Vale Park is a football stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, England. It is the home ground of Port Vale F. C. who have played at the ground since 1950. The ground has seen its capacity go up and down, its peak being 42,000 in 1954 against Blackpool, although a club record 49,768 managed to squeeze in for a 1960 FA Cup fifth round fixture against Aston Villa, it now has a notional capacity of just over 19,000, though has seen more than 10,000 spectators since major restructuring to make the stadium an all-seater venue in the 1990s. At 520 feet above sea level it is the eleventh highest ground in the country, third highest in the English Football League; the pitch is clay underneath the grass, rather than sand. These two factors make the pitch vulnerable to freezing temperatures. There is a coal seam under the pitch, numerous mine shafts dotted around the local area, including many under the park opposite the ground; the Vale Park pitch is one of the widest in the Football League. The pitch was laid over a filled-in marl hole and does not have a subsoil structure so is liable to flooding as it lacks proper drainage.
The head groundsman since September 1992 is Steve Speed. He was one of three groundsmen nominated for the League Two Groundsmen of the Year award in 2009. Denis Dawson was head groundsman from 1966 to 1975. Following the club being informed that they would be evicted from The Old Recreation Ground by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, plans for a new stadium in a new area began to be made. In 1944 Hamil Road – the site of a former clay pit – was chosen, a site opposite Burslem Park, where the club had played its football in the early years of its existence; the development became known as The Wembley of the North due to the planned size of the stadium, plans which included an 80,000 capacity with room for 1,000 parked cars. The club's leadership had not allowed the club's third tier status or their lack of money to curb their ambition. Life-time seats were sold for £100 but fewer than 100 fans bought them. Costing £100, the pitch was the most expensive laid in the country at the time; the ground opened in 1950 having cost £50,000, boasting a capacity of 40,000.
The original ground consisted of just two stands with banks of terracing at the Bycars and Hamil ends of the ground. The first match was a 1–0 victory over Newport County on 24 August 1950 in front of 30,196 rain-soaked spectators. Walter Aveyard took the honour of being the first to score at the ground. On the same day the stadium's name was revealed for the first time – Vale Park. Vale Park had problems with drainage, leaving many games of the 1950–51 to be postponed; the problem was resolved in summer 1960, when new drains were installed to help ease the winter mud spots. In summer 1951, 578 seats were installed on the Railway Terrace, bringing the seated capacity of Vale Park to 1,010. In 1954 the Railway Stand was built, as capacity increased to 50,000 by the end of the decade. On 24 September 1958, Vale Park saw its first match under the new £17,000 floodlights, as the club beat West Bromwich Albion 5–3. In summer 1973, the club erected a 2.5 feet high steel fence around the Bycars End to help combat hooliganism.
A rare event occurred on 17 January 1976, when the Vale directors permitted rivals Stoke to play a home game against Middlesbrough at Vale Park. This happened because a severe gale damaged the Victoria Ground, whilst the gale caused £2,000 worth of damage to Vale Park, the damage to Stoke's ground was much more severe. A crowd of 21,009 saw Stoke win 1–0. In summer 1985 new safety regulations reduced Vale Park's capacity down to 16,800, again to 16,300; the summer of 1988 saw Vale Park given a £40,000 upgrade to repair the floodlights and a £20,000 electronic scoreboard was installed at the Hamil End. Three executive boxes were purchased from Newcastle United, whilst facilities were opened to the local community; the following year the stadium was upgraded at a cost of £250,000, though grants helped to halve the cost for the club itself. In November 1989 a £100,000 disabled stand was installed –the first purpose built enclosure of its kind in the country. Despite this effort, inspectors closed the Bycars End down due to safety issues, reduced the stadium's capacity to 12,000 after cutting the capacity of the Railway Paddock by two-thirds.
