The Stoke City ‘Who are You?’: a certain swagger

This week’s “Who are You?” is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Foster (pictured), whose books on supporting Stoke City –
She Stood There Laughing and And She Laughed No More** – are seen by many as being among the finest written about football. Tragically, having been the subject of one “Who Are You?” interview and offered to make it an annual event as long as our clubs remained in the same division, he died in June, aged just 48. RIP Stephen.

Richard Hulme* was one of the Stoke City supporters who left comments here after we published a tribute to Stephen. The son of a man who nearly played for City, he readily agreed to try to fill Stephen’s giant-sized boots – and has done a grand job. It is a long read, displaying all the new-found swagger of the Stoke fan, but well worth the effort ahead of a night when we must hope Dynamo Kiev leave his team too shattered to threaten at the SoL on Sunday …

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Stoke Soapbox: blinded by the truth


In common with most parts of the media, and an overwhelming majority of neutral onlookers other blinkered SAFC supporters, Salut! Sunderland may have gained or given the impression that Stoke’s tactics on Saturday were not only ugly but bordered on thuggery of a kind that Mr Lee Probert ought to have noticed and punished. It has now been drawn to our attention that far from being a bunch of ruffians whose priority is to crowd, obstruct, push and restrain the opposing goalkeeper at set pieces, they are standard-bearers for football’s Corinthian spirit and the aesthetic joys of the sport at its best. Sunderland fans, in particular, reek of sour grapes and are just jealous because Rory Delap never put in a menacing long throw in his time at their club. We therefore apologise unreservedly to Mr Tony Pulis and the players, staff and supporters of Stoke City.

Now let Pete Sixsmith embrace the mood of contrition …

Read moreStoke Soapbox: blinded by the truth

Who are you? We’re Stoke City


Sunderland fans take heart. Since we lost at Stoke – and many, many other places since – Simon Northwood, a City fan also known as Northy* of the Rip Roaring Potters website and lead singer of Sounds of an Asylum, has altered his view of where his club will finish (132th instead of 12th) but still thinks we’ll be 11th. Sorry, pal, but we’ll need to do better than draw with you (your prediction) on Monday if that is still on the cards …

Salut! Sunderland:
You’re having another decent season, better – as I write – than ours. Explain!

It’s funny because there has been plenty of discontent throughout the support regarding the way we have been going at things but as usual Pulis and the lads are doing the business and the table doesn’t lie. I think there is plenty more to come from these boys so I expect a decent run in as well.

Read moreWho are you? We’re Stoke City