'I'm not sure we'll see a player quite like Ricardo Fuller again'
STOKE City are 150 years old this year, and what better way to mark the occasion than by recalling their finest players?
Today, 29-year-old Boothen End season-ticket holder Tom Beech, from Biddulph, selects his favourite City line-up from the players he has watched.
We'd love our readers to do the same. Tell us how long you have been following the Potters, name your best Stoke City team 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.
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Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
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TOM Beech didn't have the best start to life as a Stoke fan.
He began watching the Potters regularly in 1997/98, the season they were relegated to the third tier of English football.
He wasn't put off and has watched their fightback all the way to the top flight, while collecting a few heroes along the way.
He said: "I've really enjoyed picking this squad. Rather than just going for the best players, I've gone for my favourite players as well."
ASMIR BEGOVIC (88 apps 2010-present)
Tough call this one. Steve Simonsen was a player I liked a lot, and played a big part in the promotion season, but Asmir Begovic just edges him out.
A hugely talented keeper with excellent shot-stopping skills. He's deservedly caught the eye of some of the top teams in the league. I just hope we can keep hold of him.
ANDY GRIFFIN (139 apps 1996-98, 2006-07 & 2008-10)
One of my first boyhood favourites. He was a top defender with the ability to get forward and overlap his winger.
I was gutted to see him leave for Newcastle in 1998, so it was great to see him return. Remember 'that goal' against Coventry in the fog? Absolute screamer!
LARUS SIGURDSSON (229 apps 1994-99)
Mr Reliable, an absolute rock at the heart of the defence. A fans' favourite who rarely made a mistake.
RYAN SHAWCROSS (224 apps 2007-present)
Probably the easiest choice of the lot. An England international who leads by example.
He has forged an immense barrier at the heart of defence with Robert Huth.
He scored some crucial goals in the promotion season and has been an integral part in cementing our place in the top tier.
He's already racked up more than 200 appearances for the club and is still only 25.
Here's hoping for another 200-plus, with a fair few England caps to boot.
ANDY WILKINSON (173 apps 2001-present)
A local lad who wears his heart on his sleeve. Another who played a massive part in our promotion season.
Some questioned whether he had what it took to step up to Premier League standard, but he has proved them all wrong, playing over 100 games for us in the toughest league in the world.
He's still keeping the art form of tackling well and truly alive!
LIAM LAWRENCE (125 apps 2006-10)
He and Ricardo Fuller were key players in our promotion season.
Lawrence's contribution was invaluable, scoring 14 goals from midfield, with about the same number of assists too.
He went on to score our first Premier League goal at The Brit, plus the winning goals in the vital victories against both Blackburn Rovers and Hull City.
RORY DELAP, below (208 apps 2006-present)
The perfect professional, what a contrast to all the egos and prima donnas in the game.
Outsiders would have you believe he is just a long-throw specialist, but he was much more than that.
His days at the club appear numbered now, but he is another who played a massive part in getting us to where we are today.
STEVEN NZONZI (22 apps 2012-present)
I know he hasn't been here long, but I've never seen a Stoke City midfield player quite as cool and composed in possession as him.
It's great to see a player that can dictate the tempo. He may have only been here for a short amount of time, but is a firm fans' favourite already.
PETER HOEKSTRA (88 apps 2001-04)
It was a shock when the Dutch star signed for us while we were in the third tier.
Despite his injury problems he still played almost 100 times for the club.
I've never seen a player strike a ball as sweetly as he did. Some of his tricks, and many of his goals, were worth the entrance fee alone.
PETER THORNE (189 apps 1997-2001)
My first Stoke City hero. We didn't have much to celebrate when I started watching the Potters, but Thorney was the bright spot from that era.
A goalscorer who also gave everything for the cause.
You'd often see him chasing and hassling defenders, never giving them a second's peace.
He averaged almost 20 goals a season over a four-year period, the highlight being the 1999/2000 season when he scored 30 goals in all competitions.
RICARDO FULLER (208 apps 2006-12)
The archetypal enigmatic genius. You never quite knew what to expect from Ric. Sometimes he'd do nothing for 80 minutes and then spring into life and win us games single-handedly.
Whenever he had the ball at his feet you were on the edge of your seat.
It didn't matter how unlikely a position he was in, he could've been 80 yards out, back to goal with five opposition players in his way; you just knew he could do something special, and he often did.
I'm not sure we'll ever see a player quite like him again.
STEVE SIMONSEN (187 apps 2004-10)
A reliable keeper who more than played his part during the promotion campaign.
ROBERT HUTH (155 apps 2009 - present)
Rarely beaten in the air, or on the deck. Wicked sense of humour too, often seen on Twitter.
MAMA SIDIBE (186 apps 2005 - present)
It would've been easy to select a higher profile player, such as Peter Crouch or Kenwyne Jones, but the big Malian gets the nod.
He formed a great partnership with Ricardo Fuller for a number of years and carried out all the Jamaican's leg work, allowing him to conserve his energy for those moments of brilliance.
JAMES O'CONNOR (212 apps 1998-2003)
He was another who always gave 100 per cent for the cause and never left anything on the pitch come the full-time whistle.
Who could forget that unique stance of his too? Often standing like he had a roll of carpet underneath each arm.
ABDOULAYE FAYE (84 apps 2008-11)
A hell of a defender, a true legend and a key player during our first few seasons in The Prem…...When Superman goes to bed he puts on a pair of Abdoulaye Faye pyjamas.
TONY PULIS (2002-05 & 2006-present
I wasn't around to experience the days of Tony Waddington so this selection is quite easy.
He exceeded all expectations in securing promotion to the Premier League and went even further by defying all the odds and securing survival in our first season up.
He's gone on to cement us as a comfortable mid-table Premier League side, delivering an FA Cup final and a European adventure for good measure.
The trip to Valencia will live with me until my dying day.