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Stoke City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and then to Stoke City in 1925 after Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status. They are the second-oldest professional football club in the world, and were a founding member of the Football League in 1888. 

Their first, and to date only, major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972. The club's highest league finish in the top division is fourth, which was achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 then in 1974–75 and most recently in 2011–12.

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Stoke's traditional kit is red and white striped shirts with white shorts and socks. Their first strip was navy and cardinal hoops with white knickerbockers and hooped stockings. This changed to black and blue hoops before the club settled on red and white stripes in 1883.

However, in 1891 the Football League decided that only one club could use one style of strip per season and Sunderland were allowed to take red and white stripes. So, between 1891 and 1908 Stoke used a variety of kits with plain maroon being the most common. In 1908, Stoke lost their League status and were able to finally revert to red and white and when they re-joined the league in 1919 the rule was scrapped. Since then, Stoke have forever used red and white striped shirts, with the only time when they diverted from this was for two seasons in the mid-1980s, which saw them wear a pin-striped shirt.


Stoke's first club crest was a stylised "S" which was used by players in 1882 who would stitch the crest on to their shirts, however this practice soon faded away. In the 1950s Stoke began using the shield from the Stoke-on-Trent coat-of-arms which was used infrequently until 1977. A new and simpler club crest was introduced a Stafford knot and pottery kiln represented local tradition while red and white stripes were also added.

This lasted until 1992 when the club decided to use the entire Stoke-on-Trent coat-of-arms which included the club's name at the top of the crest. They changed their crest in 2001 to the current version which includes their nickname "The Potters". For the 2012–13 season, they used a special version to mark the club's 150th anniversary which included the club's Latin motto "Vis Unita Fortior" ("United Strength is Stronger").

Stoke's traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Stoke's local rivals are Port Vale, based in the Burslem area of Stoke-on-Trent.

As the two clubs have regularly been in different divisions, there have only been 46 league matches between the two sides, with the last match being in 2002. Regardless of the lack of matches, the Potteries derby is often a tight and close game of football with few goals being scored. Stoke have won 19 matches while Vale have won 15.

  • Second Division / Championship: 1932–33, 1962–63
  • Third Division North / Second Division: 1926–27, 1992–93
  • Football Alliance: 1890–91
  • Birmingham & District League: 1910–11
  • Southern League Division Two:1909–10, 1914–15
  • League Cups: 1971–72
  • Football League Trophy: 1991–92, 1999–2000
  • Record goal scorers: John Ritchie – 176 Goals (League and Cup goals), Freddie Steele – 140 Goals (League goals)
  • Record signing: Giannelli Imbula signed from Porto: £18.3 million (1 February 2016)
  • Record sale: Marko Arnautović sold to West Ham United: £20 million (22 July 2017)
  • Record win: 26–0 v Mow Cop (1877)
  • Record League victory: 10–3 v West Bromwich Albion (4 February 1937)
  • Record League defeat: 0–10 v Preston North End (14 September 1889)
  • Record FA Cup victory: 11–0 v Stourbridge (26 September 1914)
  • Record FA Cup defeat: 0–8 v Wolverhampton Wanderers (22 February 1890)
  • Record League Cup victory: 6–2 v Chelsea (22 October 1974)
  • Record League Cup defeat: 0–8 v Liverpool (29 November 2000)
  • Record Premier League win: 6–1 v Liverpool (24 May 2015)
  • Record Premier League defeat: 0–7 v Chelsea (25 April 2010)
  • Eric Thomas Skeels (born 27 October 1939) is an English former footballer. He played 512 games in the Football League, 507 for Stoke City. He is Stoke's record appearance holder having played in 592 matches in all competitions. Skeels joined Stoke City in 1959 and soon established himself and an indispensable member of Tony Waddington's starting eleven. He was able to play in all outfield positions and became known for his consistency and racked up a club record 592 appearances. During his 17-year spell at the Victoria Ground he helped Stoke to win the Second Division in 1962–63, finish as runner-up of the League Cup in 1964, before winning the competition in 1972 he also helped them to reach the semi-final of the FA Cup in 1970–71 and 1971–72.

  • John Henry Ritchie (12 July 1941 – 23 February 2007) was an English footballer. He is Stoke City's all-time record goal scorer. Ritchie began his career with his hometown club Kettering Town before joining Stoke City in 1962. In his first full season as a professional Ritchie scored an impressive 30 goals and hit 81 goals in 135 appearances. He had scored 176 goals for Stoke in 347 matches making him Stoke's record goal scorer. The 6 ft 2 in hitman ended his career after a double leg fracture in 1975.

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