Liam Lawrence, when put on the spot, admitted he had a tough job picking out his five hardest teammates at Stoke City.
Lawrence played in a team that didn’t take much nonsense and the calibre of player that didn’t even make the cut – Robert Huth and Jon Walters no less – kind of told the story.
In the end, he plumped for Abdoulaye Faye, Carl Dickinson, Ricardo Fuller, Andy Griffin and Rory Delap.
And there has been plenty of debate since among Stoke fans about who has been the hardest player to watch from the stands.
There are few who get regular mentions, including Maurice Setters, Eddie Clamp, Denis Smith and Mike Pejic.
These are fellas you would want on your side if you went down a dark alley.
Geoffrey Bentley: I’ve seen Setters and Clamp chase after the opponent’s winger the first time they got it. If they caught them everything was ok, if they didn’t the next time they kicked the winger over the stand, just to let them know they were there.
Years ago a poll was taken by a national paper. It asked every centre forward who was the hardest centre half (who didn’t they liked playing against), Smithy came out on top by a mile.
Andy Slee: Top two for me – Denis Smith and Robert Huth. Denis wins out for the era he played in.
Alex Gill: He was only with us a short while but Billy Whitehurst was as hard as nails…..a centre half’s nightmare.
Nick Damjanovic: Denis Smith, centre forwards were scared of him. Dennis Law never played against him as far as I am aware he was terrified of him.
Billy Brennan: Maurice Setters but defenders got away with a lot more in that era. If any one whacked Sir Stan, Maurice marked their card.
Mark Greensmith: I am surprised no one has mentioned Mike Doyle or Dave Watson. Both solid defenders that could dish it out when necessary.
John Corcoran: Eddie Clamp. He had a lovely heading action, trouble was he used to put it on the heads of the opposition.
Lester Bebbington: What about Mick Pejic? Always gave Mike Summerbee a right battle and took no prisoners.
Chris Welch: Loved Cranson and Vinny together.
Dave Underwood: Abdoulaye Faye – he was nails.
David Riley: Denis Smith laid his body on the line for Stoke
Paul Fisher: Denis Smith without any doubt he would have died for Stoke City
Ian Rigby: Remember Clampy and John Connelly at the Victoria Ground.
Derek Cartwright: This is a hard one, from the likes of Overson, Cranson, Blake and Gleghorn to Shawcross and Huth.
Col Galloway: Denis Smith and Alan Bloor nobody messed with those two.
Alan Joinson: Denis Smith. The first three rows of the paddocks had to wear shinpads when Denis played.
Bill Wood: The 11th commandment – thou shalt not pass Smith!
Dave Grocott: Maurice Setters by a mile.
Graham Buckton: Smithy by a country mile, when real hard men existed in football
Rob Pemberton: Smith, Bloor, Allen (Tony), Setters.
Geoffrey Bentley: Has to be the legend that is Denis Smith.
Darren Cole: Gerry Taggart – and Super James liked a tackle.
John Shaw: Probably Eddie Clamp.
David Wood: Maurice Setters or Eddie Clamp.
Mick Steele: Denis Smith, George Berry, Mike Doyle
Steven Tatton: Gerry Taggart – loved it when he did Marc Bircham.
Carol Millington: Smithy, Pejic, Huthy, Wilko, Shawcross, McClean.
Sam Shaw: Ricardo Fuller was handy.
John Davies: Maurice Setters.
Martin Sims: Smithy without doubt.
Stephen Betts: Mike Bernard.
Dave Warrilow: Overson
Ian Gregory: Calvin Palmer
Alan Sant: Maurice setters for mer
Kelvin Evans: Maurice Setters
Paul Hansbury: Smith and Pejic.
Malcolm Ellerton: Maurice setters
John Belville: Eddie Clamp.
Andrew Rushton: Wilko