Micah Richards: Don’t pick me

Micah Richards asked about which team he hated to play against most in the Sunday Times newspaper

I used to hate to play against Stoke. The fans were brilliant, it was so hard to play there.

It was always cold and windy at their stadium and you knew you were in for a game.

Stoke were cynical with their fouls, they would kick you but you’d never get given a foul.

I would actually be thinking don’t pick me for this game, I’ve never felt like that in my career.

Fans View:Writer David Lee @Stoke_city_pub answers our questions

Fans View: Stoke fan and Author David Lee @Stoke_city_pub answers our questions on Stoke.

Why are you a Stoke supporter?

Coz Neil Baldwin told me I should be on 17th October 1978. As Alan Durban (one of my heroes) had just become manager, I went along with it.

When was you’re first game, who was it against?

My first actual game was Saints v Burnley in the late ‘60s. My family had moved around the midlands & I was a Derby supporter because Dave Mackay joined them in ‘68 & used to kick seven bells out anyone within spitting distance. After he left, I lost interest in football (for girls) until NeilB showed me the error of my ways. I think the Sheffield Utd game was my first view of the Victoria Ground. 2-1. Garth Crooks penalty.

What’s your typical build up for a match day?

I miss the old days when I used to have a pint before the game, or as I got older I put a little scotch in my thermos tea. I was away with the fairies. I was a happy man. No wonder the Pulis years didn’t seem so bad! Now I report on games for Moorlands Radio so I have to be tres-sober. I’m busy from the moment I arrive with a bag of kit about 1.30. I write reports, take photos, broadcast live, record reports, question the manager, etc etc, so I’m busy till 6, when I stagger out exhausted. I’m only an amateur at this, but the professionals really earn their corn – they work like trojans. (or is it Spartans? I can’t remember!). It’s a VERY different match experience from when I was a season ticket holder.

What’s the best away day you’ve been too?

Best away game is Bolton cup semi. I was too skint to go to Notts Co in 1979 sadly. Me & mates went to Birmingham away in cup (4-4) +penalties (Oct 2013). Barmy. We just laughed & laughed.

Who is the best Stoke player you’ve seen play live?

Best player? Ricardo. He claimed he made Pulis lose his hair, but scored goals without even looking like he was trying. He made us feel happy! Although that might have been the scotch! Arnie was a delight too. (& I watched him sober!)

What’s your assessment of this season, where do you expect Stoke to finish?

Season is a disaster. I predicted mid-table at the start, but if we stay up, that will be excellent.

If Stoke were to implement one suggestion from a Stoke fan, what would you’re suggestion be and how could it help improve you’re Stoke experience?

The club has been complacent behind the scenes for almost a decade. We were then seen as a new breed of club, but other clubs have overtaken us. The concourses needs complete renovation & the car parking needs sorting. The club seem to have forgotten the fans. That needs to change.

Fans View: Duck Magazines Anthony Bunn answers our questions

Fans View:Duck magazines Anthony Bunn Answers our questions on Stoke City Fc

Why are you a Stoke supporter?

A question I have asked myself repeatedly over the past 46 years or so! Like many football supporters I owe my footballing allegiances to my dad. I was born and raised in Sneyd Green, so slightly closer to Vale Park I think, but my dad was Stoke home and away every single game and brought me up to be the same. Matchdays with the old man were great, as he’d sit in the Gardeners Retreat or Michelin Social Club and tell his supporting stories, such as going Ajax on the Sunday night and supposedly be being back home on Thursday morning….he eventually rocked up at 9pm on the following Saturday after our home game that afternoon!

When was your first game and who was it against?

I’ll be dead honest: I don’t exactly know. My first ever memory was going to Barlaston as a nipper to see the League Cup brought back home. My first ever memory of going to a Stoke game was the infamous 1-0 win at Vale Park against Middlesrough – after the Butler Street Stand roof had blown off! I think I’d have been games before then, but a visit to sit in the Piggery does stick in your memory!

What’s your typical build up for a match day?

8:30: take my lad to his academy training. Walk to an oatcake shop with the other parents and get some breakkast. 11.10am: get home from training 11.45am: leave for the game 12.15pm to 2.55pm: sell the mag outside the club shop. We’ve swapped seats this year, and in our new block it’s far easier to get a beer at half time. I’ve never really had one when selling before, but the smaller crowds have been a godsend to getting some pre-second half anaesthetic inside me!

What’s the best away day you’ve been too?

