Some of you folks might wonder what Stoke City Football Club has to do with this blog’s theme of Recovery From Drug Addiction. Well, `something’ actually: this is my re-living the years when I was definitely free from drugs or alcohol as a 12-year-old in 1972.
Of all the clubs in England, I had chosen Stoke City … not Arsenal or Leeds or Manchester United, who were the top guns circa that period. Nor the few others who were quite significant forces: IIRC Derby were one, Tottenham Hotspurs, Liverpool, Manchester City too.
Well, I was vindicated, for Stoke won the League Cup that year, beating Chelsea in the final! At least no one could accuse me of “poor taste”, even if Stoke had not won anything since then:-)
Around 1975, I had also started to like then recently-relegated Manchester United, when Tommy Docherty took over as manager and introduced the exciting “old-fashioned” attacking 4-2-4 … of Steve Coppell and Gordon Hill blazing the wings. Over the ensuing years, Man Utd rose and rose right until now; much to my delight too.
And Stoke City? Well, they were always struggling, except for a couple of years when they were “quite up there” (have to re-check the Stoke City Mad site for the details again). They were then relegated, went back up, relegated again, relegated down another division…
But I never left them, either then or now.
Yeah, some of you would know of the `lallang‘ supporters – poseurs who are loud with their show of support for whoever was top at any given time. I had schoolmates of this type too, and I didn’t think too highly of them for that.
In 1974, they were Leeds supporters (but of course) … with pictures of that team (or Billy Bremner, Joe Jordan or whoever) decorating their files. Around 1977, it was for Liverpool … 1979, Nottingham Forest or Aston Villa. Me, I was with Stoke City (and Man Utd)
However, it was hard to follow their progress then, for you can’t really expect the New Straits Times, Malay Mail and The Star to print items about a club in the Second and Third Divisions! But thanks to the Internet later on, I didn’t have to depend on the once in a blue moon newspaper item of Stoke City.
And now, if you don’t know it already, Stoke City are back in the EPL!
Yes, they are expected to struggle all season for survival. But I don’t care even if this were to be the scenario. In the meantime, I’m living in the here and the now – with hopes and dreams of good things for Stoke City this year.
After three league matches, they have lost two. But remember that they have also won one: 3-2 over Aston Villa. And there are many matches left for Stoke to show their stuff – gritty, honest and enthusiastic football. Oh, gosh!… I love them! And so do these two:
[Quoted Comments from Main Page]
By: Rocky’s Bru on September 1, 2008
at 10:43 pm
what about forming a Stoke City club, Malaysian chapter. you be the initiator, i’ll support all the way!
By: shariran on September 2, 2008
at 1:45 am
Bro, let’s start a Stoke City FC fan club in Malaysia. It’s about time Malaysians know more about English Premier League other than M U, Chelsea , Liverpool , Arsenal..ha ha ha..it’s been 23 long years since we’ve been back in the limelight.We shall not let this chance go to waste.. STOKE CITY FOREVER!!!
That last sentence by shariran has fired me up!
Me, shariran and Rocky Bru: If we were to get together, this number wouldn’t require a police permit first, right?:-
Stoke City – the team of Gordon Banks and Alan Hudson… Who among us Malaysians will be The Special One who will initiate the setting up of a Stoke City Supporters Club?