Potters prepare to welcome first ever visitors to bet365 Stadium once more...
IT IS ALMOST 20 years to the day since Stoke City first stepped foot inside their newly developed home.
August 27, 1997 is hugely significant in the Club’s history books, for it is the date the Potters played their first ever fixture at their purpose-built all-seater stadium following their departure from the famous, and historic, Victoria Ground.
A momentous venue they called home for 119 years, City made the short two mile journey south, from Boothen Old Road, to their new home on Stanley Matthews Way.
The Britannia Stadium, as it was originally known, welcomed just under 13,000 supporters for its dress rehearsal on a warm summers evening - also in the League Cup - before its official unveiling against Swindon Town a few days later.
Coincidentally, tonight’s opponents Rochdale were our first ever visitors to the Stadium, so it is quite fitting to welcome the League One side back to our modern home just four days short of its 20-year anniversary.
The Potters, under the guidance of Chic Bates, had secured a convincing 3-1 win at Spotland back when the competition’s format held early round two-legged ties, before embarking on their debut fixture in ST4.
Although his departure in 2001 left supporters feeling somewhat sour, Graham Kavanagh will forever be etched in Club history having notched not only the last goal scored by a Stoke City player at the Victoria Ground, but for also being the first on the scoresheet at the Club’s current home.
The Republic of Ireland international fired his side ahead in the 85th minute, before Dale levelled right at the death through Alex Russell, although it proved nothing more than a consolation strike as Stoke sailed through to the next round of the competition 4-2 on aggregate.