Rochdale Association Football Club is a professional football club based in the town of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England. The club competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed "the Dale", the club was founded in 1907, moved to its current stadium, Spotland Stadium, in 1920 and was accepted into the Football League in 1921. Since the club has remained in the third and fourth tiers of English football. Rochdale's greatest achievement was reaching the League Cup final in 1961–62, finishing runners-up to Norwich City; the club attracts a small but loyal fanbase, with a hardcore following of around 3,000 home fans on average per match. Rochdale played 36 consecutive seasons in the Football League's bottom division from 1974 to 2010, the longest time any team has been in the bottom division of the League, with some derisively calling it "the Rochdale Division"; the club has the lowest average position of all the clubs which have existed continuously in the Football League since its expansion to four divisions in 1921–22 and since its expansion to 92 clubs in 1950–51.
Additionally, the club holds the distinction of having played the most seasons in the English Football League without either reaching the top two tiers or being relegated to the National League. The club reached the League Cup Final in 1962; this was the first time a club from the bottom league division had reached the final of a major competition – where they lost to Norwich City. During its history, the club has had three promotions and three relegations, with promotion coming in 1969 and 2010 and 2014 and relegation in 1959, 1974 and 2012; the 1959 relegation followed the 1958 restructuring which saw the combination of the two Third Division sections into the Third Division and Fourth Division. In the restructuring, Rochdale managed to secure a spot in the Third Division, but was relegated at the end of the season to the now lowest Fourth Division. Rochdale A. F. C. was formed in 1907. After World War I the Football League was expanded and the club unsuccessfully applied to join. In 1921 Rochdale was recommended to be included in the new Third Division North, played their first League game at home against Accrington Stanley on 27 August 1921, winning 6–3.
However, this first season ended with the club at the bottom of the League, having to reapply for membership. The club's first promotion came in 1969, earned by a team assembled by manager Bob Stokoe, though it was Stokoe's assistant, Len Richley who steered Rochdale to promotion after Stokoe moved to Carlisle United. In the early stages of the 1969–70 season, Rochdale topped the Third Division table, sparking hopes of a second successive promotion; the team's form declined around Christmas 1969, a failure to halt the team's decline led to the dismissal of Richley. He was succeeded by Dick Conner, who stabilised the club's form and steered them to a 9th-place finish; the following three seasons saw the club finish in the lower reaches of the Third Division table, narrowly avoiding relegation each time. The board viewed surviving in the Third Division as unacceptable and replaced Conner with Walter Joyce for the 1973–74 season; this move failed to pay off, Rochdale was relegated after a campaign in which they won only 2 of 46 league games.
The club was successful in their bid for re-election. Southport, which had finished one place above Rochdale, was demoted instead and replaced by Wigan Athletic. Rochdale finished bottom for a second time in 1979–80, but was again re-elected – by one vote over Altrincham. In 1989–90 the club reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time, but lost 1–0 to Crystal Palace. Steve Parkin was appointed as manager in 1998, a period in which the success of the club improved with the emergence of talented players such as Gary Jones, Clive Platt, Grant Holt and Kevin Townson. Parkin left to take over at Barnsley in November 2001 with Rochdale second in the Third Division; this gained him little popularity with the fans when he took Gary Jones with him. John Hollins was appointed as his successor and the club finished the season in 5th place, entering the promotion play-offs where they lost to Rushden & Diamonds in the semi-final; the club lost 3 -- 1 at Wolves. Hollins was replaced by Paul Simpson in 2002, Alan Buckley and sacked as manager in 2003.
Parkin returned to the club as manager, until being sacked in December 2006. Parkin's replacement, Keith Hill, appointed as caretaker manager, became arguably the club's most successful manager to date. Hill and his assistant manager David Flitcroft led Rochdale to a 5th-place finish in 2007–08, securing a play-off place. After beating Darlington 5–4 on penalties in the semi-final, Rochdale reached Wembley for the first time in their history. Despite taking the lead in the match, they lost the final 3–2 to Stockport County. In the 2008–09 season, Rochdale reached the League Two play-offs for the second consecutive season, finishing 6th in the table on 70 points. Season 2009–10 ended a 41-year wait for promotion with a win over Northampton Town as Rochdale secured the third automatic promotion spot. Rochdale continued their progression under Keith Hill, now with the club for 3 years, with a secured spot in League One in 2010–11. In 2010–11 Rochdale finished 9th in league one with 68 points, equalling their highest league finish since 1969–70.
