A full comprehensive list of every Stoke City Chairman and Manager...
A full list of Stoke City Football Club Chairmen:
1885-87 - Mr A Fleming
1887-97 - Mr S Barker
1897-00 - Mr J T Fenton
1899-1908 - Mr W A Cowlishaw
1908-14 - Rev A E Hurst
1914-24 - Mr E B Reynish
1924-36 - Mr A J C Sherwin
1936-51 - Ald H Booth
1951-52 - Mr T A Preece
1952-53 - Mr E Henshall
1953-55 - Mr T L Duddell
1955-57 - Mr G W Taylor
1957-59 - Mr C T Salmon
1959-62 - Mr A A Henshall
1962-66 - Mr G W Taylor
1966-76 - Mr A A Henshall
1976-80 - Mr T Degg
1980-83 - Mr P Axon
1983-85 - Mr F Edwards
1985-86 - Mr S Clubb
1986-98 - Mr P Coates
1998-99 - Mr K A Humphreys
1999-2006 - Mr G T Gislason
2006-present - Mr P Coates
Longest Serving Manager (Games)
Tony Waddington (June 1960 - March 1977)
822 (league and all cup competitions)
Won 288 Drew 233, Lost 301
Longest Serving Manager (Years)
Bob McGrory (June 1935 - May 1952)
16 years, 11 months
Shortest Serving Manager
John Rutherford (March - April 1923)
1874-83 - Thomas Charles Slaney
1883-84 - Walter Cox
1884-90 - Harry Lockett
1890-92 - Joseph A. Bradshaw
1892-95 - Arthur Reeves
1895-97 - William Spencer Rowley
1897-1908 - Horace Denham Austerberry
1908-14 - Alfred J. Barker
1914-15 - Peter Hodge
1915-19 - Joseph Alfred Schofield
1919-23 - Arthur John Shallcross
1923 - John Rutherford
1923-35 - Thomas Mather
1935-52 - Robert Gerald McGrory
1952-60 - Frank Taylor
1960-77 - Anthony Waddington
1977-78 - George Edward Eastham, OBE
1978 - Alan A'Court (caretaker)
1978-81 - William Alan Durban
1981-83 - Ritchie Joseph Barker
1983-85 - William Asprey
1985-89 - Michael Dennis Mills, MBE
1989-91 - Alan James Ball, MBE
1991 - Graham Charles Paddon (caretaker)
1991-93 - Luigi Macari
1993 - Philip Desmond 'Chic' Bates (caretaker)
1993-94 - Joseph Jordan
1994 - Richard 'Asa' Hartford (caretaker)
1994-97 - Luigi Macari
1997-98 - Philip Desmond 'Chic' Bates
1998 - Christopher Kamara
1998 - William Alan Durban (caretaker)
1998-99 - Brian Little
1999 - Gary John Megson
1999-2002 - Gudjon Thordarson
2002 - Stephen John Cotterill
2002 - David Kevan (caretaker)
2002-05 - Anthony Richard Pulis
2005-06 - Jan 'Johan' Boskamp
2006-13 - Anthony Richard Pulis
2013-18 - Leslie Mark Hughes, OBE
2018 - Paul Lambert
2018-19 - Gary Rowett
2019-present - Nathan Jones
Thomas Slaney (August 1874 - May 1883)
Born: Stoke-on-Trent 1852; Died 1935
A former pupil of Stoke St Peter's School, Hanley, he played his first game for Stoke in 1871 and became the club's first-ever secretary/manager in the summer of 1874 until his resignation nine years later. A teacher, he played during his time in office and was club captain for seven years from 1875 before hanging up his boots to become a referee. A founder member of the Staffs FA, he became its first secretary.
Walter Cox (June 1883 - April 1884)
Born: Stoke-on-Trent 1849; Died 1925
Another ex-Stoke player who took over briefly after the departure of Thomas Slaney. His reign, however, lasted less than a year, although he had the distinction of being in charge for the first-ever FA Cup tie against Manchester (a 2-1 defeat) in the First Qualifying round in 1883/84.
Harry Lockett (April 1884 - August 1890)
Born: Stoke-on-Trent 1855; Died 1930
Led the club into the Football League in 1888 and was in charge when professionalism was introduced three years earlier, agreeing to pay the better players the inordinate sum of half-a-crown (13p) a week. Lockett represented the club at the landmark meeting in London in March 1888 when the formation of the League was discussed. He was at the forefront of its inception and became the League's first secretary at headquarters in Etruria. Lockett held both his League post and secretary/manager's job at Stoke initially, but eventually resigned from the club to concentrate on League administration.
