Fans View: @RockcliffeFiles answers questions on Stoke and why he supports them

Fans view: @RockcliffeFiles answered questions on Stoke and why he supports them.

Why are you a Stoke supporter?

I was born into a Stoke family in 1968, I had no choice in the matter. My parents have been ST holders for as long as I can remember. They originate from Leek, and cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents were all Stoke mad. We are a Stoke family, through thick and thin.

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

I genuinely cant remember, and my dad now has vascular dementia so I cant ask him. It would have been around 72/73 and I was lifted over the turnstiles of the old Stoke End at the Vic. The first game I can remember is Stoke 1 – Man Utd 0 from 73-74. United had just been relegated to the second division. John Ritchie scored our goal. I was six, and I remember the carnage in and around the ground as the Man Utd fans ran riot.

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

I drive around 220 miles! As I am exiled in Newcastle upon Tyne, or I get a train to London or similar. I tend to meet a few mates, have a pint, but I sit with my mum at the game. The game is often a distraction to catching up with pals these days. We have regular jaunts to London to have a long weekend.

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

Easy. Port Vale 0 – Stoke City 2, March 1993. I very genuinely hitchhiked to the game, a story I once told to Duck Magazine. I’d just finished Uni in Newcastle, was fairly skint and was working in a call centre to make ends meet before stating my first proper job. I had to take two days off and stand on the A69, M6, A500, but I made it. I hitchhiked all the way back the following day but an old mate gave me a lift to Charnock Richards services where I picked up a lift with a lady travelling to Newcastle. Happy days.

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

I cant decide between Smithy, Hudson or Greenhoff. But if you put a gun to my head, always Greenhoff.

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

I think we are in a slightly false position and don’t expect us to be relegated. We have been shocking at times, and have looked like promotion contenders too in odd spells. I expect us to finish mid-table once NJ decides upon his preferred formation and starting XI. Am I worried, yes, am I really worried, not yet.

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?

This is a tough one for an exile as I am not in and around the club enough to pass proper comment. One thing I don’t like is the amenities in and around the ground and the parking is also pathetic. Going to the Bet 365 can be a chore, a long walk, a bus or a long queue, if we were to drip into the third tier, gates would drip below 15000 again. The club needs to make it a pleasurable experience before and after the game. Options are limited.

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