  1. Accrington FC.   2. Aston Villa FC.   3. Blackburn Rovers FC.   4. Bolton Wanderers FC.   5. Burnley FC.   6. Derby County FC.   7. Everton FC.   8. Notts County FC.   9. Preston North End FC.   10. Stoke FC.   11. West Bromwich Albion FC.  12. Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.   [Note that these are all northern English clubs, and there was no representation fron London.]

In 1925, six towns merged to form Stoke-On-Trent, and the club renamed itself Stoke City FC.  In 1932, the 17-year old Stanley Matthews debuted for the club.  In 1933, the club made it back to the First Division for the first time since 1907.  By the mid 1930′s, Stoke City was one of the bigger clubs in the country, regularly playing to crowds of over 20,000.  With Matthews as their leader and playmaker, the club continued to improve, and finished in 4th place in 1937.  Following World War II, Stoke came the closest to a Title, losing out by two points to Liverpool, yet finishing in 4th place.  Matthews had a falling out with Stoke management late in the season, being sold to Blackpool with 3 games remaining.  That season, they had their peak season at the turnstiles, drawing 31,590 spectators per game. 

Stoke were relegated in 1953.  They made it back to the top flight for the 1963-’64 season, with the help of 48-year old returnee Stanley Matthews.  Stoke stayed in the First Division for 20 out of the next 22 seasons.  They were last relegated out of the upper level in 1985.

Stoke City’s  best moment, though, was when the club won the 1972 League Cup, beating Chelsea 2-1, at Wembley.   Goals were scored by Irish midfielder Terry Conroy, and inside forward George Eastham.


**{Click here, for a 360-degree view of Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium.}

**{Click here. for a fan-run site that has an assortment of Stoke City FC items of interest.}

Thaks to the Colours of Football website ( for the newer kits.  Stoke City-mad (

Thanks to (historicalkits[dot]co[dot]uk):  the 5 older kits on the bottom  right -hand side of the chart are copyright Historical Football Kits, and reproduced by permission.   Thanks to (webaviation[dot]co[dot]uk);  (viewimages[dot]com);   

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