Joseph Bradshaw (August 1890 - January 1892)
Born: Staffordshire 1860; Died 1933
Honours: Football Alliance Champions 1890/91
Took over from Harry Lockett after Stoke had failed to gain re-election to the League. Spent his first season in the Football Alliance and was in charge when the club was re-elected to the League a year later. Left half-way through 1891/92 with the team struggling.
Arthur Reeves (January 1892 - May 1895)
Born: unknown 1837; Died 1915
Took over from Joseph Bradshaw and kept Stoke off the bottom of Division One - by one place. Lifted the team to mid-table, and a best-ever League position of seventh, the next term. Reeves blended local talent with Scottish imports and the trick initially worked, but after a mighty struggle in 1894/95 he left at the end of the season.
William Rowley (May 1895 - August 1897)
Born: Hanley, 1865; Died 1939
Centre-forward turned goalkeeper who was a registered professional when he took over from Arthur Reeves, but reverted to amateurism afterwards. Made his debut for the club in 1886 and kept goal in the historic first-ever league game against West Bromwich Albion two years later. Then became secretary to Horace Austerberry and negotiated his own transfer to Leicester Fosse in August 1898, including his own signing-on fee. Suspended by the FA for twelve months, he later returned to Stoke as a postman and then became a local landlord before emigrating to America.
Horace Austerberry (September 1897 - May 1908)
Born: Hanley, 1868; Died 1946
Record: Managed 421, Won 149, Drew 89, Lost 183
The club's first long-serving manager, he was in charge for nearly 11 years, but they were rarely successful ones, culminating in relegation from Division One in 1907. Austerberry had the misfortune to be in charge at a time when finances were tight, although he was the first manager to lead the club into the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1899. Austerberry was an assistant schoolmaster to Thomas Slaney at St John's School, Hanley, and developed an interest in football after reporting on a Stoke game as a journalist - a profession he pursued after the club went bust in 1908 leaving him without a job. Part of the Austerberry family who later established estate agencies in the Potteries.
Alfred Barker (May 1908 - April 1914)
Born: Stoke, 1873; Died 1940
Record: Managed 256, Won 130, Drew 35, Lost 91
Honours: Southern League Division 2A Champions 1909/10, Southern League Division 2 A/B Play Off Winners 1909/10, Southern League Division 2 Runners Up 1910/11, Birmingham & District League Champions 1910/11
Succeeded Horace Austerberry after Stoke went into liquidation and resigned from the Football League. Barker was a member of the consortium who took over the club and formed Stoke FC (1908) Ltd and as such deserves to be remembered as one of the men who saved the sport in the area. After an initial bid to gain instant re-election failed, Barker piloted Stoke through campaigns in the Birmingham and District and Southern Leagues, prior to resigning in April 1914 after arguments over his role as part-time secretary.
Peter Hodge (June 1914 - April 1915)
Born: Dunfermline 1875; Died 1934
Record: Managed 30, Won 21, Drew 4, Lost 5
Honours: Southern League Division Two Champions 1914/15
Scot who was also a qualified referee and was head-hunted by Stoke as a replacement for Alfred Barker after success with Raith Rovers. Guided the club to the Southern League Second Division title and successful re-admission to the Football League, but his chance of management in the higher sphere vanished with the outbreak of World War One and the suspension of fixtures. Hodge returned to Scotland where he combined a job as a military recruiting officer with managing Raith. He never returned to the Potteries, instead becoming manager of Leicester Fosse in 1919 and later Manchester City, where he reputedly signed on Matt Busby as a trainee.
Joseph Schofield (April 1915 - February 1919)
Born: Hanley 1871; Died 1929
A talented outside-left capped three times by England and who made 230 appearances for the club, scoring 94 goals, before ill health forced him to retire at the age of 28. He took over from Peter Hodge after the outbreak of war. Schofield, one of the group who refloated the club after the 1908 liquidation, became a director and kept the club going in the wartime Lancashire Section primary tournament as Honorary Secretary. Later became secretary-manager at Port Vale.
Arthur Shallcross (February 1919 - March 1923)
Born: Leek 1876; Died 1950
Record: Managed 161, Won 59, Drew 23, Lost 69
Played for Leek before becoming a Football League referee in 1895. Took over at Stoke for the first season back in the League in 1919/20 and lifted the club back into Division One as Second Division runners-up three years later. Relegation the following season, though, led to him resigning and he never managed another League club.
