Stoke City

Stoke CityHistoryA League TeamThe War YearsTragedy

A Football Report
Stoke City

Stoke City

Based in Stoke-on-Trent, Stoke City are a Football League Championship team who are currently playing under the management of Tony Pulis. The team has played at the Britannia Stadium since 1997 and are affectionately dubbed ‘the Potters’ after Stoke’s flourishing pottery industry.


The Beginning

Widely believed to be the second oldest football club in Britain, Stoke City was thought to have been formed in 1863 by a group of apprentices at the North Staffordshire Railway Works in Stoke. However, there is little documentation exits of any games played before 1868.

The first recorded game took place between the Stoke team (known back then as the Stoke Ramblers) and EW May XV in October 1868, resulting in a 1-1 draw. Later that season the Ramblers won their first game against Newcastle-under-Lyne with a score of 2-0. The Ramblers didn’t lose a match until 1870 when they were beaten 1-0 by Whitchurch (interestingly, in a match played with a rugby ball).

During the 1870s the Stoke Ramblers accrued a small fan base with crowds of over 200, which flocked to their home at the Victoria Cricket Ground. They came to watch friendlies against other amateur teams in the region. In 1877 with the formation of the Football Association, the Staffordshire FA created a County Cup.

The Stoke Ramblers entered the inaugural cup competition winning the trophy after a victorious final, when they beat Talke Rangers with a 1-0 win. In an earlier cup round, the Ramblers had their highest ever victory to date winning a match against Mow Cop 26-0. The following year Stoke appeared in the County Cup final for the second time, beating Cobridge 2-0 to retain the trophy.

In 1878 Stoke merged with the Victoria Cricket Ground and moved to a new home at the Athletics Club, known to fans as the Victoria Ground. As football increased in quality and popularity during the 1880s, so did the Stoke Ramblers.

In 1880, Stoke player Teddy Johnson became the club’s first international player, when he represented England in a 3-2 victory against Wales. In 1883, fuelled by their performance on a local level, Stoke entered the FA cup for the first time.

Unfortunately the venture was not a huge success and they were knocked out in a first round match against Manchester. Two years later however, Stoke turned professional, a move that was rewarded in 1886 when they won an FA cup match against Carenofon Wanderers by a whopping 10-0.

A League Team

In 1888 came the inception of the Football League and, having had a significant part in its formation, Stoke were one of the League’s twelve founding members. Unfortunately, their first season as a league team did not go well.

After being beaten 2-0 in their opening game against West Bromwich, they went on to lose thirteen of their next 21 matches. This put them at the bottom of the league at the end of the season. The following season was another disastrous affair for Stoke, and in 1890 they were moved down to the Football Alliance (which was effectively a second division of the league).

In 1891, the number of teams in the Football League expanded and Stoke were re-elected, finishing in second-to-last place, marginally higher than previous attempts. The following year however, Stoke made a mighty improvement finishing seventh of sixteen teams in the newly formed Division One. Over the next few years the club had mixed success, but in 1898-99 Stoke reached the semi-finals in the FA Cup, despite finishing 12th in the league. This was a grand achievement for the Midland’s team.

In the early Twentieth Century, after a short spell of relative success, the Potters lost many of their key players and after a sharp drop in performance the club went temporarily bust. By 1908 they were back in the game but they had lost their Football League status.

Instead they formed two teams, one playing in the Birmingham & District League, and the other playing as a Southern League team. In 1915 Stoke were successfully promoted back to Division Two, but due to the First World War it was four years before they played their next league game.

The War Years

At the end of the 1920-21 season, Stoke finished third from the bottom in Division Two. The following year was more successful and they found themselves playing top flight football once more.

The next season, during which Oldham protected them from bottom position, Stoke were relegated to Division Two. This was a fate made worse in 1926 when they were relegated again, this time to the newly formed Division Three North. In 1927 the Potters were back in the second division and pushing for promotion, successfully reaching the last eight in the FA cup the following year.

During the 1930s, prior to the Second World War, Stoke had one of their strongest teams to date. They fought their way back to Division One after winning the Second Division Championship in 1933. In the early 1930s, Stoke were a comfortable mid-table team, but in 1935 they were rarely out of the top four rankings, and reached the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Tragedy and Decline

Following the war hopes were high for the Potters, who looked to be one of the strongest teams in the league, during a time when football had been suspended in 1939. Unfortunately, the club lost many of its players to the war and the team finished 15th and 11th in its first two post-war seasons. In 1946 the club was faced with a tragedy off the pitch, when crush barriers came down in a sixth round FA cup game against Bolton, where 33 spectators died.

On the whole the 1950s was a bad decade for Stoke, although there were some highlights, including when the club made it to the third round of the FA Cup. In 1953, after fighting against relegation the previous year, the team spent the rest of the decade pushing for promotion. The promotion never came and the Potters had their lowest spectatorship since the clubs reinsertion as a league team in 1919.

