Stoke City: 'Mountford was a non-stop dynamo, a lion-hearted player'
STOKE City are 150 years old this year, and what better way to mark the occasion than by recalling their finest players?
Today, 65-year-old David Bostock, from Lichfield, selects his favourite City line-up from the players he has watched.
We'd love you to do the same. Tell us how long you have been following the Potters, name your best Stoke City team, plus manager, and explain your choices.
The best response will win a framed and signed poster of Stoke skipper Ryan Shawcross, plus a signed copy of a fabulous pictorial of the Potters entitled Stoke City: A Nostalgic Look at a Century Of The Club.
Email your selections to firstname.lastname@example.org
DAVID Bostock will celebrate the 60th anniversary of his very first Stoke City game this year.
The 65-year-old has fond memories of his Stoke 'debut' – even though his team lost 2-1 at home to Derby County on the final day of the 1952/53 season.
David has selected players from the 1960s through to the early 1980s, while a place on the substitutes' bench for Mark Stein pays tribute to the 1990s.
He goes for a traditional 4-4-2 with a team captained by Denis Smith and featuring a familiar knight of the realm.
GORDON BANKS (246 apps 1967-72)
The obvious choice to play in goal since he was just the best for club and for country.
CALVIN PALMER (196 apps 1963-68)
When he switched from half-back he was a revelation. Quick, sharp in the tackle and a good passer. His versatility would be an added bonus to any team, but he gets my vote at right-back.
DENIS SMITH (482 apps 1968-82)
He broke bones for the club, and that says it all. He couldn't half play, too. He would be my captain for this 11 because he was such a great leader from the heart of the defence.
KEN THOMSON (302 apps 1952-59)
I never saw Neil Franklin play (my Dad's favourite player), so I can't pick him, unfortunately.
I therefore go for Ken Thomson, just ahead of Ryan Shawcross. Thomson was a rock in the 1950s, excellent in the air and a rugged tackler. An ideal partner for Denis Smith.
MIKE PEJIC (336 apps 1969-77)
A choice between John McCue, Tony Allen and Mike Pejic for the left-back spot.
In the end I'll go for League Cup winner Mike Pejic for his extra speed and powerful shot from that left-hand side.
SIR STANLEY MATTHEWS (355 apps 1932-47 & 1961-65)
It has to be sir Stanley Matthews playing on the right of my team.
The influence he had on his return to Stoke City in the 1960s was massive, and in his heydey, of course, he was simply the best in the business.
ALAN HUDSON (162 apps 1974-76 & 1984-85)
Great vision, incredible stamina, and a wonderful controller of the game from the middle of midfield.
It was a crime he only won two caps for England because he was worth so many more.
FRANK MOUNTFORD (425 apps 1946-57)
Alongside Hudson I go for Frank Mountford just ahead of Frank Bowyer of the fearsome shot and wonderful long pass.
Mountford was a non-stop dynamo, a lion-hearted player who would be the defensive ball-winner in my dream team who could enable the flair players to really play.
No mean centre-back or full-back either, if needed.
HARRY OSCROFT (349 apps 1950-59)
He gets my vote on the left of midfield because he had a great left foot, he was very fast and he was also a reliable goalscorer for the club as well.
JOHN RITCHIE (343 apps 1963-66 & 1969-74)
Big John had the knack of scoring off any part of his anatomy if you gave him the chance in front of goal. A great bloke as well.
DENNIS VIOLLET (207 apps 1962-67)
A marvellous player and a deadly goalscorer who Stoke signed from Manchester United.
But it wasn't just up front that he shined because he was also one of the finest midfielders we ever had too.
PETER FOX (477 apps 1978-93)
So steady in goal. It's hard to recall him making any howlers, unlike other keepers I can recall down the years.
ERIC SKEELS (592 apps 1960-76)
He was Stoke City's Mr Reliable at the back. I remember Jimmy Greaves saying Eric was his most difficult opponent – and that's some praise.
He was so versatile and reliable that he played in every position for the team, bar goalkeeper. Skeels was the ideal man to have available.
JOHN McCUE (542 apps 1956-60)
Like Skeels, so versatile. He could play in either full-back position and he was always a fearsome tackler at the back.
FRANK BOWYER (436 apps (1948-60)
He had the hardest shot in football I have ever seen. He was also a wonderful passer of the ball and was a good goalscorer too.
TERRY CONROY (333 apps 1967-79)
Elusive, two-footed and a great dribbler... Terry was simply magic to watch when he was in full flight.
JIMMY GREENHOFF (338 apps 1969-76)
He was the best uncapped forward ever in my opinion. A wonderful striker of the ball and a marvellous volleyer. And don't forget he could also play in midfield.
MARK STEIN (134 apps 1991-93 & 1996-97)
So quick across the ground, he possessed great feet, had a powerful shot and he was always willing to shoot.
LOU MACARI (1991-1993 & 1994-1997)
He managed to get the best out of fairly average players, whereas Tony Waddington simply let the players get on with it.