After 148 years of Stoke City being
in existance, we have never really
won very much, a League Cup in
1972 and a couple of football
League trophies in 1992 and 2000
but although having never been in
an FA Cup Final, we were the only
club to have a 100% winning
record at BOTH Wembley AND the
We also have a poor history against non league opposition in the tournament
so every season, the FA Cup doesn’t fill me with too much hope. It seemed it
may go the same way again when we only managed a draw at home to
Cardiff in the 3rd round but two goals in extra time from John Walters in the
replay at Cardiff City Stadium set up a tough away fixture at Premier League
Wolves. With my old mucker from School Ian, being a Wolves fan, we sat
amongst the Yam Yams to watch Robert Huth clinch the win. A 5th round
home draw to League 1 high flyers Brighton saw a professional 3-0 victory for
Stoke setting up a Quarter Final at home to West Ham. Unfortunately Stoke
Ladies were away at Northampton Town with an identical kick off time for this
game and I felt that it was my duty as a member of staff to attend the Ladies
game. The Ladies won 1-0 but due to some hefty injury time were still playing
when a shout came out from the dug out “We’re going to Wembley”.
As a non season ticket holder, not living in Stoke, it was always going to be
difficult to get a Wembley ticket but luckily I managed to get hold of two Club Wembley tickets and so we went to that amazing game which just
happened to be my birthday - 17th April - and what a present Stoke gave me!
As with my previous visit to Wembley, we called into one of my favourite pubs, the Royal Standard of
England. We arrived at one minute to midday expecting to be the first people in this ‘out of the way’
country inn, only to find three blokes sitting outside wearing Stoke shirts!
We had lunch and then made our way to our hotel before popping on the train to Wembley Park Station.
My first visit to the ‘new’ Wembley was no disappointment as we witnessed lots of Bolton fans leaving the
stadium after half an hour with Stoke already 3-0 up.
Goals from Etherington 11', Huth 17', Jones 30', Walters 68', 81' saw stoke run out 5-0 winners, the
biggest post war semi final victory.
Sadly with only a 22,000 allocation for the final it was impossible for me to get a ticket so I wasn’t there to
witness the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City although I now have a contact at Wembley Stadium itself that
that won’t happen again!