On 1 June 2011 manager Keith Hill joined Championship club Barnsley. Former Manchester City apprentice and youth coach Steve Eyre was confirmed as Hill's replacement on 12 June 2011. Eyre's spell at Spotland did not last long, as h
Ford Green Brook
Ford Green Brook flows through Staffordshire and the outlying areas of Stoke-on-Trent, England. It is the first named tributary stream of the River Trent, is 6.2 miles long. Its source is on the flank of the gritstone edge on which the village is located; the brook flows south-east in a narrow valley, through Brindley Ford and into conurbation of Stoke-on-Trent. It passes through the site of the disused Chatterley Whitfield colliery, where it was once culverted, flows between Bradeley and Norton-in-the-moors to Ford Green; the brook flows to the east of Smallthorne, Sneyd Green where it passes beneath the Caldon Canal, joining the Trent near Milton, Staffordshire. The catchment, which lies between that of the Head of Trent to the north and east, that of the Scotia brook to the south and west, has an area of 15 square kilometres. Ford Green valley was at one time the location for heavy industry, with local collieries such as the Chatterley-Whitfield, supplying coal to the Ford Green ironworks.
In their place, a number of parks and wildlife sites have now been created linked together by a cycle route. These include the Chatterley-Whitfield heritage park, the Whitfield Valley nature reserve, Holden Lane pools. Banky Brook was the traditional name given to the stream, it was a popular place for local children to play in the past. A street in the nearby village of Bradeley is named Banky Brook Close. In August 1987, following intense rainfall, the brook overflowed and flooded the 16th century Ford Green Hall an historic house museum; the floods reached a depth of 4–5 feet within the house and antique furniture was seen floating through the lower rooms. The damage caused by the storm meant that the hall had to close for two years whilst it was renovated and repaired. Ford Green brook has been classed as having poor ecological quality under the Water Framework Directive; this is one of the lower bands in the five part framework scale, which ranges from high and moderate, through to poor and bad.
Despite the low ecological classification, sites along the brook support a variety of flora and fauna, including water voles, grass snakes, dragonflies. The Ford Green reed bed, at the lower end of Whitfield Valley nature reserve has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest; this is because substantial flocks of swallows Hirundo rustica congregate here before migrating for the winter
The EFL Cup known as the Carabao Cup for sponsorship reasons, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. Organised by the English Football League, it is open to any club within the top four levels of the English football league system – 92 clubs in total – comprising the top level Premier League, the three divisions of the English Football League's own league competition. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top-tier domestic football competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup, it concludes in February, long before the other two. It was introduced by the league as a response to the increasing popularity of European football, to exert power over the FA, it took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games. With the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup for the 2016–17 season.
The tournament is played with single leg ties throughout, except the semi-finals. The final is held at Wembley Stadium. Entrants are seeded in the early rounds, a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in rounds, to defer the entry of teams still involved in Europe. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one being the original. Winners qualify for European football, receiving a place in the UEFA Europa League; the current holders are Manchester City, who beat Chelsea 4–3 on penalties in the 2019 final to win their sixth League Cup. Although the League Cup is one of the four domestic trophies attainable by English league teams, it is perceived as being of lower prestige than the league championship or the FA Cup. League Cup winners receive £100,000 prize money with the runners-up receiving £50,000, considered insignificant to top-flight teams, compared to the £2 million prize money of the FA Cup, in turn eclipsed by the Premier League's television money and consequent participation in the Champions League.
Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition, making the opportunity for giant-killing of the larger clubs more likely. Many teams in the Premier League and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wenger's claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as "a pot worth winning"; the original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs, knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous. Hardaker proposed the competition as a way for the clubs to make up on lost revenue, due to a reduction in matches played, for when the league was to be re-organised; the re-organisation of the league was not forthcoming. The trophy was paid for by Football League President Joe Richards, proud of the competition and he had his own name engraved on it. Richards described the competition's formation as an'interim step' on the way to the league's re-organisation.