John Rutherford (March 1923 - April 1923)
Born: Northumberland 1884: Died 1963
Record: Managed 11, Won 2, Drew 3, Lost 6
Brilliant winger who, after a career with Newcastle and Woolwich Arsenal, joined Stoke as player-manager at the tail-end of the 1922/23 season after the departure of Arthur Shallcross. Stayed just a few weeks before leaving in mysterious circumstances and resumed his career at Highbury
Tom Mather (October 1923 - June 1935)
Born: Chorley 1888; Died 1957
Record: Managed 525, Won 222, Drew 122, Lost 179
Honours: Division Three (North) Champions 1926/27, Division Two Champions 1932/33
Deserves his place among the list of great Stoke managers for a 12-year stint during which the club won two championships. Mather was assistant-secretary of both Manchester City and Bolton before taking charge at Burnden Park and then moving on to Southend. Mather had a bad start at Stoke - he became embroiled in a dispute with players over wages and the club was relegated to Division Three for the first time in 1926. Nevertheless he picked up the pieces, the Third Division (North) title was won within a year and the Second Division title followed in 1932. Mather easily kept Stoke in Division One for two seasons before leaving in 1935 to manage Newcastle United. Remembered as the manager who gave Stanley Matthews his debut and also oversaw the progress of the likes of Freddie Steele, Tommy Sale and Joe Johnson - home-grown talents who were to play a big part in the future. After World War Two Mather managed Leicester and Kilmarnock before returning to the Potteries to work for a catering company.
Bob McGrory (June 1935 - May 1952)
Born: Renfrew, Scotland, 1894; Died 1954
Record: Managed 460, Won 170, Drew 114, Lost 176
Honours: War League West Division Champions 1939/40
Joined Stoke as a player in 1921 after spells with Dumbarton and Burnley. Reputed to have disliked the Potteries at first sight, but nevertheless stayed for 31 years, making over 500 appearances and playing into his 40's. Reserve team boss from 1932 until he succeeded Thomas Mather. At the end of McGrory's first season in charge Stoke finished a highest-ever fourth in Division One and may well have been the first manager to land the club a League title but for the outbreak of World War Two. Stood down at the end of the 1951-52 season and ended his days in football as manager of Welsh side Merthyr Tydfil.
Frank Taylor (June 1952 - June 1960)
Born: Barnsley 1915; Died 1970
Record: Managed 362, Won 146, Drew 79, Lost 137
Ex-Wolves full-back who played in the 1939 FA Cup final before being forced to quit the game due to injury in 1944. Managed Scarborough and was assistant at Hull and Leeds before following Bob McGrory at the Victoria Ground in the summer of 1952 where, at 37, he was one of the youngest bosses in the League. A fitness fanatic he liked his players to train hard, but even so they were relegated from Division One at the end of his first season. Then spent seven seasons in Division Two with a team which sometimes threatened, but never delivered, promotion, costing him his job in 1960 when he was fired by new chairman Albert Henshall. Taylor, a wartime England international, subsequently quit football.
Tony Waddington (June 1960 - March 1977)
Born: Manchester 1924; Died 1994
Record: Managed 822, Won 288, Drew 233, Lost 301
Honours: Division Two Champions 1962/63, League Cup Winners 1971/72, Watney Cup Winners 1973
Any poll to find Stoke's greatest-ever manager would probably end in a landslide vote, and victory, for Tony Waddington. Promoted from assistant to take over from Frank Taylor, his initial job was to stop the rot and prevent relegation from Division Two. Within two years he had the club back in Division One, collecting the Second Division title in the club's Centenary season of 1962/63, after pulling off the master stroke of enticing Stanley Matthews back from Blackpool. Waddington then established Stoke in Division One, reached two FA Cup semi-finals, and won the League Cup, the club's first-ever major honour, in 1972. He had a knack for squeezing 'Indian Summer's' from players thought past their peak while at the same time getting the best out of home-grown youngsters. Under Waddington, the team built a reputation for playing exciting, entertaining football at times and signed the best goalkeeper in the world, Gordon Banks, in 1967, and paid a world record fee for a goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, in 1974. Waddington was an amateur with Manchester United before playing over 200 games for Crewe and would have made many more appearances but for a knee injury suffered while serving with the Royal Navy in World War Two. Left the club in 1977 after economics forced him to sell his best players and had a spell in charge of Crewe from 1979-81. Appointed an associate director of Stoke in 1993 - a position he retained until his death.
George Eastham OBE (February 1977 - January 1978)
Born: Blackpool 1936
Record: Managed 37, Won 9, Drew 12, Lost 16
An elegant midfielder who starred in the 1972 League Cup final, and scored the winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Chelsea, the former Newcastle United and Arsenal star was part of England's 1966 World Cup winning squad though was never used by Sir Alf Ramsey. Signed by Tony Waddington in August of that year he became assistant player-manager in 1972 and became only the club's fourth manager since 1935 when he took over in February 1977. Relegation at the end of that season followed and after failing to sustain a promotion bid the following season he was sacked mid-way through.
