The five funniest moments at Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium


There have been 22-and-a-half years of memories created at Stoke City’s home on the hill, the bet365 Stadium formerly known as the Brit.

There have been plenty of ups, more downs than we’d like and a whole load of moments that have left us in tears of laughter.

Where else, for example, would you see a blue hippo who rode a scooter being chased down the sideline by a bear with the head of a man?

Still with us? Well, here are the top five funniest moments at HQ.

Any other suggestions? Let us know via our Stoke City Facebook and Twitter accounts, or our new Stoke news and gossip group.

Gerry Taggart wrestles Dennis Wise

YOU don’t see this kind of thing in the Premier League.

Taggart and Wise made it pretty obvious they had scores to settle from their time together at Leicester when Stoke took on Millwall in October 2003.

There was a series of niggling little incidents before Taggart decided enough was enough.

What followed was like Muhammad Ali taking on Ronnie Corbett as the giant defender pinned Wise on the ground.

Referee Uriah Rennie was at close quarters but couldn’t help but laugh … before deciding he had better intervene in case there was a murder.

Taggart recalled in Jon Parkin’s Undr The Cosh podcast: “In the corridors of Leicester, I was one of the people who felt (a line could have been drawn under everything) if Wise had say sorry (to Callum Davidson). I didn’t want to see anyone sacked – but he had to own up, he had to own the situation and for whatever reason he didn’t.

“So there was probably a bit of that – but the main reason for what happened was that when the ball was going out for a goal-kick and I was shielding it, he’d seen an opportunity to do me, came down the back of me and scraped his studs all the way down my calf.

“Anyone will tell you, that doesn’t tickle. It’s not a sensation where you turn around and say, ‘Oooh, thanks very much.’

“So I thought, ‘Here we go, Mr Wise is at it again.’ It would have been easy to turn around and run after him but I thought, ‘Leave it, something will happen…’

“And probably the best thing for me that day was the referee. Me and Uriah Rennie used to meet, not by choice, just by chance, at Owlerton dog track. We’d see him on a Saturday night, or another time we took the girls out and went to the dogs then for a Chinese with Bertie Biggins (former Stoke striker Wayne Biggins).

“He was refereeing that day and I’d got talking to him and he was quite friendly.

Uriah Rennie looks on as Gerry Taggart gets to grips with Dennis Wise.

Stoke City's Gerry Taggart and Millwall's Dennis Wise get reacquainted at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke City’s Gerry Taggart and Millwall’s Dennis Wise get reacquainted at the Britannia Stadium.

Gerry Taggart, pictured getting to grips with Dennis Wise, showed the value of a Championship side bringing in a veteran centre-back. Stoke City might do likewise with Ashley Williams (inset).
Gerry Taggart, pictured getting to grips with Dennis Wise, showed the value of a Championship side bringing in a veteran centre-back.

“So the ball was getting cleared. I think it was a corner for us, they cleared it and it sort of dropped into that no man’s land between the half-way line and 18-yard box and Wisey is going towards the ball. I was like, ‘Bingo! This is it! Don’t waste this!’

“You’ve never seen a half-crippled centre-half run as quick in your life towards that little ****. I started motoring. And when you watch it I’ve done a karate kick, kung fu and I was in mid-air on his leg and took him out.

“He was on the floor and I grabbed him. He’d done me an hour earlier and he was having it. I got on top of it and was strangling him – and as I’m strangling him, he’s grabbing my ****s, squeezing – and I’ve just gone, ‘It doesn’t hurt Wisey.’

“Then everyone comes in and is grabbing me off and if you see the footage, I crawl out of it on all fours like a lost kid.

“Uriah comes up and calls me over. I’m thinking it’s a red card, no shadow of a doubt. I’ve got someone on the floor and strangled him. The tackle was a yellow card too. I was thinking, ‘Here’s another one to add to the list of goodness knows how many sending offs.’

“And as he’s dragging me over, all the melee is going off and he drags me into no man’s land, he starts winking at me as if to say, ‘Don’t worry, I’m not going to send you off.’ Then he says to me, ‘I’ve got to give you a card… but it’s only a yellow.’

“I’ve thought, ‘Cheers Uriah, next time I see you at the dogs, the first drink’s on me!’ It was probably two red cards! Top man Uriah.”

Heurelho Gomes is reduced to tears

Rory Delap was a phenomenon when Stoke were promoted to the Premier League, with pundits, players and fans dumbstruck at the devastation a simple throw-in could cause some of the highest-paid in world football.

Panic at its reputation caused Hull keeper Boaz Myhill to opt to kick the ball out for a corner while their sub Dean Windass tried antics on the touchline in hope of putting him off.

James Beattie once played to the fans in Delap’s absence by towelling the ball, winding up for a howitzer and flopping an effort short of the penalty area.

But no one else quite reacted by then-Spurs number one Gomes, who was so exhausted by missiles that tears started to roll down his cheeks.

Heurelho Gomes cries as he talks to Jonathan Woodgate, with referee Lee Mason looking on, as Stoke beat Tottenham in 2008.

Stoke fans do the Wenger

Arsene Wenger’s suggestion that Stoke resembled a rugby team was greeted with a rendition of Swing Low Sweet Chariot as his next visit to the Potteries ended in another defeat.

If he was going to try to belittle the Potters back in the safety of a North London press conference, Stoke fans were going to be pretty merciless when he was on their turf.

“He didn’t see that,” they sung when an Arsenal player committed a foul in front of the dug out.

“I bet he saw that,” they chirped when a Stoke player got away with one moments later.

It was making him madder and madder and he just couldn’t keep it in, throwing his arms in the air in public tantrum – then embodying Victor Meldrew when he turned around to see supporters were mocking his histrionics by doing the same.

Stoke fans enjoyed Arsene Wenger's visit to the Potteries rather more than the Arsenal manager
Stoke fans enjoyed Arsene Wenger’s visit to the Potteries rather more than the Arsenal manager

Ziv kicks his boot at the linesman

One moment of hilarious stupidity guaranteed Yoav Ziv fame in the Potteries far greater he could ever have expected for a career largely played out below the radar in Israel.

Stoke were stuffing a Maccabi Tel Aviv side which couldn’t handle the pace of Cameron Jerome when Ziv first stepped into the spotlight.

His theatrics when challenging for a header earned Jerome a second yellow card and early bath.

The Brit loves a pantomime villain and he was copping plenty of flack as the visitors looked like finding an unlikely way back into the match.

Could he handle the stick? Well, no.

He lost his mind and in the midst of challenging a decision, flicked his loose boot up in anger at the linesman.

Even ‘Ziv the div’ realised he had dropped a clanger and started a furious apology. It didn’t do him any good.

It probably doesn’t say in the rule book that you can’t kick a boot at an official but we don’t think it will happen again. Stoke went on to win 3-0.

Pottermus has a word for Liverpool fans.

Pottermus nicks Nuneaton mascot’s head

Pottermus is as old as the stadium itself, being unveiled on the day of that first league game against Swindon back in 1997.

And he turned out to be much-needed comic relief as the club hurtled into the third tier, riding down the side of the pitch on his mini-moped or tripping up his opposite number at Wolves.

The towering blue hippopotamus was sent off by a referee who was worried a linesman might mistake him for a defender and he came seventh in a player of the season vote.

But his crowing glory came in the FA Cup in 2000 when he stole the head of Nuneaton Borough’s unwitting Brewno the Bear as he cavorted in front of the away fans.

A mid-game chase ensued down the touchline with our hero chased by a bear with the head of a man.





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