Richards' priority was the re-organisation of the leagues. Hardaker felt that the Football League needed to adapt to the times, as the English game was losing prestige, he felt that the Football League should take the lead in revitalising football in the nation: "It must be obvious to all of you that the time has come to do something, it is up to the Football League to give the lead. I hope the Press will not assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else... the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game."The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling. The league had lost one million spectators compared to the previous season, it was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high. The biggest disagreement was about. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights.
This opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter. The League Cup was introduced in the 1960–61 season as a mid-week floodlit tournament, to replace the Southern Professional Floodlit Cup; the League Cup was criticised by the better-endowed clubs. The Times' correspondent at the time felt; the Times published on 30 May 1960: "Where a drastic reduction is required in an attempt to raise quality, no doubt quantity and a further spread of mediocrity
Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders with Cheshire to the northwest and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, Shropshire to the west; the largest city in Staffordshire is Stoke-on-Trent, administered separately from the rest of the county as an independent unitary authority. Lichfield has city status, although this is a smaller cathedral city. Major towns include Stafford, Burton upon Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Tamworth. Smaller towns include Stone, Uttoxeter, Burntwood/Chasetown, Eccleshall and the large villages of Wombourne, Tutbury, Barton-under-Needwood and Abbots Bromley. Cannock Chase AONB is within the county as well as parts of the National Forest and the Peak District national park. Wolverhampton, West Bromwich and Smethwick are within the historic county boundaries of Staffordshire, but since 1974 have been part of the West Midlands county. Apart from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire is divided into the districts of Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Staffordshire, Staffordshire Moorlands, Tamworth.
Staffordshire was divided into five hundreds: Cuttlestone, Pirehill and Totmonslow. The historic boundaries of Staffordshire cover much of what is now the metropolitan county of West Midlands. An administrative county of Staffordshire was set up in 1889 under the Local Government Act 1888 covering the county except the county boroughs of Wolverhampton and West Bromwich in the south, Hanley in the north; the Act saw the towns of Tamworth and Burton upon Trent united in Staffordshire. In 1553 Queen Mary made Lichfield a county corporate, meaning it was administered separately from the rest of Staffordshire, it remained so until 1888. Handsworth and Perry Barr became part of the county borough of Birmingham in the early 20th century, thus associated with Warwickshire. Burton, in the east of the county, became a county borough in 1901, was followed by Smethwick, another town in the Black Country in 1907. In 1910 the six towns of the Staffordshire Potteries, including Hanley, became the single county borough of Stoke-on-Trent.
A significant boundary change occurred in 1926 when the east of Sedgley was transferred to Worcestershire to allow the construction of the new Priory Estate on land purchased by Dudley County Borough council. A major reorganisation in the Black Country in 1966, under the recommendation of the Local Government Commission for England led to the creation of an area of contiguous county boroughs; the County Borough of Warley was formed by the merger of the county borough of Smethwick and municipal borough of Rowley Regis with the Worcestershire borough of Oldbury: the resulting county borough was associated with Worcestershire. Meanwhile, the county borough of Dudley a detached part of Worcestershire and became associated with Staffordshire instead; this reorganisation led to the administrative county of Staffordshire having a thin protrusion passing between the county boroughs and Shropshire, to the west, to form a short border with Worcestershire. Under the Local Government Act 1972, on 1 April 1974 the county boroughs of the Black Country and the Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District of Staffordshire became, along with Birmingham and Coventry and other districts, a new metropolitan county of West Midlands.
County boroughs were abolished, with Stoke becoming a non-metropolitan district in Staffordshire, Burton forming an unparished area in the district of East Staffordshire. On 1 April 1997, under a recommendation of the Banham Commission, Stoke-on-Trent became a unitary authority independent of Staffordshire once more. In July 2009 the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold found in Britain was discovered in a field near Lichfield; the artefacts, known as The Staffordshire Hoard have tentatively been dated to the 7th or 8th centuries, placing the origin of the items in the time of the Kingdom of Mercia. This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of the non-metropolitan county of Staffordshire at current basic prices published by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British pounds sterling; some nationally and internationally known companies have their base in Staffordshire. They include the Britannia Building Society, based in Leek. JCB is based in Rocester near Uttoxeter and Bet365, based in Stoke-on-Trent.