Alan A'Court (January 1978 - February 1978) - Caretaker
Born: Rainhill 1934; Died 2009
Record: Managed 1, Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 1
Briefly in charge following the departure of George Eastham until the appointment of Alan Durban. Former Liverpool outside-left also capped by England who joined Stoke in 1969 and was coach for eight years before becoming Eastham's assistant and then caretaker manager. Became assistant boss at Crewe after leaving the Victoria Ground prior to joining the sports staff at Staffordshire University.
Alan Durban (February 1978 - June 1981)
Born: Port Talbot, Wales, 1941
Record: Managed 143, Won 53, Drew 48, Lost 42
Honours: Division Two Third Place (Promoted) 1978/79
Arrived from Shrewsbury where he had quickly built a reputation as a bright young track-suited manager and a disciplinarian. His first task was to lift morale following an FA Cup defeat by non-league Blythe Spartans. Durban tasted success as a player under Brian Clough at Derby, where he landed a First Division championship medal, and was capped 27 times by Wales. Promotion followed in his second season at the Victoria Ground and Durban established the club in Division One for two seasons before quitting at the end of his contract to join Sunderland, Later managed Cardiff before quitting the game to run the Telford Indoor Tennis complex. Returned in 1994 as assistant boss at Derby and was back at Stoke in 1997 as Chic Bates' assistant (see later entry).
Richie Barker (June 1981 - December 1983)
Born: Derby 1939
Record: Managed 102, Won 31, Drew 23, Lost 48
Recommended as the successor to Alan Durban by Durban himself before he left for Roker Park. Barker had worked with his former boss at Shrewsbury and been assistant to John Barnwell at Wolves. Kept the club in Division One (18th) in his first season and improved to 13th the following term, when the team played some highly entertaining football prompted by the wing play of Neil Chamberlain and the midfield promptings of Sammy McIlroy and Mickey Thomas, all astute Barker signings. Things went wrong the following season after the introduction of a long-ball style of play and he left half-way through the 1983/84 season with 18 months of his contract still to run. Later managed Notts County and in Greece and Egypt before becoming assistant to Ron Atkinson at Sheffield Wednesday. Still involved as a scout. As a player Barker did the rounds in non-league before joining Derby as a 28-year-old, later playing for Notts County and Peterborough.
Bill Asprey (December 1983 - April 1985)
Born: Wolverhampton 1936
Record: Managed 64, Won 14, Drew 15, Lost 35
Served Stoke with distinction as a player but his managerial regime is remembered for less meritorious reasons. Initially worked miracles to avoid relegation in 1983/84 after a second-half of the season inspired by Asprey's capture of Alan Hudson from Arsenal. The following year, though, bottom place was accompanied by a record low points tally and Asprey left through ill health with little over a month of the campaign remaining. Made 341 appearances, scoring 26 goals, as a versatile star capable of playing defence, midfield or attack, in 13 years as a player, winning a Second Division championship medal in 1963. Later played for Port Vale before moving into coaching and management at Sheffield Wednesday, Coventry, Wolves, West Brom and a spell as Director of Coaching in Rhodesia. Returned to the Potteries as Richie Barker's assistant after coaching and managing Oxford United.
Tony Lacey (April 1985 - May 1985) - Caretaker
Born: Leek 1944
Record: Managed 8, Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 8
Took temporary charge at the tail-end of the 1984/85 season after Bill Asprey's departure while also youth team coach. Produced many fine young players for the club in that role, including the likes of Garth Crooks, Lee Chapman and Adrian Heath in the late 1970's and early 80's. Remained at the club in the youth coaching role he loved until the mid-1990's and joined Wolves' youth development programme. A combative defender/midfielder who played for Stoke, Port Vale, Rochdale and Stafford Rangers.
Mick Mills MBE (May 1985 - November 1989)
Born: Godalming 1949
Record: Managed 213, Won 72, Drew 63, Lost 78
Assigned with the task of revitalising the club in Division Two after the 1984/85 relegation, the former England captain, initially a player-manager, made a steady start, achieving 10th place at the end of his first term. Faced with economic stringency and falling attendances Mills had little money to work with but nevertheless made some useful signings, including future England full-back Lee Dixon, later sold to Arsenal, from Bury for a bargain £40,000. Mid-table for the next three seasons led to Mills being given £1m to spend on a promotion push in the summer of 1989, but instead the side struggled and he lost his job after a 6-0 defeat at Swindon. Mills had few contemporary peers as a player. He was capped 42 times by England, skippered the national side in the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain and made over 700 appearances for Ipswich, Southampton and Stoke.