In summer 1990, 3,750 yellow and white seats were fitted in the Railway Paddock, 1,121 seats were added to the upper tier of the Bycars End. The Bycars End roof was removed for safety reasons, whilst a police box was constructed between the Railway Paddock and the Hamil End; the paddock at the front of the Railway Stand was made into an all-seated area, with just the Lorne Street side left as a standing area. Vale fans stood for the last time on Lorne Street at the end of the 1997–98 season, with the stand being demolished before work began on a new £3 million structure. Work has yet to be finished on this, due to lack of a change in ownership of the club. Despite the building work remaining uncompleted, the work done on the stadium under Bill Bell from 1985 had vastly improved the ground, as proven by the fact that sheep were once housed in the Railway Paddock toilets and allowed to graze on the pitch in the night; the Valiant 2001 Charter stated that Bratt's management team would invest £400,000 to install under-soil heating in mid-2002, to quickly complete
Stoke City F.C. Player of the Year
The Stoke City Player of the Year award is an award presented to the Stoke City fans' player of the season. Towards the end of each season, fans are invited to cast their votes for this award; the winner is announced at an end-of-season awards dinner at either the bet365 Stadium or the King's Hall in Stoke-on-Trent. The inaugural award was made to Howard Kendall in 1978. Peter Fox has won the award a record three times, Mickey Thomas is the only other player to have once the award more than once. There have been 13 different nationalities. Denotes multiple recipients in the same season Player denotes the number of times a player has won the award Stoke City Player of the Year at stokecityfc.com
Middlesbrough Football Club is a professional association football club based in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. They are competing in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since 1995, their third ground since turning professional in 1889, they played at the Linthorpe Road ground from 1882 to 1903 and at Ayresome Park for 92 years, from 1903 to 1995. They were one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992 and became one of the first clubs to be relegated from it following the 1992–93 season; the club came close to folding in 1986 after experiencing severe financial difficulties before it was saved by a consortium led by board member and chairman Steve Gibson. The club's main rivals are Newcastle United. There is a rivalry with fellow Yorkshire club Leeds United. Middlesbrough won the League Cup in the club's first and only major trophy, they were beaten by Spanish side Sevilla. The club's highest league finish to date was third in the 1913–14 season and they have only spent two seasons outside the Football League's top two divisions.
The League Cup win and the UEFA Cup run was part of an 11-year consecutive stay in the Premier League, before a relegation in 2009. Although the club returned in 2016, instant relegation followed; the club's traditional kit is red with white detailing. The various crests throughout the club's history, the most recent of, adopted in 2007, incorporate a lion rampant, they won the FA Amateur Cup in 1895 and again in 1898. The club turned professional in 1889, but reverted to amateur status in 1892, they turned professional permanently in 1899. After three seasons, they won promotion to the First Division, where they would remain for the next 22 years. In 1903, the club moved to their home for the next 92 years. In 1905, the club sanctioned the transfer of Alf Common for £1,000, a record fee. Over the next few years, their form fluctuated rising to sixth in 1907–08 before dropping to 17th two seasons later; the club rose to their highest league finish to date, third, in 1913–14. World War I soon intervened and football was suspended.
Before league football resumed, Middlesbrough won the Northern Victory League, but the team were unable to maintain their previous form and finished the 1919–20 season in mid-table. They remained in the First Division for the next few seasons, but were relegated in 1923–24 after finishing bottom, 10 points adrift of their nearest rivals. Three seasons they won the Division Two title. During that season, debutant George Camsell, who had signed from Third Division North side Durham City the previous season, finished with a record 59 league goals, which included nine hat-tricks, he would continue as top scorer for each of the next 10 seasons. Their tenure back in the top flight lasted only one season, the club were relegated, they were promoted at the first attempt in 1928–29, winning another Second Division title. The club remained in the First Division until 1954; the decade before the war saw the emergence of Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick, both of whom would go on to become England internationals in the years ahead.