The theme park Alton Towers is in the Staffordshire Moorlands and several of the world's largest pottery manufacturers are based in Stoke-on-Trent. Staffordshire has a comprehensive system with eight independent schools. Most secondary schools are from 11–16 or 18, but two in Staffordshire Moorlands and South Staffordshire are from 13–18. Resources are shared. There are two universities in the county, Keele University in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire University, which has campuses in Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Shrewsbury; the modern county of Staffordshire has three professional football clubs – Stoke City and Port Vale, both from Stoke-on-Trent, Burton Albion, who play in Burton upon Trent. Stoke City, one of the oldest professional football clubs in existence, were founded in 1863 and played at the Victoria Ground for 119 years from 1878 until their relocation to the Britannia Stadium in 1997, they were among the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888. By the late 1930s, they were establi
Stoke-on-Trent is a city and unitary authority area in Staffordshire, with an area of 36 square miles. Together with the neighbouring boroughs of Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire Moorlands, it is part of North Staffordshire. In 2016, the city had a population of 261,302. Stoke is polycentric, having been formed by the federation of six towns in 1910, it took its name from Stoke-upon-Trent where the main centre of government and the principal railway station in the district were located. Hanley is the primary commercial centre; the other four towns are Burslem, Tunstall and Fenton. Stoke-on-Trent is the home of the pottery industry in England and is known as the Potteries, with the local residents known as Potters. A industrial conurbation, it is now a centre for service industries and distribution centres; the name Stoke is taken from the town of Stoke-upon-Trent, the original ancient parish with other settlements being chapelries. Stoke derives from the Old English stoc, a word that at first meant little more than place, but which subsequently gained more specific – but divergent – connotations.
These variant meanings included dairy farm, secondary or dependent place or farm, summer pasture, crossing place, meeting place and place of worship. It is not known which of these was intended here, all are plausible; the most suggested interpretations derive from a crossing point on the Roman road that ran from present-day Derby to Chesterton or the early presence of a church, said to have been founded in 670 AD. Because Stoke was such a common name for a settlement, some kind of distinguishing affix was added in this case the name of the river; the motto of Stoke-on-Trent is Vis Unita Fortior which can be translated as: United Strength is Stronger, or Strength United is the More Powerful, or A United Force is Stronger. An early proposal for a federation took place in 1888, when an amendment was raised to the Local Government Bill which would have made the six towns into districts within a county of "Staffordshire Potteries", it was not until 1 April 1910. The county borough of Hanley, the municipal boroughs of Burslem and Stoke, together with the urban districts of Tunstall and Fenton now formed a single county borough of Stoke-on-Trent.
In 1919, the borough proposed to expand further and annex the neighbouring borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme and the Wolstanton United Urban District, both to the west of Stoke. This never took place, due to strong objections from Newcastle Corporation. A further attempt was made with the promotion of the Stoke-on-Trent Extension Bill. Wolstanton was instead added to Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1932. Although attempts to take Newcastle and Kidsgrove were never successful, the borough did expand in 1922, taking in Smallthorne Urban District and parts of other parishes from Stoke upon Trent Rural District; the borough was granted city status in 1925, with a Lord Mayor from 1928. When the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent applied for city status in 1925, citing its importance as the centre of the pottery industry, it was refused by the Home Office as it had fewer than 300,000 inhabitants; the decision was overturned, when a direct approach was made to King George V, who agreed that the borough ought to be a city.
The public announcement of the elevation to city status was made by the King during a visit to Stoke on 4 June 1925. The county borough was abolished in 1974, Stoke became a non-metropolitan district of Staffordshire, its status as a unitary authority was restored on 1 April 1997, although it remains part of the ceremonial county of Staffordshire. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region. Since the 17th century, the area has been exclusively known for its industrial-scale pottery manufacturing. Companies such as Royal Doulton, Dudson Ltd, Wedgwood and Baker & Co. were established and based there. The local abundance of coal and clay suitable for earthenware production led to the early development of the local pottery industry; the construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal enabled the import of china clay from Cornwall together with other materials and facilitated the production of creamware and bone china. Other production centres in Britain and worldwide had a considerable lead in the production of high quality wares.