Alan Ball MBE (November 1989 - February 1991)
Born: Farnworth 1945; Died 2007
Record: Managed 62, Won 17, Drew 21, Lost 24
Brought in by Mick Mills as coach/assistant two months before Mills lost his job and took over the reins with a brief to stave off relegation. He failed, and paid the price the following season when, after a reasonably promising start, the expected promotion push from Division Three petered out. Resigned after a 4-0 defeat at Wigan in the February after a colourful, though not always favourable, relationship with City fans. Ball was the second ex-England skipper in succession to manage the club. He will always be remembered as one of the 1966 World Cup winners after his heroic performance on the wing in the final against West Germany aged just 21. An illustrious playing career began at Blackpool and took in Everton, Arsenal, Southampton and stints in Canada and America. His second stint in management, with Portsmouth, was successful, but his experiences at Exeter, Southampton and Portsmouth (again) later on were mixed. Now retired from the game.
Graham Paddon (February 1991 - June 1991) - Caretaker
Born: Manchester 1950; Died 2007
Record: Managed 18, Won 6, Drew 3, Lost 9
Former Norwich and West Ham winger who came to Stoke as Alan Ball's assistant in December 1989 and had an extended run as caretaker boss after Ball's resignation. Fancied becoming the next manager, but instead wound up back at Portsmouth (where he had previously been second-in-command to Ball) as Jim Smith's right-hand man
Lou Macari (May 1991 - October 1993)
Born: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1949
Record: Managed 138, Won 69, Drew 38, Lost 31
Honours: Autoglass Trophy Winners 1991/92, Division Two Champions 1992/93
Charismatic Scot brought in to revitalise the club in the summer of 1991. Keen on fitness and demanding hard work from his players, Macari's approach was not always greeted with delight in the dressing room, but he did the job. A promotion near-miss in the play-offs at the end of his first season was offset by only the second-ever trip to Wembley and victory over Stockport in the Autoglass Trophy. The following term, after a sluggish start, the team romped to the Second Division title with a club record 93 points. Macari's signings were often astute. Defender Vince Overson, midfielders Steve Foley and Nigel Gleghorn and striker Mark Stein were all bought for small fees and all played key roles in the revival and success. Many fans felt Macari capable of taking the club into the Premiership, and he almost did - but not in his first spell. The call from Glasgow Celtic, the club where he began his career as a player before distinguished service with Manchester United, was too powerful for the former Scottish international midfielder-striker in the autumn of 1993 and he left to fulfil a boyhood dream, although as it turned out an ill-starred one, at Parkhead. Macari's first job in management was at Swindon, where he led them from the old Fourth to Second Divisions, followed by brief spells at West Ham and Birmingham.
Joe Jordan (November 1993 - September 1994)
Born: Carluke, Scotland, 1951
Record: Managed 40, Won 13, Drew 14, Lost 13
Had the near-impossible task of carrying on from where Lou Macari had left - a task made all the more difficult after star striker Mark Stein was sold to Chelsea for a club record fee at the time of £1.5m. Nevertheless, Jordan nearly pushed the club into the play-offs in 1993/94, a lack of goals ultimately telling against him. His reputation as a dour manager, forged at Heart of Midlothian, was one he struggled to shake off at the Victoria Ground and fans believed his tactics were often too defensive. Either way, a poor start to 1994/95 signalled the end of his brief term in charge, especially after Macari left Celtic in acrimonious circumstances that summer, and he departed in less than 12 months. Jordan had early managerial success with Bristol City and returned to Ashton Gate after leaving Stoke. His fearless reputation as a player tended to cloud the fact that he was also a very good one, winning a League championship medal with Leeds as well as representing Scotland in three World Cup finals during his 52 appearances for his country.
Asa Hartford (September 1994) - Caretaker
Born: Clydebank, Scotland, 1950
Record: Managed 4, Won 3, Drew 0, Lost 1
Joe Jordan's assistant was the 'buffer' before the popular return of Lou Macari, taking temporary charge as caretaker. Stayed at the club for a short spell after Macari's return before accepting a coaching job at Manchester City, where he remains. A great midfield player who clocked up over 700 appearances for West Brom, Man City, Nottingham Forest, Everton, Bolton, Stockport, Oldham and Shrewsbury - and capped 50 times by Scotland - despite an infamous hole in the heart scare which scuppered a move to Leeds in the early 1970's.
Lou Macari (October 1994 - May 1997)
Record: Managed 151, Won 55, Drew 47, Lost 49
Few managerial appointments aroused as much expectation among fans as the return of Lou Macari. His second spell was arguably even more successful than his first, considering he almost steered City into the Premiership while working to a tight budget. Defeat to Leicester City, eventually promoted, in the 1996 play-off semi-finals put paid to that and the Scot concluded his association with the club at the end of the following season, after a disappointing 12th place, for personal reasons. He left a legacy which compared more than favourably with the Mark Stein coup of his earlier reign. Striker Mike Sheron, who had been prised away from Norwich for £400,000, was sold to QPR for a new club record fee of £2.5m. Now works as a media pundit.
