Stoke City FC
Ground: Britannia Stadium
Manager: Tony Pulis
1863 saw the formation of Stoke Ramblers, a team created by Henry Almond and his friends whilst pupils from Charterhouse School in Stoke. The teams first recorded competitive game was on a cricket pitch in 1968 where Almond, who was now captain as well as chairman scored what was to be Stoke Cityâ€™s first ever goal.
The next decade after their first competitive game they saw a huge increase in local interest in the club, both for people wanting to play and from an ever increasing crowd at the home games. In 1878 the Stoke Ramblers left the cricket pitch where their team started out and moved down the road to a bigger stadium soon to become the Iconic Victoria Stadium. The ground Stoke players and fans called home for 119 years. With this they changed from Stoke Rambles to Stoke Football Club and they also adopted their famous red and white striped kit.
The first football league was founded by 12 teams in 1888 with stoke being one of them. The first two seasons of the football league were not good times for Stoke who came bottom in both seasons, but they continued to try year on year to improve on there position.
In 1919 when they football league re-commenced after the First World War stoke took ownership of Victoria Park and started construction on the stadium to increase its capacity to 50,000. 1925 saw Stoke-On-Trent get City Status which lead to the club being called Stoke City Football Club in 1928.
The 1930â€™s saw the revolution of Stoke City. One of the all-time Stoke and England greats, Sir Stanley Matthews made his debut in 1932 and Stoke also won the League as champions in 1932. Throughout the next few years Stoke City saw record average attendances and increasing wins each season. They soon become one of the top few clubs in the country and they were starting to gain an increasing amount of transfer budget. In 1937 they had a record 10-3 win over against West Bromwich Albion; a record crowd of 51,373 at home to Arsenal and Freddie Steele scored 33 league goals to set a club record that is still in place today.
Stoke Cityâ€™s won their First major trophy, the League Cup, by beating Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley in 1972 in front of 97,852. The few years after this victory Stoke City struggled to achieve league wins let alone any more silverware. Throughout the 1980â€™s and early 90sâ€™ Stoke had a couple of average season in top flight football but overall they struggled to maintain any consistency. Many managers came and went and they really struggled to find a winning combination of manager and players. Appointing Lou Macari did have one very good season where Stoke got to the Play-Off finals in 1996 but they were beaten by Leicester City, with Macari leaving very soon after.
In the 1997-98 season Stoke moved from the 119 year old Victoria Park to the Britannia Stadium. Even with this move managers like Kamara, Little and Megson all kept coming and going at an even quicker rate than before. The turning point was when an Icelandic consortium bought a 66% share in the club and appointed Thordason as manager. He managed to win the Football Leuage Trophy and gain promotion to division two at the end of the 2001-02 season. Once again the victory streak and stability was short lived, Pulis was appointed the new man in charge this time. He took Stoke close to a play off place in 2005 but later that season he fell out with the owners and was sacked.
In 2006 former chairman peter Coats bought the club off the Icelandic consortium and re-appointed Pulis as Stoke City Manager, this was the birth of the Stoke we know today. In 2009 Stoke once again got promoted to top flight football, their first since the Premier League began. Despite being the subject of a bookmakers marketing campaign, which very quickly back fired and cost them thousands, and taking a lot of harsh media comments and stories Stoke have managed establish themselves in the Premier League. Recently they managed to make the 2010 FA cup final where they only lost 1-0 to a superstar Manchester City team and they represented the Premier League in the 2011-12 Europa League where they got knocked out in the knock out stage to Spanish Giants Valencia.
Stoke City has some of the riches history of any club in the world and being the second oldest professional club itâ€™s no surprise. With an ever growing fan base and results getting better year on year, who knows what the future will hold for Stoke.
A summary of Stoke City Football Clubâ€™s honours include;
League Cup Winners: 1971â€“72