Methodical and detailed research and experimentation, carried out over many years, nurtured the development of artistic talent throughout the local community and raised the profile of Staffordshire Potteries. This was spearheaded by one man, Josiah Wedgwood, who cut the first sod for the canal in 1766 and erected his Etruria Works that year. Wedgwood built upon the successes of earlier local potters such as his mentor Thomas Whieldon and along with scientists and engineers, raised the pottery business to a new level. Josiah Spode introduced bone china at Trent in 1796, Thomas Minton opened his manufactory. With the industry came a large number of notable 20th-century ceramic artists including Clarice Cliff, Susie Cooper, Charlotte Rhead, Frederick Hurten Rhead and Jabez Vodrey. North Staffordshire was a centre for coal mining; the first reports of coal mining in the area come from the 13th century. The Potteries Coalfield covers 100 square miles. Striking coal miners in the Hanley and Longton area ignited the nationwide 1842 General Strike and its associated Pottery Riots.
When coal mining was nationalised in 1947, about 20,000 men worke
Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE was an English footballer. Regarded as one of the greatest players of the British game, he is the only player to have been knighted while still playing football, as well as being the first winner of both the European Footballer of the Year and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year awards. Matthews' nicknames included "The Wizard of the Dribble" and "The Magician". Matthews kept fit enough to play at the top level. Matthews was the oldest player to play in England's top football division and the oldest player to represent the country, he was an inaugural inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 to honour his contribution to the English game. He spent 19 years with Stoke City, playing for the Potters from 1932 to 1947, again from 1961 to 1965, he helped Stoke to the Second Division title in 1932–33 and 1962–63. Between his two spells at Stoke he spent 14 years with Blackpool, after being on the losing side in the 1948 and 1951 FA Cup finals, he helped Blackpool to win the cup with a formidable personal performance in the "Matthews Final" of 1953.
Between 1934 and 1957 he won 54 caps for England, playing in the FIFA World Cup in 1950 and 1954, winning nine British Home Championship titles. Following an unsuccessful stint as Port Vale's general manager between 1965 and 1968, he travelled around the world, coaching enthusiastic amateurs; the most notable of his coaching experiences came in 1975 in South Africa, where in spite of the harsh apartheid laws of the time he established an all-black team in Soweto known as "Stan's Men". Stanley Matthews was born on 1 February 1915 in a terraced house in Seymour Street, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, he was the third of four sons born to Jack Matthews, a local boxer, known as the "Fighting Barber of Hanley". In the summer of 1921, Jack Matthews took six-year-old Stanley to the Victoria Ground, home of the local club Stoke City, for an open race for boys under the age of 14, with a staggered start according to age, his father placed a bet on his son winning, he did. Matthews attended Hanley's Wellington Road School, described himself as "in many respects a model pupil".
He said the kickabout games the children played helped to improve his dribbling, prepared the children for future life by giving them "a focus, a purpose, in many respects an escape". At home he spent "countless hours" practising dribbling around kitchen chairs he placed in his backyard. Though he would become indelibly associated with Stoke City, Matthews grew up supporting that club's local rivals Port Vale, his father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and become a boxer, but Stanley decided at the age of 13 that he wanted to be a footballer. After a rigorous training session that made Matthews vomit, his mother, stood firm and made Jack realise that his son, who had one more year at school, should follow his passion of football, his father conceded that should he be picked for England Schoolboys he could continue his footballing career. Matthews played for England Schoolboys against Wales in 1929, in front of around 20,000 spectators at Dean Court, Bournemouth. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion were all rumoured to be interested in Matthews in the wake of his appearance for England Schoolboys.
The Stoke City manager Tom Mather persuaded Matthews' father to allow Stanley to join his club's staff as an office boy on his 15th birthday for pay of £1 a week. Matthews played for Stoke's reserve team during the 1930 -- 31 season. After the game his father gave his usual realist assessment: "I've seen you play better and I've seen you play worse". Matthews played 22 reserve games in 1931–32, shunning the social scene to focus on improving his game. In one of these games, against Manchester City, he attempted to run at the left-back and take him on with a deft swerve as the defender committed himself to a challenge, rather than follow the accepted wisdom of the day, to first wait for the defender to run at the attacker – his new technique "worked a treat"; the national press were predicting a bright future for the teenager, though he could have joined any club in the country, he signed as a professional with Stoke on his 17th birthday. Paid the maximum wage of £5 a week, he was on the same wage as seasoned professionals before he kicked a ball.