Chic Bates (July 1997 - January 1998)
Born: West Bromwich 1949
Record: Managed 33, Won 11, Drew 9, Lost 13
Former Lou Macari assistant at Swindon, Stoke, Celtic and then Stoke again who took over the hot seat in the summer of 1997 prior to the move to the Britannia Stadium. The former Shrewsbury and Swindon striker, who had enjoyed success as a manager with the Shrews, felt he had landed his dream job at the dawn of the Britannia era, but sadly the dream turned into his personal nightmare culminating in a 7-0 home defeat by Birmingham in January. That came towards the end of a slide which saw the team slip from the fringes of the play-off pack following a promising start to the edges of the relegation fight. Bates stepped aside although continued as a coach until the end of the season.
Chris Kamara (January 1998 - April 1998)
Born: Middlesbrough 1957
Record: Managed 14, Won 1, Drew 5, Lost 8
Former City favourite as a player who had a brief and extremely uncomfortable time as manager following his appointment in succession to Chic Bates midway through 1997/98. Relegation was a possibility when he started and a distinct probability when he left after just one win in 14 games. Kamara brought in a number of new players but was unable to turn the situation around despite his previously impressive managerial record at Bradford City, where he lifted the club into Division Two via the play-offs in quick time after he succeeded Lennie Lawrence. Now works as a commentator and pundit for Sky TV where he draws on his immense experience in the game as a player for 20 years with Portsmouth (twice), Swindon (twice), Brentford, Stoke, Leeds, Sheffield United and Luton. He made over 700 appearances and 71 of them for Stoke after being signed from Swindon for £27,500 in July 1988. Now a successful pundit and co-commentator with Sky Sports.
Alan Durban (April 1998 - May 1998) - Caretaker
Record: Managed 5, Won 2, Drew 0, Lost 3
The Welshman, who had been assistant to Chic Bates and a youth scout under Chris Kamara, found himself back in the hot seat for the first time since 1981 after Kamara was sacked five games from the end of the 1997/98 season. Durban's brief was to keep the club in Division One, but a defeat at Crewe on Easter Monday, Sunderland on the penultimate Saturday and then at home to Manchester City on the final day proved costly. Left the club that summer and now scouts.
Brian Little (June 1998 - June 1999)
Born: Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1953
Record: Managed 52, Won 23, Drew 7, Lost 22
Appointed in the summer of 1998 with a mandate to regain the club's First Division status at the very first attempt if possible, but at least within the bounds of his two-year contract. Little's arrival at the Britannia Stadium was considered a coup - five months earlier he had been manager of Premiership Aston Villa before quitting the job after three years in charge, during which time he took the club to the heights of the Premier League and into Europe. His previous managerial track record - success at Darlington and Leicester - was impressive and he began well enough with a blistering six straight league wins at the start of the season which saw City top of the table - a position held until mid-December. After that, though, Little - and his management team of Allan Evans and Tony McAndrew - were unable to maintain the momentum and the season ended disappointingly with 8th place not good enough to secure even a play-off spot. Little left in the summer citing personal reasons, halfway through his contract, and later agreed to take charge at West Brom, leaving before the end of the 1999/2000 season. Stints at Hull City and Tranmere Rovers followed before taking over at Wrexham in Autumn of 2007. As a player Little distinguished himself with Aston Villa for nine years before injury forced him to quit in 1980.
Gary Megson (July 1999 - November 1999)
Born: Manchester 1959
Record: Managed 22, Won 9, Drew 7, Lost 6
Combative former midfielder whose ten clubs included Nottingham Forest, Everton, Manchester City and two spells with Sheffield Wednesday before he moved into management with Norwich and Stockport. Arrived at the Britannia Stadium in succession to Brian Little in the late summer of 1999 but ultimately had little time to make a real impact and was destined for one of the briefest reigns in the club's history when he was replaced by Gudjon Thordarson four months later in the wake of the Icelandic takeover. Later took over at West Brom and Nottingham Forest before returning to the club in mid 2007 to help out Tony Pulis and the backroom. Took the Leicester City job before leaving the post less than a month in charge for Premiership Bolton Wanderers.
