1. With Stoke just two games away from possible automatic promotion do you think we will do it? Or can you see us making hard work off it and slipping up at Colchester
Well, Jason, it’s now just one game left. I thought we would beat Colchester but I didn’t think we’d make so much hard work of it. I was sat outside a sports bar in Brussels listening to the commentary on the game with a bunch of other Stokies and we were tense. We were all gutted when Hull scored their winner but Stoke could have done no more than win. Now we just have to get a draw at home to Leicester. Will we do it? Yes.
2. Which players have you enjoyed watching most in a Stoke shirt? Also who have been the worst signings we have made (I know this could potentially be a long list!) in either terms of value for money or failing to live up to expectations?
I go back a long way. The greatest player I’ve ever seen in the red and white was Alan Hudson. He was pure genius. Mathews of course but he was past his best when he returned. The list is endless.
I’ll just pick my top five.
1) Hudson. Pure genius.
2) Banks. After the great Lev Yashin, the best goalkeeper ever.
3) Denis Smith. Mr Stoke City himself. My favourite Stokie of all time.
4) Peter Hoekstra. His sublime skills made me gasp in admiration. His games against Reading are amongst the highlights of my sixty years supporting the club.
5) Jimmy Greenhoff. I just loved the guy. He was my own ‘Roy of the Rovers’. I actually shed tears when we sold him.
The worst players? Again, a top five.
1) Mick Kennedy. He was simply evil on the pitch. I felt ashamed that he ever donned our colours.
2) Pericard. I can play better than he can and I’m nigh on seventy.
3) Parkin. Not because he lacks skills but because he’s a disgrace to himself. He has talent but no balls. Any man who can’t apply himself to his profession isn’t worthy of anything.
4) Keith Scott. Fans get on about Mama but they really don’t know what a bad forward is. Keith Scott was the worst.
5) John Clark. It seemd that every time he cleared the ball out of defence, it ended up going out of the ground. His right leg was like the ‘Iron Man’s’, he would kick the ball at the boothen end and it would disappear over the Stoke End Stand. He had absolutely no control over the awesome power in his kicking foot.
3. What have been the highlights and lowlights for you whilst you have been supporting Stoke City and what was the first Stoke game you attended?
I can’t remember the first game I attended…it was too far back in the mists of time. It would have been towards the end of the 40’s. The greatest highlight for me was a personal one. It was winning promotion under Alan Durban. It was personal because that season was the first my son, Tony, attended with me and my old mate, Boothen Ender Bill, who has now, sadly, passed away.
The lowest point would be when we were relegated to the third division. A close second to that was the day Pulis was reappointed. I just don’t like the man at all even though he’s proved me wrong [or, hopefully, is about to] about his mangerial ability. I can’t help it….it’s just personal….a personality clash. That’s no more his fault than it is mine. Life’s like that.
4. Any recent music/books/films you would recommend?
Books? Not recently. My eyesight is failing and I have great difficulty reading nowadays. That’s a shame….I love reading. The last book I read in full apart from winger’s ‘She Stood There Laughing’ was Primo Levi’s ‘If This Is A Man’. A harrowing tale of one man’s survival in Auschwitz. Shortly after reading it, I visited Auschwitz. The horror of his story gave my visit more meaning. I’ve just written a novel. Whether it gets published or not is debatable. We’ll see.
Films? Life is Beautiful. Captain Correlli’s Mandolin. Goodfella’s. Pingu. Spongebob Squarepants. Pulp Fiction. Once Upon A Time In America. ET. Bambi.
Music? I love music but I can’t play a note, unlike my dad’s side of the family. They were excellent musicians. One was even a professor of music. At the moment, I’m listening to a Tony Bennet CD. Others I like are Streisand, Andre Bocelli, most Rock ‘n Roll, Paul Simon, Enya and Classical. I hate packaged stuff.
5. Message for the Stoke fans Just get behind the team. Nothing else matters.