A huge success

Under the direction of the new manager Tony Waddington, the club got back on its feet in the 1960s. In 1963 Stoke City won the Division Two Championship, marking a turnaround in the club’s performance. Over the next few years the team avoided relegation, going from strength to strength when in the late 1960s, Waddinton signed the 1966 World Cup player, Gordon Banks from Leicester.

Despite relegation at the end of the decade, the 1970s were arguably the best years in Stoke’s history. It was then when City finally won a major honour. After momentously reaching the semi-finals in the 1971 and 1972 FA Cup, Stoke met Chelsea in the 1972 league final. Much to the disbelief of football fans across the nation, it was the Potters who took the title in a 2-1 triumph, cheered on by almost 100,000 fans at Wembley.

Up and Down

The 1972 league victory was not repeated, and the 1980s was a period of instability for the team. Despite a change of five managers and five chairmen there was an inability to recreate the success of the previous decade.

The team did achieve promotion back to the first division, but failed to earn more than mid-table success. They peaked in the FA Cup when they reached the fifth round in 1988. By the end of the eighties Stoke were back in Division Two.

Things went from bad to worse for Stoke over the following years, when under the reign of Alan Ball they were relegated to Division Three and then to Division Four. Fortunately, new manager Lou Macari steered the team to Division Two and to the victory of the Autoglass Trophy, when Stoke beat Stockport in a Wembley Final in 1992.

Over the next few years Macari pushed for City’s promotion to the newly formed premier league, but despite a strongly unified team it wasn’t to be. The club ended the 1990s in 8th place of the Second Division (now League One).

Stoke entered the new millennium as a Second Division team. After beating Brentford in the Division Two play-offs, they were promoted to the Championship league, where they have stayed ever since. In the year 2000, Stoke beat Bristol City in the Auto Windscreens Shield.

The year after they avoided relegation under the direction of new manager Tony Pulis. At the end of the 2006-07 season, Stoke finished in 8th place and currently look like one of the strongest teams that fans have seen in years.


  • League Cup Winners: 1971-72
  • League Cup Runners-Up: 1963-64
  • Division Two Champions: 1932-22, 1962-63, 1992-93
  • Division Two Runners-Up: 1921-22
  • Division Three (North) Champions: 1926-27
  • Auto Windscreens Shield Winners: 1999-2000
  • Autoglass Trophy Winners: 1991-92
  • Watney Cup Winners: 1973-74
  • Football Alliance League Champions: 1890-91
  • Isle of Man Trophy Winners: 1987-88, 1991-92, 1992-93
  • Pontin’s League Premier Division Champions: 2003-04
  • FA Cup Semi Finalists: 1898-99, 1970-71, 1971-72
  • UEFA Cup First Round: 1972-73, 1974-75

Current Team

  • 1 – Steve Simson (Goalkeeper)
  • 2 – Andy Griffon (Defender)
  • 3 – Marlon Broomes (Defender)
  • 5 – Leon Court (Defender)
  • 6 – Glenn Whelan (Midfielder)
  • 7 – Liam Lawrence (Midfielder)
  • 8 – Jon Parkin (Striker)
  • 9 – Richard Cresswell (Striker)
  • 10 – Ricardo Fuller (Striker)
  • 11 – Mamady Sidibe (Striker)
  • 14 – Danny Pugh (Defender)
  • 15 – Vincent Pericard (Striker)
  • 16 – Dominic Matteo (Midfielder)
  • 17 – Ryan Shawcross (Defender)
  • 18 – Salif Diao (Midfielder)
  • 19 – Paul Gallagher – on loan from Blackburn (Striker)
  • 20 – Ritchie De Laet (Defender)
  • 21 – Gabriel Zakuani – on loan from Fulham (Defender)
  • 22 – Lewis Buxton (Defender)
  • 24 – Rory Delap (Midfielder)
  • 25 – Russell Hoult (Goalkeeper)
  • 27 – Demar Phillips (Midfielder)
  • 28 – Andy Wilkinson (Defender)
  • 30 – Ryan Shotton – on loan to Altrincham (Defender)
  • 31 – Carl Dickinson (Defender)
  • 34 – Adam Rooney – on loan to Bury (Striker)
  • 35 – Robert Garrett – on loan to Wrexham (Midfielder)
  • 36 – Nathaniel Wedderburn (Midfielder)


Tickets can be pre-ordered through the ticket line on 0871 663 2007 or bought at Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium Satellite Ticket Office on or before match days. Tickets are sold at the following prices:

John Smith Stand Upper Tier (Category A)

  • Adult: £32 (pre-booked) £33 (match day)
  • OAP: £22 (pre-booked) £23 (match day)
  • Under 17: £17 (pre-booked) £19 (match day)
  • Under 11: £14 (pre-booked) £15 (match day)
  • Disabled: £19 (pre-booked) £20 (match day)

John Smith Stand Upper Tier (Category B)

  • Adult: £27 (pre-booked) £28 (match day)
  • OAP: £20 (pre-booked) £21 (match day)
  • Under 17: £15 (pre-booked) £16 (match day)
  • Under 11: £12 (pre-booked) £13 (match day)
  • Disabled: £17 (pre-booked) £18 (match day)