Middlesbrough climbed to fourth in the last full season before World War II and were expected to challenge for the title next season, but the war intervened. After the war, the club was unable to recover the form of the previous seasons and hovered around mid-table and exited in the early rounds of the FA Cup. Soon afterwards, the team began to falter suffering relegation in 1953–54; this was the start of a 20-year spell outside the top division, but saw the emergence of one of the club's top goalscorers, Brian Clough, who scored 204 goals in 222 games, before he left for Sunderland. Over that period, Middlesbrough maintained reasonable progress in the Second Division but were never serious contenders for promotion. After a fourth-place finish in 1962–63, the club endured a steady decline and were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history in 1966. New manager Stan Anderson returned the club to the second flight at the first attempt. Middlesbrough would not finish below ninth during the next eight seasons.
By 1974, Jack Charlton had guided the team back to the top flight. They ensured promotion as early as 23 March, with eight games of the season left, they became runaway champions, finishing with a record 65 points. Middlesbrough won their first silverware as a professional side in the 1975–76 season, lifting the Anglo-Scottish Cup in its inaugural season after a two-legged final win over Fulham; the club experienced severe financial difficulties during the mid-1980s. Middlesbrough were dropping down the table, finished 19th in the 1984–85 season. In April 1986, the club had to borrow £30,000 from the Professional Footballers' Association to pay wages; the final game of the season saw Middlesbrough relegated to the Third Division again. That summer, the club called in the Provisional Liquidator and shortly afterwards, the club was wound up and the gates to Ayresome Park were padlocked. Without the £350,000 capital required for Football League registration, a new rule, it seemed inevitable that the club would fold permanently.
Steve Gibson, however, a member of the board at the time, brought together a consortium, with 10 minutes to spare before the deadline they completed their registration with the Football League for the 1986–87 season. Following the registration came both a change of club crest and a change of the official company name to Middlesbrough Football and Athletic Club Ltd. Over the next two seasons, Middlesbrough gained successive promotions into Division Two and into Division One; the nex
Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. It has won 13 League titles, a record 13 FA Cups, two League Cups, the League Centenary Trophy, 15 FA Community Shields, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893, they reached the First Division in 1904. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, have won the second-most top-flight matches in English football history. In the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970 -- 71, they won their first FA Cup Double. Between 1989 and 2005, they won five FA Cups, including two more Doubles, they completed the 20th century with the highest average league position. Herbert Chapman died prematurely, he helped introduce the WM formation and shirt numbers, added the white sleeves and brighter red to Arsenal's kit.
Arsène Wenger won the most trophies. He won a record 7 FA Cups, his title-winning team set an English record for the longest top-flight unbeaten league run at 49 games between 2003 and 2004, receiving the nickname The Invincibles, a special gold Premier League trophy. In 1886, Woolwich munitions workers founded the club as Dial Square. In 1913, the club crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, becoming close neighbours of Tottenham Hotspur, creating the North London derby. In 2006, they moved to the nearby Emirates Stadium. In terms of revenue, Arsenal is the ninth highest-earning football club in the world, earned €487.6m in 2016–17 season. Based on social media activity from 2014 to 2015, Arsenal's fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. In 2018, Forbes estimated the club was the third most valuable in England, with the club being worth $2.24 billion. In October 1886, Scotsman David Danskin and his fellow 15 munitions workers in Woolwich, now South East London, formed Arsenal as Dial Square, with each member contributing sixpence and Danskin adding another three shillings to help form the club.
Named after the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex, they took the name of the whole complex a month later. Royal Arsenal F. C.'s first home was Plumstead Common, though they spent most of their time in South East London playing on the other side of Plumstead, at the Manor Ground. Royal Arsenal won Arsenal's first trophies in 1890 and 1891, these were the only football association trophies Arsenal won during their time in South East London. In 1891, Royal Arsenal became the first London club to turn professional. Royal Arsenal renamed themselves for a second time upon becoming a limited liability company in 1893, they registered their new name, Woolwich Arsenal, with The Football League when the club ascended that year. Woolwich Arsenal was the first southern member of The Football League, starting out in the Second Division and winning promotion to the First Division in 1904. Falling attendances, due to financial difficulties among the munitions workers and the arrival of more accessible football clubs elsewhere in the city, led the club close to bankruptcy by 1910.
Businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall became involved in the club, sought to move them elsewhere. In 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Woolwich Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, North London; this saw their third change of name: the following year, they reduced Woolwich Arsenal to The Arsenal. In 1919, The Football League voted to promote The Arsenal, instead of relegated local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, into the newly enlarged First Division, despite only listing the club sixth in the Second Division's last pre-war season of 1914–15; some books have speculated. That year, The Arsenal started dropping "The" in official documents shifting its name for the final time towards Arsenal, as it is known today. With a new home and First Division football, attendances were more than double those at the Manor Ground, Arsenal's budget grew rapidly, their location and record-breaking salary offer lured star Huddersfield Town manager Herbert Chapman in 1925. Over the next five years, Chapman built a new Arsenal.
He appointed enduring new trainer Tom Whittaker, implemented Charlie Buchan's new twist on the nascent WM formation, captured young players like Cliff Bastin and Eddie Hapgood, lavished Highbury's income on stars like David Jack and Alex James. With record-breaking spending and gate receipts, Arsenal became known as the Bank of England club. Transformed, Chapman's Arsenal claimed their first national trophy, the FA Cup, in 1930. Two League Championships followed, in 1930–31 and 1932–33. Chapman presided over multiple off the pitch changes: white sleeves and shirt numbers were added to the kit. In the middle of the 1933–34 season, Chapman died of pneumonia, his work was left to Joe Shaw and George Allison, who saw out a hat-trick with the 1933–34 and 1934–35 titles, won the 1936 FA Cup and 1937–38 title. World War II meant The Football League was suspended for seven years, but Arsenal returned to win it in the second post-war season, 1947–48; this was Tom Whittaker's first season as manager, after his promotion to succeed Allison, the club had equalled the champions of England record.
They won a third FA Cup in 1950, won a record-breaking seven
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football, it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The three leagues below the Premier League are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division. Promotion and relegation between these divisions is a central feature of the League and is further extended to allow the top Championship clubs to exchange places with the lowest-placed clubs in the Premier League, the bottom clubs of League Two to switch with the top clubs of the National League, thus integrating the League into the English football league system. Although a competition for English clubs, clubs from Wales – Swansea City and Newport County – take part, while in the past Cardiff City, Merthyr Town and Aberdare Athletic have been members.
The Football League was associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names. Starting with the 2016–17 season, the league has moved away from having a title sponsor, rebranding itself as the English Football League, in much the same way the Premier League is known as the "EPL" internationally; the English Football League is the name of the governing body of the league competition, this body organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London; the commercial office was based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales, it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It organises two knockout cup competitions, the EFL Cup and EFL Trophy; the Football League was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor with 12 member clubs.
Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant. Financial considerations led to a major shake-up in 1992 when, in a step to maximise their revenue, the leading members of the Football League broke away to form their own competition, the FA Premier League, renamed in 2007 as the Premier League; the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total, 136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013; the EFL's 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions: the EFL Championship, EFL League One, EFL League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, in any given season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents; this makes for a total of 46 games played each season. Clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the next higher division, while those at the bottom may be relegated to the next lower one.
At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places. At the lower end, two League Two clubs lose their Football League status with relegation to the National division of the National League, while two teams from that division join League Two of The Football League in their stead. Promotion and relegation are determined by final league positions, but to sustain interest for more clubs over the length of the season one promotion place from each division is decided according to a playoff between four clubs, which takes place at the end of the season, it is therefore possible for a team finishing sixth in the Championship or League One, or seventh in League Two, to be promoted rather than the clubs finishing above them in the standings. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season. If a club enters administration before 31 March of any given season, they will be deducted 12 points.
