Michael Baggaley: Ryder Cup heroics have all been seen before in the Potteries
October 7, 1967 WEST HAM 3, STOKE CITY 4
STOKE were down and out, dead and buried – pick your cliché.
In fact they were 3-0 down by half-time thanks to two goals from Geoff Hurst and one from his fellow 1966 World Cup-winner Martin Peters.
The Hammers also had World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore in their line-up, along with a young fella called Harry Redknapp who would go on to have a decent career in management.
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To make matters worse, Stoke's defensive rock Alan Bloor had to go off with a pulled muscle, and was replaced by a young Mike Bernard, City's only substitute.
Then Stoke started to play – and scored four goals in a crazy 10-minute spell.
Harry Burrows pulled one back on 63 minutes before Peter Dobing, Burrows again and then Dobing for a second time turned the match on its head. The Foreign Secretary of the time, George Brown, a West Ham fan, went on to the Stoke coach after the game to congratulate Tony Waddington and his players.
Sadly, union disputes prevented ITV from showing the match on their Sunday "World of Soccer" show on their Midlands transmission.
In other news, Stoke had lodged a £60,000 bid for Bolton's Francis Lee, but were beaten to his signature by Manchester City. The rest, as they say, is history.
January 27, 1996 EVERTON 2, PORT VALE 2
YOU are not supposed to go to the home of the FA Cup-holders and come from behind. Vale did it twice.
When Martin Foyle headed home on 59 minutes to cancel out Daniel Amokachi's 40th-minure opener, some Vale fans dared to dream.
But surely it was all over, on 88 minutes, when Paul Musselwhite spilled a routine cross to gift Duncan Ferguson what seemed like the winner.
So, 2-1 down only seconds on the clock and still reeling from the body blow of a second goal.
It should have been game over, but no-one had told Ian Bogie who, on 90 minutes, let fly with a 25-yard strike which took a deflection past Neville Southall.
"I got crushed in the celebrations so I'll be in the physio's room on Monday," said Bogie after being mobbed by team-mates in front of 5,000 delirious Vale fans.
Just to show their performance was no fluke, John Rudge's side then knocked The Toffees out 2-1 in the replay at Vale Park.
December 20, 1975 PORT VALE 4, GRIMSBY 3
OH dear. Vale were 3-0 down after 53 minutes and the fans who had skipped the game to do their Christmas shopping appeared to have made the right decision.
But wait. David Harris pulled a goal back on 59 minutes and, when Terry Lees headed home three minutes later, it was game on.
Mick Cullerton scored on 66 minutes before netting again three minutes later to complete an amazing recovery of four goals in 10 minutes. Just 2,789 saw it, but no-one there will ever forget it.
"It was so good, I didn't want the game to end," said Vale boss Roy Sproson.
"When the lads knew there was only a minute to go, they were quite sick."
February 23, 1974 STOKE 3, LEEDS 2
THE mighty and, let's face it, dirty Leeds came to Stoke on a 29-game unbeaten run. It surely wasn't going to end at the Victoria Ground was it?
Apparently not. When Billy Bremner and Allan Clarke put Leeds 2-0 up inside 17 minutes, Stoke's chances were between slim and none. In fact, in the words of Don King, slim had just left town.
Never fear. Micky Pejic curled home a 27th-minute free-kick and Alan Hudson scored his first goal for Stoke eight minutes later.
Don Revie's side were on the ropes and Stoke duly completed a magnificent comeback thanks to Denis Smith's diving header at the back post on 68 minutes in front of 39,958 fans.
Leeds didn't give up lightly. John Mahoney and John Ritchie finished the game with their swollen ankles strapped up and, at one point Jimmy Robertson had to be restrained by a linesman after he was clattered by Clarke.
But Stoke were no delicate flowers. A few weeks after this game, Leeds' Norman Hunter was named as the first PFA footballer of the year.
When asked about his hard-man image, he said he was nowhere near as tough as Denis Smith.
He said: "Denis Smith is the hardest defender in the game today. People say I am hard, but I don't class myself with him. The way he goes into some situations, you'd think he was made of steel."
November 6, 1982 ROCHDALE 3, PORT VALE 3
THE Valiants were heading for their heaviest defeat of the season, getting stuffed 3-0 and being so outplayed that Geoff Hunter's 61st-minute strike seemed a mere consolation.
But Ernie Moss struck twice in the last seven minutes, the latter goal sparking a pitch invasion by jubilant and still slightly disbelieving Vale fans.
They were even more disbelieving when they got back to the Potteries to pick up The Sentinel's last edition.
The headline read "Heavy Defeat For Port Vale".
Production schedules proved fatal once the headline writer had committed himself at 4.20pm. Cue red-faces all round at Sentinel HQ.