Despite this his father insisted that Matthews save this money, only spend any winning bonus money he earned. He made his first team debut against Bury at Gigg Lane on 19 March 1932. After spending the 1932–33 pre-season training intensely by himself, Mather selected Matthews in 15 games, enough to earn him in a winners medal after Stoke were crowned Second Division champions, one point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur. On 4 March 1933 he scored his first senior goal in a 3–1 win over local rivals Port Vale at The Old Recreation Ground, he played 29 First Division games in 1933–34, as Stoke secured their top-flight status with a 12th-place finish. He continued to progress in the 1934–35 campaign, was selected by The Football League for an Inter-League game with the Irish League at The Oval, which finished 6–1 to the English, his England debut followed, so did a further game for the Football League against the Scottish League. Stok
The Victoria Ground was the home ground of Stoke City from 1878 until 1997, when the club relocated to the Britannia Stadium after 119 years. At the time of its demolition it was the oldest operational football league ground in the Football League; the Victoria Ground had been Stoke City's home since March 1878 and the first match was a friendly against Talke Rangers on 28 March 1878, Stoke won 1–0 before 2,500 spectators. The ground took its name from the nearby Victoria Hotel and was an oval shape, built to accommodate a running track and used by the local athletic club. There was an open grass bank at each end, a small but compact wooden stand on the east side capable of housing 1,000 people. Opposite this stand was another bank which could hold 4,000; the ground remained this way for 30 years during which time Stoke had become members of the Football League. Stoke suffered financial difficulties and dropped out of the league in 1908 and attendances varied during their time out. Stoke got back into the league in 1919 and the ground had now been improved considerably.
There were two good sized grandstands and an extra wooden one, situated opposite the main stand and could hold 1,000 supporters. The players changing rooms were set in the corner of the ground which included a stove so players could keep warm. Above the changing'hut' was the directors box, a rather primitive building but could hold around 12 people. During the early 1920s a new wooden main stand was erected alongside the'hut' and this could hold 2,000 fans. By 1930 Stoke had added'City' to their name and the Boothen End was terraced and covered, the ground lost its oval shape. 1935, when the likes of Stanley Matthews was beginning to draw in the crowds, the Butler Street Stand was built, giving seating to 5,000 people. In front of the seats was a small paddock, room for another 2,000 and it took the ground capacity to around the 45,000 mark. A record crowd of 51,380 packed into the Victoria Ground on 29 March 1937 to watch a First Division match against Arsenal. During World War II the Butler Street Stand was used as an army storage camp.
Floodlights were installed at the ground in 1956 and local rivals Port Vale marked the'official' switching on ceremony by playing Stoke in a friendly on 10 October 1956. In 1960 another new main stand was built and the dressing rooms were revamped. In the summer of 1963 concrete was laid on the paddock terracing and it was the Stoke players who helped lay it as part of a team bonding scheme. More improvements continued in the 1960s and the ground remained in a good condition until January 1976. Over the weekend of the 3/4 January 1976, with Stoke playing Tottenham Hotspur away in the FA Cup, winds of hurricane force battered the Stoke-on-Trent area and the Victoria Ground for around eight hours; the strong winds blew a section of the roof off the Butler Street Stand leaving only the west corner intact. Top priority was to put the roof back in order that the replay against Tottenham could take place on 7 January. However, on the day of the match as workmen were replacing timber supports and erecting scaffolding, some of the supports collapsed and a number of workers were injured, The match itself was cancelled on safety grounds.
Stoke had to play one home league match against Middlesbrough at Vale Park on 17 January and the Victoria Ground was reopened by 24 January in time for Stoke to play Tottenham in the cup. The final improvements to the ground were made during the 1980s with the Stanley Matthews suite being opened as well as a new club shop and offices. With the Taylor Report of January 1990 requiring all clubs in the top two division of English football have an all-seater stadium by August 1994, the club drew up plans to meet the requirements at the Victoria Ground, in spite of relegation to the Third Division in 1990, as the club was intent on re-establishing itself in the top two divisions -, achieved three years later. However, after a few years, Stoke chairman Peter Coates instead decided to move the club to a new location and so in 1997 Stoke left the Victoria Ground after 119 years for the new 28,000-seater Britannia Stadium at Trentham Lakes. "Victoria Ground, Stoke". Old Football Grounds. Archived from the original on 28 January 2010.
Aerial image of Stoke-on-Trent in 1927