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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888


Stoke were founder members of the Football League but of the eleven members who survive as league clubs to this day they are the least successful and the only one, aside from the defunct Accrington, to have lost their league status. Stoke failed to gain re-election in 1890 after two disastrous seasons and, having got back in, they were forced to resign for financial reasons in 1908. They once again made it back into the league in 1920 but have spent as much time outside the elite than as part of it, rejoining the top flight in 2008. Their best team was perhaps the side of the early seventies, which won the club's only major honour, the League cup in 1972. That team reached two F A cup semi finals but an appearance in the final continues to elude the Potters. Instead their name most often appears in histories of the competition in the context of their disastrous defeat by Blyth Spartans in the competition in 1978.

Magic Moments


3-0 vs Preston North End

First round: 17th January 1891

Scorers: Louis Balham, Peter Coupar, Turner

Ranked at the time: 1

Today: outside the top 100


3-0 vs Aston Villa

Second round: 31st January 1891

Scorers: Louis Balham 2, Peter Coupar

Ranked at the time: 4

Today: outside the top 600


4-2 vs Bolton Wanderers

Fourth round: Saturday January 28th 1928


Scorers: Bobby Archibald, Harry Davies, Charlie Wilson {2}

{image left: Bob McGrory leads The Potters out for their quarter final at Highbury. Courtesy Arsenal Archive}

Ranked at the time: 154

Team: 1:Bob Dixon, 2:Bob McGrory, 3:Billy Spencer, 4:?, 5:Tom Williamson, 6:Harry Sellars, 7:Ernie Cull, 8:Walter Bussey, 9:Charlie Wilson, 10:Harry Davies, 11:Bobby Archibald


2-1 vs Sunderland

Fourth round second replay: Monday February 1st 1932

Maine Road, Manchester

Attendance: 7,470

Scorers: Joe Mawson, Harry Ware

Team: 1:Norman Lewis, 2:Bob McGrory, 3:Arthur Beachill, 4:Harry Sellars, 5:William Robertson, 6:Arthur Turner, 7:Robert Liddle, 8:Tommy Sale, 9:Harry Ware, 10: Joe Mawson, 11:? [Manager: George Mather}