Gudjon Thordarson (November 1999 - May 2002)
Born: Akranes, Iceland, 1955
Record: Managed 154, Won 77, Drew 39, Lost 38
Honours: Auto Windscreens Shield Winners 1999/00, Division Two Play-Off Winners 2001/02
Created history by becoming City's first foreign manager after the Icelandic takeover of the club. The former coach of the Icelandic national side had a long - and successful - pedigree in management after a lengthy playing career in his home country. He won the Icelandic championship with KA Akureyri and followed that up by moving on to IA Akranes and winning the Second Division. Two league titles, including a league and cup double, later with Akranes he moved to KR Reykjavik and won the cup before a return to IA in 1996 and another league and cup double. He was appointed Icelandic national coach in 1997 and almost qualified the country for the Euro 2000 finals in a tough group which included Russia, Ukraine and world champions France. After taking over at the Britannia Stadium he guided the club into the promotion play-offs three seasons in succession after winning his first trophy outside of his native country when City collected the Auto Windscreens Shield at Wembley in April 2000 with a victory over Bristol City. A Second Division play-off final victory over Brentford in May 2002 finally secured promotion back to Division One and Thordarson left the club shortly after. Later managed Barnsley and Notts County before heading back home with IA Akranes.
Steve Cotterill (May 2002 - October 2002)
Born: Cheltenham 1964
Record: Managed 13, Won 3, Drew 5, Lost 5
Succeeded Gudjon Thordarson when he moved from Cheltenham in May 2002 to become, at 37, one of the club's youngest-ever managers. Unfortunately, his stay at the Britannia Stadium proved to be a short one when, in October of the same year, he accepted an offer to become assistant to new Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson. After a playing career which began in non-league with Cheltenham, Alvechurch and Burton Albion he joined the professional ranks at Wimbledon and then Bournemouth before being forced to retire early through injury. His first managerial post was in Ireland with Sligo Rovers before he returned to his home town club, guiding Cheltenham from the Dr Martens League into Nationwide Division Two in four years before joining City. Spent a six year spell with Burnley before resigning in November 2007.
Dave Kevan (October 2002) - Caretaker
Born: Northampton 1967
Record: Managed 4, Lost 4
Took over for a four-match spell as caretaker boss after Steve Cotterill's departure, he later reverted to his role as first-team coach. A former City player who won a Second Division championship medal in 1993, he rejoined the club as a youth coach in 1998 and was later appointed reserve and then Academy coach. Returned to his role as Academy coach prior to leaving the club in the summer of 2004 and was assistant boss at Burnley before taking up a similar role at Notts County.
Tony Pulis (November 2002 - June 2005)
Born: Newport, Wales, 1958
Record: Managed 131, Won 47, Drew 32, Lost 52
Honours: Coca-Cola Championship Manager of the Month February 2005
Appointed in November 2002 after two years out of the game following his departure from previous club Portsmouth. An experienced manager, he began initially at Bournemough and then had considerable success at Gillingham, rebuilding a struggling Third Division side and leading them into the Second Division play-offs. His next port of call was Bristol City, then Pompey so City, therefore, were his fifth managerial appointment. His first achievement at the Britannia Stadium was to successfully steer the club clear of relegation from Division One in 2003/03 and firmly established the club in the new Coca-Cola Championship before his departure in the summer of 2005.
Johan Boskamp (June 2005 - June 2006)
Born: Rotterdam, Holland, 1949
Record: Managed 51, Won 18, Drew 10, Lost 23
City's first-ever Dutch-born manager with a wealth of multi-national experience following a successful playing career on the continent spanning over eighteen years and including international caps for Holland. His managerial and coaching career began with Belgium outfit Lierse before stints with Racing Genk, where he was a Belgian Cup winner, Gent and Anderlecht. Under his guidance, Anderlecht scooped the Belgium title three years in succession in the 1990's and reached the latter stages of the European Cup before he left to coach Georgian side Dinamo Tbilisi. During his time at Tbilisi, Boskamp also took charge of the Georgian national side for part of their Euro 200 qualifying campaign and has also worked in the Middle East with Al Wasl of the United Arab Emirates and Dubai side Al Ahli as well as Kazma Sport, of Kuwait.
Tony Pulis (June 2006 - May 2013)
Record: Managed 333, Won 123, Drew 97, Lost 108
Combined: Managed 464, Won 170, Drew 129, Lost 165
Honours: Coca-Cola Championship Manager of the Month April 2007, February 2008, Coca-Cola Championship Runners-Up 2007/08, FA Cup Runners-Up 2010/11
Tony's second spell as City boss coincided with Peter Coates' takeover of the Club in the summer of 2006. The Welshman had spent seven months at Plymouth Argyle during his "year off" from the managerial reigns at the Britannia Stadium, and steered the Pilgrims away from the relegation zone to finish safely in mid-table. Following his return to the Potteries, Pulis was able to bring in high profile loan signings such as Lee Hendrie, Patrik Berger and Andy Griffin in the first season as the Potters narrowly missed out on a play-off position. After turning City from relegation certainties to potential play-off contenders during his previous spell with the Potters, he went down in the Club's history by clinching promotion to the Premier League for the first time ever in May 2008. From there, he went about defying the odds to keep Stoke City in the Premier League and continued to strengthen the squad. More interest was put into cup competitions as well with Pulis leading Stoke City to their first ever FA Cup Final in 2011 with a memorable cup run. Although the final earnt the Club a spot in the UEFA Europa League, the stand-out moment was the 5-0 demolition of Bolton Wanderers in the Semi Final.
