Stoke City: Potters skipper thanks local paper for their support
RYAN Shawcross paid tribute to The Sentinel for supporting Stoke City through the good times and the bad.
And as well as the club, we have also celebrated the personal successes he has achieved as a Stoke City player ... and stood by him when others have been lining up to criticise.
He said: "There have been a lot of good memories for us at Stoke, and it is The Sentinel that gets them out to the fans.
"The Sentinel have always been very good to us and very positive about us.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"We probably don't get as much praise as we could in the national Press and we also get stereotyped by them.
"But local papers seem to stick up for their teams and The Sentinel have been good for their team." Shawcross was welcomed to The Sentinel offices by editor-in-chief Mike Sassi.
The Stoke skipper spent more than an hour signing autographs and memorabilia, and meeting Potters fans who work at the newspapers' Etruria headquarters.
Shawcross was hoping to promote Stoke's 150th anniversary memory book, and Mr Sassi said: "Stoke City and The Sentinel are two of the oldest institutions in Stoke-on-Trent and it was great for the two of them to come together with Ryan's visit.
"Each have been going for a century-and-a-half, and I'm sure each will be going for another century-and-a-half.
"It has been great for us to celebrate Stoke City's recent successes because they represent everything good about our city.
"The club bring credit to our city and their four seasons in the Premier League have been good for them and for us as a newspaper.
"Ryan is obviously a nice fella and we are grateful that he took the time to come and meet us and meet supporters.
"He should have been with us for half-an-hour, but ended up staying for nearer an hour.
"He shows that the popular myth about Premier League footballers being out of touch with their community is certainly not the case where Stoke City and Ryan Shawcross are concerned."
Among those he met were graphic designer Dave Clowes, who said: "I think Ryan epitomises what Stoke are about. He's hard-working, he leads by example and everything he does is for the team.
"He doesn't seem interested in the celebrity side of being a footballer, he just wants to get on with his job on the pitch.
"I can see why he's been made the captain ... Tone and I obviously have a similar eye for a player!"
Jackie Procter, who is part of the Sentinel's Business Support team, added: "Ryan's partnership with Robert Huth has been absolutely fantastic for the last few seasons.
"It was great to meet him. He came across as being quite shy, but in a nice way.
"He seems to me to be a gentle giant and a really nice bloke."
Karen Simon, the Sentinel's compliance officer, said: "There was lots of excitement here when we heard Ryan was coming to The Sentinel.
"He's a very good player as well as a great role model."
Field sales executive Laura Bettaney got Shawcross to sign copies of The Sentinel's pull-out celebrating the club's anniversary.
"I didn't know he was coming until the morning of the visit," she explained, "so that's why I got him to sign those.
"It was certainly the highlight of my day, but I think there's a few jealous colleagues around me now."
MARTIN SPINKS and MICHAEL BAGGALEY