Stoke City: Johann proudly flying flag for Potters' Icelandic fans
STOKE City's Icelandic revolution ended six years ago, but passion for the club in that country has not been extinguished.
The Potters' 1-0 victory over Fulham on Saturday was witnessed by Icelander Johann Skulason who proudly took his place among 26,000 other City fans at the Britannia.
He'd flown over to watch the game before toasting Stoke's victory in the White Lion in Penkhull.
I don't know if he was drinking a certain brand of lager, but if they made football weekends, they would be like this.
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The 47-year-old says interest in Stoke in his country is not what it was since the club's Icelandic owners sold the Potters back to Peter Coates in 2006.
However, don't even think of questioning Johann's commitment.
He said: "I've been a Stoke supporter since I was five or six, so a long time before the Icelandic consortium bought the club (in 1999).
"I became a supporter one day when I should have been playing football. The weather was so bad that our trainer instead kept us inside and showed us some old film of Stanley Matthews.
"I also followed Gordon Banks who was the best in the world. I used to pretend to be him, throwing myself in between bottles for goalposts."
The Icelandic dream of leading the club from the third tier of English football to the top flight never came to fruition.
Instead they sold the club back to Peter Coates in 2006 and he took City back into the Premier League two years later.
However, Johann hopes and believes that history will look kindly on the Icelandic contribution to the club.
After all, they took City over at a time of unrest and left them one league higher in the Championship.
He said: "When the club came on the market and the Icelandic consortium bought the club, I bought £350 of shares.
"But it wasn't about money, it was an emotional thing to buy shares in my favourite football team.
"I am very proud of the part the Icelandic consortium played in the club's history. Remember they took over when fans had an SOS (Save Our Stoke) campaign and the club had real problems and was having to sell its best players.
"The Icelandic owners came at a time when the club needed some fresh air.
"It's a part of the club's history and I don't think people should forget that.
"But I am pleased and proud to know that Stoke City is owned these days by a Stoke-on-Trent local lad and a lifelong supporter.
"The newspapers in Iceland are still following Stoke City a bit, but most of those supporters in my country who were following the club during the 'Icelandic era' have disappeared. I'll never disappear – Stoke City is a big part of my life."
Johann first saw the Potters against Darlington at the old Victoria Ground in 1992.
However, he admits he comes to the Potteries less often these days, mainly because now that Stoke are in the Premier League, all their games are shown live in Iceland.
His journey was rewarded with a deserved win as Stoke bossed the game for all but the opening and closing 10 minutes.
They had the chances to win the game by a greater distance but only needed the one goal, on 26 minutes when Peter Crouch set up Charlie Adam to score.
Crouch, who appears to have borrowed Brendan O'Callaghan's moustache for Movember, produced a back-post header of which Big Bren would have been proud.
As for Adam, the way the left-footed midfielder arrived in the area to fire home was most reminiscent of Nigel Gleghorn, who was supplied graft and craft in the 1992/93 Lou Macari promotion side from the third tier.
Let's not forget right-back Ryan Shotton, who had a large part in the goal with a peach of a cross.
A month ago, his most pressing engagement in club colours was opening some new allotments in Fenton.
However, injuries to full-backs Marc Wilson and Andy Wilkinson have given him a chance and he made the most of it by combining solid defending with some adventurous attacking runs and dangerous deliveries.
Mind you there wasn't a weak link in a Stoke side in an excellent team performance.
That was fitting reward for the Stoke faithful, at home and abroad.