Mark Hughes (May 2013 - January 2018)
Born: Ruabon, Wrexham, Wales, 1963
Record: Managed 200, Won 73, Drew 46, Lost 81
Mark Hughes accepted his fifth Premier League managerial role when he took charge of Stoke City in May 2013 – and his sixth in total.
The Welshman, who enjoyed a stellar playing career during which he won a host of the game’s top honours, took a rather unusual route into management by starting out as player-manager of his home nation Wales.
But it’s in the English game’s top flight in which he has made his mark as a manager, not least with the Potters who he guided to their first ever top 10 Premier League finish in his first season in charge at the bet365 Stadium.
He repeated the feat in two subsequent seasons and won a host of plaudits for the attractive brand of football his City side adopted.
In December 2016 he became the sixth man to take charge of 400 Premier League games, joining Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Harry Redknapp, David Moyes and Sam Allardyce to have achieved such a significant milestone.
Paul Lambert (January 2018 - May 2018)
Born: Glasgow, Scotland, 1969
Record: Managed 15, Won 2, Drew 7, Lost 6
Paul Lambert arrived at the bet365 Stadium in January 2018 tasked with the job of preserving Stoke City’s decade-long stay in the Premier League.
A vastly experienced manager, and former European Cup winner, had enjoyed a stellar spell with Norwich City earlier in his career, helping the Canaries to back-to-back promotions up to the top-flight.
After cementing Norwich in the Premier League he made the move to rivals Aston Villa, whereby despite a lack of investment, he managed to stave off the threat of relegation for three successive terms.
His departure from Villa Park paved the way for him to join Blackburn Rovers in November 2015, and his arrival coincided with a major upturn in fortunes as the Ewood Park outfit moved away from danger to secure a comfortable mid-table finish.
He opted against prolonging his stay in Lancashire at the end of the campaign however, but was soon back in work when struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers came calling for his services.
Lambert showcased his talents once more at Molineux, comfortably keeping the Midlands side afloat in the Championship and laying the foundations for Nuno Esperito Santo to come in and plot promotion to the top-flight.
After the Potters dispersed of Mark Hughes in January 2018, the former Scotland international was drafted in to try and maintain his impressive record of never being relegated, although he was ultimately unable to stave off the threat of relegation despite a vast improvement in performances.
Gary Rowett (May 2018 - January 2019)
Born: Bromsgrove, 1974
Record: Managed 29, Won 9, Drew 12, Lost 8
GARY ROWETT arrived at the bet365 Stadium with an outstanding managerial CV built at three clubs he also served with distinction as a player.
The 44-year-old cut his teeth in the world of management with Burton Albion in League Two before masterminding Birmingham’s Great Escape from Championship relegation.
On arrival at Stoke he was fresh from leading Derby to the Championship Play-Offs, although ultimately the Rams experienced intense disappointment.
Rowett, who signed a three-year contact with the Potters as successor to Paul Lambert, was handed the top job at Burton in 2012 after a spell as assistant manager to Paul Peschisolido.
In his first season in charge at the Pirelli Stadium he guided Albion to a fourth place finish in League Two and then took them to sixth the following season before joining Championship side Birmingham in October 2014.
The Blues were 21st in the table when he arrived but finished 10th although in December 2016 he was removed from his role at St Andrews following a change of ownership, despite the fact the side were seventh in the table at the time.
He was appointed manager of Derby in March of last year and in his first full season – the 2017/18 campaign – they finished sixth but earlier this month lost to Fulham in the Play-Off semi-finals.
As a player, Rowett launched his career as a talented right-back with Cambridge United after graduating from their youth ranks.
He made more than 60 league appearances for Cambridge and after a spell with Everton, during which time he went out on loan to Blackpool, his playing career really gathered pace with Derby, for whom he made more than 100 league appearances.
He spent three years at Pride Park and a further two at Birmingham and was also a key figure at both Leicester and Charlton before finishing his career with Burton, who were at that stage still awaiting their first taste of league football.
Nathan Jones (January 2019 - present)
Born: Blaenrhondda, Wales, 1973