If Stoke City find room for one more statue, this fella deserves to have legacy cast in bronze


This week is probably a bad time to start talking about statues.

Or, actually, maybe it’s the best time to talk about who really deserves a statue. Who is the kind of rare, unifying figure who deserves to have their legacy cast in bronze for decades to come?

And already, Stoke City have two of the best statues in football outside their stadium.

In one corner there is Gordon Banks holding the World Cup aloft while behind the Boothen End it’s the three ages of Sir Stanley Matthews dribbling in that wonderful flowing S shape. It is no coincidence that even opposition fans can always be spotted having photographs taken next to both before matches.

Stoke could leave it there. They don’t have to do anything else and they’ve already beaten virtually every other club in the world.

But hey, hypothetically, let’s be greedy.

There aren’t many people who can match Matthews or Banks for their impact on Stoke City, English and world football.

So who else could be put up on a pedestal?


Up near the top of any list of suggestions should be one Lou Macari, not just because he invigorated the club when it was at its lowest ebb, overseeing seasons and squads that are still remembered and revered by fans lucky enough to see them.

He took over a club which had just finished 14th in the third tier, bruised from relegation and the misfiring reign of Alan Ball – then turned them into a freight train, ultra fit and hard working, winning at Wembley in his first season and going up as champions in his second.

He was the master of the canny deal, from luring Mark Stein from Oxford United reserves to plucking Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin from the circus.

He returned from a brief time away from Celtic to take the club to the cusp of the Premier League.

He galvanised a team fronted by prolific Mike Sheron – brought in from Norwich reserves as a swap for the, ahem, ineffective Keith Scott – to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Yet he also became and is still a force for good for the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

He works tirelessly for the community with limitless generosity and patience, lending more than just his name to the Macari Centre, which he set up for the Potteries’ most vulnerable people in 2016.


In April he donated £25,000 through the Macari Foundation which he founded to the Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank.

He said: “These are unprecedented times and foodbanks are struggling to keep up with demand. It’s no secret that Stoke-on-Trent has problems with poverty and we have to make sure no-one goes hungry.

“It looks like we won’t be returning to normality for some time and we should all be in this together. If we can afford to do it then organisations similar to ourselves should also be willing to put their hands in their pockets. There has never been a more urgent time to make sure our foodbanks are overflowing.”

So how about it?

When the time is right, a statue for Macari, perhaps sitting in a dug out so you can pose next to him for a photo – with optional chicken suit.





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