In sports betting, few teams have surprised fans quite like Stoke City Football Club. Established in 1863, it proudly holds the title of the world’s oldest professional football team. As one of the twelve founding members of the Football League in 1888, Stoke City earned the nickname “The Potters,” a nod to Stoke-on-Trent’s pottery heritage. Over the years, Stoke City has faced various challenges, including financial setbacks and relegation. However, the club is currently experiencing a resurgence under the ownership of the popular sportsbook in the Middle East, Bet365. Bet365’s backing has raised expectations of Stoke City’s triumphant return to the league’s top.
While reports show that football was played in Stoke circa 1863, Henry Almond formally created the Ramblers in 1868. Throughout the 1860s, the Ramblers played at the Victoria Cricket Club until relocating to Sweetings Field at the start of the 1875 season. Before the relocation, the team was renamed Stoke Football Club, and the renowned red and white strip was first worn in 1885, just before they became a professional team. However, they struggled as a professional team during their seasons, finishing last in both campaigns. They eventually succeeded, reaching the FA Cup semi-finals in 1898-99. However, catastrophe struck in 1907-08, when the club declared bankruptcy and was relegated to the Birmingham & District League until 1914.
Stoke became one of the best teams in the country throughout the 1930s, with significantly more fans than its rivals. Many iconic players have played at the club over the years, but few are as well-known as Stanley Matthews, who joined at 17 in 1932 and stayed for 19 years, leading them to the First Division. They made history in 1937 by defeating West Bromwich Albion 10-3, their largest league victory. Stoke had their first true title effort in 1946-47, but Liverpool eventually triumphed. The announcement that Matthews will depart the club for Blackpool added to the fans’ misery.
Stoke faced a difficult period following this achievement, as they were demoted to the Second Division in 1952-53. Bob McGrory’s 17-year tenure as manager ended during that difficult period, and Frank Taylor was tasked with leading Stoke back to the First Division. However, after seven seasons in the second tier, Taylor was fired.
In 1960, Tony Waddington was appointed the new manager. Stoke finished eighth in the Second Division before gaining promotion the following season. In their first season back in the top division, they finished mid-table and reached the League Cup final in 1964 before losing out to Leicester City. The club’s first major triumph came in the 1972 League Cup final against Chelsea, witnessed by 98,000 fans. In 1972, they also embarked on their first European campaign, qualifying for the UEFA Cup. However, a prolonged stay in the top flight concluded with relegation in 1977.
Move To The Britannia Stadium
In 1997, Stoke City Football Club moved to the brand new Brittania Stadium after being at the Victoria Ground for 119 years. Unfortunately, this move did not improve Stoke City’s performance on the field, and they were relegated to the third Division at the end of the 1997 season. However, the club was later promoted to the Second Division at the end of the 2001-02 season.
In 2002, Tony Pulis was appointed as the Club’s new manager, and he successfully led them out of the relegation zone. However, Pulis was fired following a bad season in 2004–05, and Peter Coates took over the club’s management. Pulis returned as the club’s manager in 2006, and in 2008, Pulis took Stoke City to the top division after finishing second in the Championship standings.
Premier League Years
During the Pulis era, the Britannia Stadium saw victories over Aston Villa, Arsenal, West Bromich, and Tottenham before finishing 12th in the overall standings. Stoke made history in 2011 when they achieved their first FA Cup final appearance, where Manchester City narrowly defeated them in the final. Their performances earned them a place in the Europa League, but Valencia beat them in the knockout stage. Stoke completed mid-table for the fourth straight season in 2012-13, marking the end of Pulis’ tenure at the club.
Mark Hughes was then appointed the Club’s manager and was tasked with moving Stoke to the next level, and the early results were encouraging after finishing ninth in 2013-14 and 2014-15. However, things began to change in 2018, when the club sacked Hughes just before the Potters were relegated to the second division, ending their ten-year Premier League tenure.
Since their relegation to the second division, Stoke City appears trapped in the Championship League. Despite a massive overhaul of the team and multiple managers in an attempt to reclaim their Premier League status, the Potters have yet to finish in the playoffs. However, in the upcoming season, sports bettors will be eagerly streaming and watching the games with renewed optimism, hoping that Stoke City’s fortunes will take a turn for the better and that the world’s oldest team may reclaim its place at the league’s pinnacle.
James Gordon is a content manager for the website Feedbuzzard. He loves spending time in nature, and his favorite pastime is watching dogs play. He also enjoys watching sunsets, as the colors are always so soothing to him. James loves learning about new technology, and he is excited to be working on a website that covers this topic.