Great Stoke City Moments Of Our Time - #1 - 4/5/2008

  On May the 4th 2008, after 23 wins fifteen draws and nine defeats for Stoke, the final game of the Championship season was played, the Potters facing Leicester City at the Britannia Stadium. The situation was simple for Stoke, who sat second in the Championship table, three points ahead of third placed Hull but with an inferior goal difference. Win or draw the game and we were up, and would return to the top-flight of English football for the first time in 23 years that had seen many more lows than highs.

  For Leicester, the day was also a crucial one. Though they started the day outside of the relegation zone, they needed to at least match the results of Southampton and Coventry to avoid the drop to League One, the league Stoke had left behind after a play-off victory six years before.

The packed Britannia Stadium awaits kick-off

  A crowd of 26,609, a record for a league match, filled the ground, and though the first half of the game was a dull affair, it wasn’t long before both sets of fans had something to celebrate, with news coming in from elsewhere that Ipswich had taken the lead against Hull, as had Sheffield United at Southampton, meaning that as things stood, Stoke would be promoted and Leicester would be safe.

  The second half of the game was little better as a spectacle, with Ricardo Fuller having Stoke’s best chance after an excellent run, and Gareth McAuley hitting the post with a looping header for the visitors. As the game drew to a conclusion, while the Stoke supporters were jubilant, the travelling Leicester support was stunned into silence by the news that Southampton had turned the game at St. Mary’s and now led 3-2. With Coventry also winning, it seemed Leicester would have to score or would go down. Foxes boss Ian Holloway, who would leave the club after the game, urged his side forward, with four strikers on the pitch, but the Stoke rearguard stood firm, as did those of Ipswich, Southampton and Coventry around the country.

  After a premature pitch invasion had been dispelled by referee Mike Dean, the final whistle was blown, the goalless score line good enough to send Stoke up and Leicester down. The celebration could now begin in earnest as close to 20,000 Stokies flooded the pitch, engulfing their heroes who had sealed the promotion.

The back page of ”The Sun” shows fans’ favourite Carl Dickinson welcoming the onrushing supporters

  The scoreboard proclaimed ”Congratulations Stoke City, We are Premier League!” and amidst the mass of Stoke fans on the pitch I thought we had done it, after 23 years we would be welcoming the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal to Stoke once again. We were Premier League!

The jubilant fans flood the pitch

The players celebrate their achievement

One Leicester fan celebrates a little prematurely

Stoke side on the day:


Wilkinson  Cort  Shawcross  Dickinson

  Lawrence  Delap  Whelan  Cresswell

                   Sidibe  Fuller

Substitutions: Buxton for Wilkinson (21), Ameobi for Sidibe (90), Lawrence for Pugh (90+1)

Subs not used: Simonsen, Pearson

2 Responses to “Great Stoke City Moments Of Our Time - #1 - 4/5/2008”

  1. Giovani Dos Never Gets PLayed Says:

    Great article,

    The whole upper teir in the picture two up from the bottom are still in their seats. How did all those fans on the pitch fit in the stadium?! Must have been a full house!

  2. I*T*P*L Says:

    I think at the time they said 15,000 out of the 26,000 there went on the pitch. It does seem amazing that all those people can fit in the stands and then some when you see it like than.

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