It is required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditor's Voluntary Agreement, pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these will result in a second unlimited points deduction; the other main situation in, a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted; the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions: the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club referred to as Tottenham or Spurs, is a professional football club in Tottenham, England, that competes in the Premier League. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has been the club's home ground since 2019, replacing their former home of White Hart Lane, demolished to make way for the new stadium on the same site, their training ground is on Hotspur Way in Bulls Cross in the London Borough of Enfield. Tottenham have played in a first strip of white shirts and navy blue shorts since the 1898–99 season; the club's emblem is a cockerel standing upon a football, with a Latin motto Audere est Facere. Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901, the only non-League club to do so since the formation of the Football League in 1888. Tottenham were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. After defending the FA Cup in 1962, in 1963 they became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners' Cup.
They were the inaugural winners of the UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to win two different major European trophies. They have collected at least one major trophy in each of the six decades from the 1950s to 2000s – an achievement only matched by Manchester United. In total, Spurs have won two league titles, eight FA Cups, four League Cups, seven FA Community Shields, one European Cup Winners' Cup and two UEFA Cups; the club has a long-standing rivalry with nearby club Arsenal, with head-to-head fixtures known as the North London derby. Named Hotspur Football Club, the club was formed on 5 September 1882 by a group of schoolboys led by Bobby Buckle, they were members of the Hotspur Cricket Club and the football club was formed to play sports during the winter months. A year the boys sought help with the club from John Ripsher, the Bible class teacher at All Hallows Church, who became the first president of the club and its treasurer. Ripsher helped and supported the boys through the club's formative years and found premises for the club.
In April 1884 the club was renamed "Tottenham Hotspur Football Club" to avoid confusion with another club, London Hotspur, whose post had been mistakenly delivered to North London. Nicknames for the club include "Spurs" and "the Lilywhites"; the boys played games between themselves and friendly matches against other local clubs. The first recorded match took place on 30 September 1882 against a local team named the Radicals, which Hotspur lost 2–0; the team entered their first cup competition in the London Association Cup, won 5–2 in their first competitive match on 17 October 1885 against a company's works team called St Albans. The club's fixtures began to attract the interest of the local community and attendances at its home matches increased. In 1892, they played for the first time in the short-lived Southern Alliance; the club turned professional on 20 December 1895 and, in the summer of 1896, was admitted to Division One of the Southern League. On 2 March 1898, the club became a limited company, the Tottenham Hotspur Football and Athletic Company.
Soon after, Frank Brettell became the first manager of Spurs, he signed John Cameron, who took over as player-manager when Brettell left a year later. Cameron would have a significant impact on Spurs, helping the club win its first trophy, the Southern League title in the 1899-1900 season; the following year Spurs won the 1901 FA Cup by beating Sheffield United 3–1 in a replay of the final, after the first game ended in a 2-2 draw. In doing so they became the only non-League club to achieve the feat after the formation of The Football League in 1888. In 1908, the club was elected into the Football League Second Division and won promotion to the First Division in their first season, finished runners-up in their first year in the league. In 1912, Peter McWilliam became manager. Spurs were relegated to the Second Division on the resumption of league football after the war, but returned to the First Division as Second Division champions of the 1919–20 season. On 23 April 1921, McWilliam guided Spurs to their second FA Cup win, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–0 in the Cup Final.
Spurs finished second to Liverpool in the league in 1922, but would finish mid-table in the next five seasons. Spurs were relegated in the 1927–28 season after McWilliam left. For most of the 1930s and 40s, Spurs languished in the Second Division, apart from a brief return to the top flight in the 1933–34 and 1934–35 seasons. Former Spurs player Arthur Rowe became manager in 1949. Rowe developed a style of play, known as "push and run", that proved to be successful in his early years as manager, he took the team back to the First Division after finishing top of the Second Division in the 1949–50 season. In his second season in charge, Tottenham won their first top tier league championship title when they finished top of the First Division for the 1950–51 season. Rowe resigned in April 1955 due to a stress-induced illness from managing the club. Before he left, he signed one of Spurs' most celebrated players, Danny Blanchflower, who would win the FWA Footballer of the Year twice while at Tottenham.