Peterborough in the second leg of the Autoglass in 1992 takes some beating. Took half a day off work and me and a mate had a few before venturing to London Road as we thought we had blown the chance of a Wembley visit from the first leg. Oh ye of little faith! It was a very windy night, and a dreadful game. But I was right behind Warey’s free kick. Indeed, if the net hadn’t been there, I reckon it would have hit me flush in the face. The mental that followed has hardly even been beaten, but I remember the mother of all six yard box scrambles very late in the game at the other end of the pitch being celebrated as much as the winning goal itself. The celebrations after and the journey home are memories that will never leave me.

Who is the best Stoke player you’ve seen play live?

I’ll have to go top flight with this, so that is really unfortunate for the likes of Steino, Shezza, Chambo etc. It’s a toss- up between two: for being a pure footballer, and a player who made it seem so effortless I’d go for Nzonzi. A Rolls Royce of a midfielder. But I go to football for those special moments that are a bit rare. Players who get you out of your seat and do stuff that others can’t and won’t. So, it has to be Ricardo Fuller. I adore Ric – I’d crawl over a filed of broken glass just to hear him break wind through a walkie talkie.

What’s your assessment of this season, where do you expect Stoke to finish?

Dreadful, but I still see three worse teams than us. Somehow, I see us finishing fourth bottom after a 0-0 at Forest on the last day.

If Stoke were to implement one suggestion from a Stoke fan, what would your suggestion be and how could it help improve you’re Stoke experience?

I’d like to see a museum and programme/memorabilia shop by the ground. At present, hardly anyone goes there before 1.30pm – I stand there selling an hour before then and the advent of relegation has hit the matchday routine of many. We have a wealth of history, and a museum and shop would be a great way of celebrating that and getting people to the ground early and staying afterwards. Most Stokies simply go to the ground for the match – they need a reason to go earlier and stay later.

Twitter handles

@DUCkmagstoke

@AnthonyBunn68

Fans View: Tony Maddox @Tony_m71 gives his views on Stoke

Fans View: Stoke fan Tony Maddox answers our questions on Stoke.

Why are you a Stoke supporter?

My dad used to take me to Stoke and Vale as a kid but from the age of 11 my best mates dad used to work for Royal Mail. My mate and I used to jump in the back of his van and help him to deliver his parcels so he would finish early and be back in Stoke for 1pm. He then took us to every home game which made me side with Stoke rather than Vale

When was you’re first game, who was it against?

My first game at The Victoria ground which my dad took me to I am pretty sure it was Tony Waddingtons Testimonial I was very young.

What’s the best away day you’ve been too?

Best away day is of course the FA Cup Semi final vs Bolton. If that is not counted then I would have to say Anfield despite some results it’s always a special day.

Who is the best Stoke player you’ve seen play live?

Best Stoke player I’ve seen live would probably be Mark Stein. Some memorable goals

What’s your assessment of this season, where do you Expect Stoke to finish?

I think this season is obviously way below the standards we have become to expect from Stoke. The heart has gone there is no leader in the dressing prepared to give out a B******ing. This is a minimum requirement. What happens on the pitch stays on the pitch so they can all still be friends after. I think Stoke will finish mid table. We have pulled a couple of results out of the hat let’s hope we can push on from those results

If Stoke were to implement one suggestion from a Stoke fan, what would you’re suggestion be and how could it help improve you’re Stoke experience?

The car park after the game is atrocious. Boothen end should have a slip road direct onto the a50 as an exit only. I know they don’t care once you’ve been and spent your money but the layout and exit points are terrible.

Fans View: Dave Williams @sneydstones answers our questions

Fans view with Dave Williams @sneydstones on Twitter

Why are you a Stoke supporter?

I’m a Stoke supporter through parental indoctrination, have afflicted my two children Jack and Katie similarly… we’re all season ticket holders and it’s still our biggest buzz of the week

When was you’re first game, who was it against?

First game was October 1970 at home to Huddersfield, we won 3 -1 ….. I think 🤔

What’s your typical build up for a match day?

Typical match day build up, a champions breakfast of Oatcakes, Radio Stoke on in the car, groaning when the team is announced, cos we all know better.

What’s the best away day you’ve been too?

Best away day Wembley Semi Final versus Bolton 🙌🏻🙌🏻

Who is the best Stoke player you’ve seen play live?

Alan Hudson, albeit best individual performance in recent times Nzonzi v Liverpool

What’s your assessment of this season, where do you expect Stoke to finish?

Am now beginning to fear that we’ll struggle to stay clear of relegation zone this season…. Napoleon’s golden rule , don’t employ Unlucky Generals

If Stoke were to implement one suggestion from a Stoke fan, what would you’re suggestion be and how could it help improve you’re Stoke experience?

To improve Stoke experience currently?? Improve the club’s awful PR, be more innovative to fill the ground, respect the customers who turn up every week and make us feel engaged rather than treat us with indifference (hmm you only asked for one thing 🤔)

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