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Stoke City Football Club is a professional English football club based in the city of Stoke. Nicknamed the Potters, the club currently competes in the Championship, which is the second tier in the English football pyramid.
Stoke currently plays their home matches at the bet365 Stadium, previously known as the Britannia Stadium, which has been their home since 1997. The stadium was officially opened by club legend Sir Stanley Matthews and has a maximum capacity of 30,089. The ground replaced their former home, the Victoria Ground, which Stoke had played at from 1878-1997.
Stoke’s biggest rivals are Port Vale.
Stoke City have won a number of significant honours throughout their history in English football. The club have twice been champions of the old Second Division, first doing so in the 1932/33 season when they beat Tottenham Hotspur to the title by one point in a season that’s noted for being Stanley Matthews’ first as a first team regular. Their next title in the division came exactly 30 years later, this time beating Chelsea to the top spot, again by just a single point. Stoke have also won the third tier twice in their history, with their first coming in the 1926/27 season. They did the same again in the 1992/93 campaign, as they were promoted to the second tier alongside Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion.
One of the most memorable days in the club’s history came in the 1972 season when they defeated Chelsea 2-1 in the League Cup final, the result itself being a shock given their opponents had won the FA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in the two seasons prior. As well as the League Cup, Stoke have won the Football League Trophy twice in their history. These came in 1992 and 2000 against Stockport County and Bristol City, respectively, with the latter being the final Football League Trophy final played at the old Wembley Stadium. Stoke’s trophy cabinet is complete with the Football Alliance, Birmingham & District League, Southern League Division Two and Watney Cup.
The club was founded in 1868, initially being called Stoke Ramblers Football Club. In 1870, they became known simply as Stoke, before changing their name to Stoke City in 1925 when Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status. Stoke were one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888, though they finished bottom in each of the first two seasons and subsequently spent a year in the Football Alliance. Stoke have played in one of the top two divisions of English football for the vast majority of their history to date, though they have spent time in the third and fourth tier on brief occasions.
The Potters found themselves outside of the top flight for 23 years after being relegated from the old First Division in 1984/85. However, the return of Tony Pulis in 2006 sparked an upturn in the club’s fortunes, first finishing in 8th place in the 2006/07 season before winning promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the 2007/08 campaign when they finished as runners-up to champions West Bromwich Albion. Pulis’ direct and combative style of football saw a visit to Stoke become one of the most dreaded in that era of the Premier League, particularly on a cold, wet and windy evening.