Bill Nicholson took over as manager in October 1958. He would become the club's most successful manager, guiding the team to major trophy success three seasons in a row in the early 1960s: the Double in 1961, the FA Cup in 1962 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1963. Nicholson signed Dave Mackay and John White in 1959, two influential players of the Double-winning team, Jimmy Greaves in 19
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and to Stoke City in 1925 after Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status, they are the second-oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, were a founding member of the Football League in 1888. The team competes in the second tier of English football, their first, to date only, major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972, when the team beat Chelsea 2–1. The club's highest league finish in the top division is fourth, achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke played in the FA Cup Final in 2011, finishing runners-up to Manchester City and have reached three FA Cup semi-finals. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 in 1974–75 and most in 2011–12; the club has won the Football League Trophy twice, in 1992 and in 2000. Stoke's home ground is Bet365 Stadium.
Before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, their home ground since 1878. The club's nickname is'The Potters', named after the pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent and their traditional home kit is a red and white vertically striped shirt, white shorts and stockings. Stoke's traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers whilst their local rivals are Port Vale with whom they contest the Potteries derby. Stoke City F. C. was formed in 1863 under the name Stoke Ramblers, when pupils of Charterhouse School formed a football club while they were apprentices at the North Staffordshire Railway works in Stoke-upon-Trent. The club's first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the club's founder, was captain, scored the club's first goal. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground. In 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, became Stoke Football Club.
They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground, which soon became known as the Victoria Ground. It was around this time. In August 1885, the club turned professional. Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888; the club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions. In 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907. Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Secondary leagues; when football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league. The club became owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919.
This was followed by the construction of the Butler Street stand, which increased the overall capacity of the ground to 50,000. In 1925, Stoke-on-Trent was granted "city status" and this led the club to change its name to Stoke City F. C; the 1930s saw the debut of Stanley Matthews. Matthews, who grew up in Hanley, was an apprentice at the club and made his first appearance in March 1932, against Bury, at the age of 17. By end of the decade, Matthews had established himself as an England international and as one of the best footballers of his generation. Stoke achieved promotion from the Second Division in 1932–33 – as champions – however Matthews only featured in fifteen games in this season, he did however score his first goal for the club in a 3–1 win against local rivals Port Vale. By 1934, the club's average attendance had risen to over 23,000, which in turn allowed the club to give the manager Tom Mather increased transfer funds; the club was now considered one of the top teams in the country.
It was in this period that the club recorded its record league win, a 10–3 win over West Bromwich Albion in February 1937. In April of that year, the club achieved its record league crowd – 51,373 against Arsenal. Freddie Steele's 33 league goals in the 1936–37 season remains a club record. Following the resumption of the FA Cup after World War II, tragedy struck on 9 March 1946, as 33 fans died and 520 were injured during a 6th round tie away against Bolton Wanderers; this came known as the Burnden Park disaster. In 1946–47, Stoke mounted a serious title challenge; the club needed a win in their final game of the season to win the First Division title. However, a 2 -- 1 defeat to Sheffield United meant. Stanley Matthews left with 3 games remaining of the 1946–47 season, opting to join Blackpool at the age of 32. Stoke were relegated from the First Division in 1952–53. Former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Frank Taylor took over at the club looking to gain promotion back to the First Division.
However, after seven seasons in the Second Division without promotion, Taylor was sacked. Taylor vowed never to be associated with football again. Tony Waddington was appointed as the club's manager in June 1960, he joined the club in 1952 as a coach, before being promoted to assistant manager in 1957. Waddington pulled off a significant coup by enticing Stanley Matthe