Stoke City - Britannia Stadium
Stoke City Football Club
Stanley Matthews Way
HISTORY/FACTS ABOUT THE POTTERS:
- Stoke City Football Club were formed in 1863 as Stoke Ramblers FC. Pupils of the Charterhouse School formed a football club, whilst the apprentices at the North Staffordshire Railway worked in Stoke upon-Trent.
- In 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club and became Stoke Football Club. They then moved from their 1st ever ground Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground which was then later known as The Victoria Ground.
- The Victoria Ground was the home of Stoke City Football Club from 1878 to 1997. The ground held approximately 27,000 before closure of the ground, with the record attendance there of 56,000. Sadly I never got to go to The Victoria Ground!
- The last game to be ever played at The Victoria Ground was at home to West Bromwich Albion. Stoke won 2-1, goals coming from Gerry McMahon and Graham Kavanagh. The game was seen with 22,500 fans.
- Since then Stoke have played their games at The Britannia Stadium since 1997. Stoke's most success came in 2008, after winning automatic promotion on the last day of the 2007-08 season after they only needed a draw to secure promotion. They did that against Leicester City at home.
- Stoke City's other successes include winning the 2002 2nd Division Play Off Final against Brentford by winning 2-0. Goals coming from Deon Burton and an own goal by Ben Burgess sealed promotion to Division 1 (The Championship) in Cardiff. Also they were runners up in the FA Cup Final in 2011 and they won the Football League Trophy in 2000.
- Stoke's main rivals are The Potteries Derby with neighbours Port Vale. Although in recent years they haven't faced each other as much, other rivalries include West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Britannia Stadium, or otherwise known as the bet365 Stadium, has been the home of Stoke City Football Club since 1997 after previously playing at The Victoria Ground from 1878 to 1997 which had a capacity of 25,000 approximately when it closed. The Britannia now has a capacity of just over 30,000. Away supporters are housed on one side which is towards the players tunnel and the main stand in the Sharp (South) stand behind the goal. Stoke on-trent railway station to the ground will take over half an hour walking wise, it might be wise to catch a bus or a taxi to the ground. I decided to walk when I went and it took me about half an hour, mostly walking along the canal to the ground which had some nice scenery.
VISIT 1: Stoke City 3-1 Hull City 15/4/17
VISIT 1 TO THE BRITANNIA:
Stoke City 3-1 Hull City
Saturday 15th April 2017
Barclays Premier League
With Gillingham's win over Bristol Rovers on Good Friday, of course it gave me a free Saturday to do some Groundhopping. Originally it was going to be Newcastle vs Leeds with my Dad, but that got moved to Good Friday which buggered up our plans. So after checking the fixtures, Stoke vs Hull was the only one that I hadn't done in the Premier League that were at home that afternoon, so of course it was a no brainer. I pretty much knew how to get there anyway as I had previously visited the ground a couple of years back when Gillingham were playing at Stoke's local rivals Port Vale, so of course I went early and visited the ground with pics below. So, I booked my train tickets and match ticket early as luckily I did as apparently after that, Stoke had sold out their remaining home games for the rest of the season so good job I did. Anyway I set my alarm for 7.40am the night before and I left for Stoke just after 8.15am. I left Euston at 10.50am and arrived into Stoke just before 1pm. Of course, the station to the ground isn't fairly near, but as the weather wasn't too bad, I thought I'd take a stroll to the ground which took around 30-40 mins. The route is fairly scenic as it's along the canal which I thought was decent.
So, after walking the scenic route to The Britannia Stadium, I eventually arrived at around 1.45pm and went straight into the ground and took my seat. I was quite impressed with the ground, and was a great view I thought. The Britannia Stadium holds just under 28,000 but at the moment in this time, they are currently extending the ground. Stoke were heading into the game with 4 straight defeats and without a win in 5 league games, with Stoke's last win against Middlesbrough back in early March with boss Mark Hughes in charge. Hull with Marco Silva as their manager, spent most of his playing career in his home country of Portugal, with Hull as his first English side managed. Hull were heading into the game with 2 wins in their last 6 games, wins against Swansea and West Ham. The game itself wasn't the greatest of games I think, at times the game was very scrappy but Stoke took the lead in the 1st 6 minutes of the game, thanks to a decent enough finish from Marko Arnautovic. From there Stoke didn't really look like scoring again, but Hull equalised to a scrappy goal pretty much from former Sheffield United centre half Harry Maguire. 2 subs from Stoke boss Mark Hughes saw Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters come on as it was Walters himself that crossed the ball for Crouch to head home to make it 2-1. Xherdan Shaqiri then with 10 minutes to go made it 3-1 with an absolute peach of a goal by striking the ball from 30 yards to put the icing on the cake with a terrific 3-1 win for the Potters. Overally a fairly decent day, ticking off Stoke's Britannia Stadium was my 75th of the current 92. I eventually got home shortly after half 10, so wasn't too bad. A good day in Stoke On-Trent.