‘It was like a war zone!’ – Stoke City fans recount worst away days featuring Chelsea, Leeds and being lost in Mansfield



There was a story not so long ago that worked out that Stoke City had the second-worst away record in the country over the past decade.

But most bad days on the road just make the good days all the better; that’s why you saw Stoke fans doing the conga at Barnsley in November.

Then there are the very bad days.

Some are just rotten and wet and some are plain scary.

Stoke supporters have been recounting their worst experiences on their travels on our Stoke City Facebook page.

Alan Brenton: Coming out at Leeds away, 1975 I think. They were rebuilding the stand and had left piles of broken hardcore in the road. We were sheltering behind a mounted policeman, when I heard a thud and he collapsed over the neck of his horse. It was like a war zone!

Rob Pritchard: Losing at Crewe midweek when I was working with several Crewe fans 15 minutes after the final whistle, absolutely horrible.

The strangest one was just a ‘normal’ march we were expected to lose away at Chelsea and we were winning one nil (Rory) until added time and we managed to lose 2-1.

The angriest I’ve ever been at a football match was Gillingham away when Rob Styles basically awarded the game to the Gills in the play-off second leg.

Ben Green: Birmingham 1 Stoke 1, 1992. The game was finished behind closed doors because of rioting after our late equaliser. The coach had its rear window smashed driving back through town. It was a bit cold on the way back up the m6.

Neil Allen: Gotta to be Wigan away lost 4-0. Alan Ball was manager and it belted down all day. No cover just a sodden grass bank behind one goal. Dreadful.

Dave Riley: Telford 2 Stoke 1 FAC Rd 1 Nov 91. We lost the game. Got back to the car and it had been done over. Drove home with no radio, no driver’s side window, cracked windscreen and smashed headlamps. The coppers said that where I’d parked it I was lucky I still had wheels.

Dave Taylor: Got to be Swansea away a few years ago when Stoke were in the Premier league and we lost 3-0 and they pipped us to eigth place felt like the longest journey back ever. I also think losing to Crawley away this season on pens in the cup was a terrible result as they were a terrible team.

Jim Windsor: Arsenal, December 2010. Battled through the snow on the motorway in horrible conditions, only for the game to be called off when we were about 10 miles away. Lost the rescheduled match 1-0.

Nigel Gibbs: Arsenal’s last minute equaliser at Hillsbrough in the semi-final, 1971. We were robbed of going to Wembley for FA Cup final.

Martin Smith: Leeds 1975 I think… Stoke lost in a dreadful game…On the way to Elland Road it rained, police were out of control aggressive with dogs and horses chasing us for a bit of sport and we had to dodge the half-enders being lobbed at us by Leeds fans…

Luckily, me and a mate cadged a lift back on one of the coaches at the ground rather than run gauntlet back to the station… others weren’t so lucky on the station platform some of the lads we went with got a proper kicking. Never went back to Elland Rd.

Adam McIntyre: Sheffield United early 2000s. The coach driver getting lost ending up for some reason in Mansfield and getting to Sheffield just after half time and we lost.

Ron Simpson: At Chelsea in 65. The shed was full of Millwall supporters by our sides, having to fight our way out. Somebody was shooting at us with an air rifle!

John Brunt: At Barnsley 1-3 Boxing Day, 1995. The infamous slippy-slidy Stoke who turned up with the wrong boots on an icy pitch.

Simon Matthews: Oxford away, ****ed it down , stood on their open end at the old Manor Ground and lost 4-0.

Rob Wilshaw: Walsall away mid week, lost three-nil, floodlight failure, sat directly behind a girder and delays home on the M6.

Steve Rowley: 1987/88 Oldham 5 v 1 on an artificial pitch comes to mind.

Trevor Bailey: Cardiff away 1979, no heating on train on the way and no hot food at the ground, bricks thrown at us walking back to the train and whilst waiting for the train to depart. At least we won.





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