John Smith Stand Lower Tier (Category A)

  • Adult: £27 (pre-booked) £28 (match day)
  • OAP: £18 (pre-booked) £19 (match day)
  • Under 17: £16 (pre-booked) £17 (match day)
  • Under 11: £11 (pre-booked) £12 (match day)
  • Disabled: £17 (pre-booked) £18 (match day)

John Smith Stand Lower Tier (Category B)

  • Adult: £22 (pre-booked) £23 (match day)
  • OAP: £16 (pre-booked) £17 (match day)
  • Under 17: £14 (pre-booked) £15 (match day)
  • Under 11: £9 (pre-booked) £10 (match day)
  • Disabled: £15 (pre-booked) £16 (match day)

Signal Radio Boothen End (Category A)

  • Adult: £25 (pre-booked) £26 (match day)
  • OAP: £17 (pre-booked) £18 (match day)
  • Under 17: £14 (pre-booked) £15 (match day)
  • Under 11: £11 (pre-booked) £12 (match day)
  • Disabled: £17 (pre-booked) £18 (match day)

Signal Radio Boothen End (Category B)

  • Adult: £20 (pre-booked) £21 (match day)
  • OAP: £15 (pre-booked) £16 (match day)
  • Under 17: £12 (pre-booked) £13 (match day)
  • Under 11: £9 (pre-booked) £10 (match day)
  • Disabled: £15 (pre-booked) £16 (match day)

Community Corner (Category A)

  • Adult: £24 (pre-booked) £25 (match day)
  • OAP: £14 (pre-booked) £15 (match day)
  • Under 17: £14 (pre-booked) £15 (match day)
  • Under 11: £11 (pre-booked) £12 (match day)
  • Disabled: £16 (pre-booked) £17 (match day)

Community Corner (Category B)

  • Adult: £19 (pre-booked) £20 (match day)
  • OAP: £12 (pre-booked) £13 (match day)
  • Under 17: £12 (pre-booked) £13 (match day)
  • Under 11: £9 (pre-booked) £10 (match day)
  • Disabled: £14 (pre-booked) £15 (match day)

Seddon Stand (Category A)

  • Adult: £26 (pre-booked) £27 (match day)
  • OAP: £17 (pre-booked) £18 (match day)
  • Under 17: £15 (pre-booked) £16 (match day)
  • Under 11: £14 (pre-booked) £15 (match day)
  • Disabled: £11 (pre-booked) £12 (match day)

Seddon Stand (Category B)

  • Adult: £21 (pre-booked) £22 (match day)
  • OAP: £15 (pre-booked) £16 (match day)
  • Under 17: £12 (pre-booked) £12 (match day)
  • Under 11: £9 (pre-booked) £10 (match day)
  • Disabled: £15 (pre-booked) £16 (match day)

Potteries Shopping Centre Family Stand (Category A)

  • Adult: £25 (pre-booked) £26 (match day)
  • OAP: £17 (pre-booked) £18 (match day)
  • Under 17: £12 (pre-booked) £13 (match day)
  • Under 11: £7 (pre-booked) £8 (match day)
  • Disabled: £17 (pre-booked) £18 (match day)

Potteries Shopping Centre Family Stand (Category B)

  • Adult: £20 (pre-booked) £21 (match day)
  • OAP: £15 (pre-booked) £16 (match day)
  • Under 17: £10 (pre-booked) £11 (match day)
  • Under 11: £5 (pre-booked) £6 (match day)
  • Disabled: £15 (pre-booked) £16 (match day)


The Britannia Stadium is easily accessed by car and public transport:

By Car:

Leave the M6 at Junction 15 and follow the A500 towards Stoke-on-Trent. Join the A50 in the direction of Derby/Uttoxeter, following signs to the Britannia Stadium. Take the first turn off the A50 and continue up the bank to the traffic lights. At the traffic lights turn right and go over the flyover, after which the stadium entrance will soon become visible.

Match day parking is available for fans in the South and Trent car parks. Tickets must be purchased before hand, either from the Ticket Office or selected newsagents in the vicinity. The car parks can be accessed from the A50 or from Trentham Road (A5035).

By Train

The nearest train station to the stadium is Stoke-on-Trent, which is served by a good network of national and regional trains. On match days a regular shuttle bus runs from the train station to the stadium, from Glebe Street. On exiting the station turn right and take the next right under the bridge. At the end of the road turn left and walk down a bank and into Glebe Street. Buses depart on the left-hand side of the road, next to the church.

By Bus

From Hanley Bus Station in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent, take the number 23 bus to Glebe Street and from there a regular shuttle bus goes to and from the stadium. On match days, the bus runs every fifteen minutes until fifteen minutes before kick-off. It returns from the Sentinel Stand immediately after the match finishes.


For information about matches or for general enquiries contact:

Address: Stoke City Football Club
Britannia Stadium
Stanley Matthews Way

Tel: 0871 663 2008

Fax: (01782) 592 210