STOKE CITY today launched their 150th anniversary search for the ‘Greatest XI’ . . . and asked one of the Club’s most loyal supporters to have the first shot at naming a team.
Mabel Smith, who has hardly missed a game since she began supporting the Potters back in 1949, was invited to select her greatest team from the legendary figures who have donned the famous red and white stripes since the Club was formed 150 years ago in 1863.
Supporters are being invited to name their ‘Greatest XI’ in a special poll which is being run over the next month ahead of the 150th anniversary match when City take on Tottenham Hotspur in the final home game of the 2012-13 Premier League season on Sunday 12th May.
It’s perhaps not surprising that Sir Stanley Matthews and Gordon Banks were among the names on Mabel’s team sheet, along with the current Potters captain Ryan Shawcross.
Her team was: Gordon Banks, Carl Hoefkens, Mike Pejic, Denis Smith, Ryan Shawcross, Sir Stanley Matthews, Alan Hudson, Terry Conroy, Jimmy Greenhoff, Peter Thorne, Mark Stein.
In announcing the supporters’ poll to pick the team, City’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes said: “This is a fantastic way to get people talking about the Club’s 150th anniversary.
“I am sure it will be a hot topic of conversation among our supporters over the next few weeks as they consider who should be in the side and who should be the manager.
“This landmark in our history is a time for reflection on some wonderful memories which have brought us to where we stand today and there have been some truly great players who have performed with distinction over the course of those 150 years.
“Many will choose players who they feel deserve to be in a Greatest XI; others will probably go for their own particular heroes. It’s certainly a fascinating debate.”
As well as selecting their greatest team, fans are also being asked to name the man who they consider should take charge of that side in the poll.
Supporters will have until Wednesday 1st May to submit their entries before the ‘Greatest XI’ will be unveiled at the Tottenham match eleven days later.
Two lucky entrants whose selection of the team and manager matches the ‘Greatest XI’ which emerges from your voting will win a special prize.
They will join the former players who are being invited back to the Club for the showpiece occasion as part of all the celebrations of 150 years on May 12th.
Those wishing to submit an entry to the ‘Greatest XI’ can do so by clicking HERE
There are a number of other ways that you can name your team, including via the Club’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts, using #GreatestXI.
Special ‘Greatest XI’ teamsheets will also available from the Britannia Stadium Superstore and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley where a 150th anniversary exhibition has been launched telling the story of the Club’s history.
Supporters can also send entries into the poll by post, addressing them to the Britannia Stadium clearly marked as their ‘Greatest XI’.