The Olympic Torch Relay leaves Stoke-on-Trent

The Olympic Torch Relay has left Stoke-on-Trent this morning and headed off to Crewe and then on to Bolton for its next overnight stop.

Stoke City Manager Tony Pulis got todays relay started at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and ran the first part of the relay. Continue reading

Olympic Torch arrives in Stoke-on-Trent

An Olympic Torch arrived in Stoke-on-Trent this morning ahead of the Olympic Torch Relay which arrives on Wednesday evening.

The Olympic Torch arrived with members of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games who are now working with Stoke-on-Trent City Council in the final preparations for Wednesday afternoon’s spectacular Olympic Torch Relay celebrations in Hanley Park. Continue reading

Britannia Stadium Open Day

On Saturday 7th August Stoke City supporters are being offered the brilliant chance to take a look behind the scenes at the Britannia Stadium.

Fans will get the opportunity to watch a training session featuring the first team squad, collect the autographs of their football heroes and go on a stadium tour.

The event will include numerous other activities making it a fantastic day out for the family and building excitement ahead of the kick-off to the new season.

Stoke City are hoping for a large turnout to this event as they aim to raise a significant amount of money for their chosen two charities for the 2010-11 season.

Prior to the first team’s training session, the Club will present the proceeds of their fundraising throughout the 2009-10 season to three local charities: The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, Caudwell Children and PASS (Partners Assuring a Safer Staffordshire).

On the day Tony Pulis will be putting the first team squad through their paces ahead of their first premier league match before the players line up for an autograph signing session.

Before or after these two attractions in the morning, Stoke City fans will be able to book places on tours which take place every five minutes and take fans on a behind the scenes tour of the stadium culminating in a photograph being taken in the dugout.

These tours will run between 9.10am and 9.45am and then again between 12.00pm and 1.00pm. To book places on the tours in advance please visit:

Kemp Back as Stoke City’s number Two

 STOKE CITY’S players were greeted by a familiar face when they reported back to the Britannia Stadium for pre-season training today.

Dave Kemp was back in the role of assistant manager to fill the position vacated by Peter Reid’s recent departure to Plymouth Argyle.

City boss Tony Pulis was left looking for a new number two when Reid landed the manager’s job at Home Park and so he immediately turned to the man who has been a key member of his coaching staff in both spells in charge of the Club.

Kemp vacated the assistant’s role 12 months ago to take up a scouting assignment across North and South America from his California base.

But he has answered the call of duty to resume a partnership with Pulis which has played such a big part in the Club’s success in recent years.

“It’s just as if Kempy has never been away and that makes this such a smooth transition,” exclaimed Pulis in welcoming back his number two.

“He seemed the natural choice when we were faced with the task of finding a new assistant and I am delighted to have him back here.

“This is such an important role for a manager. You need someone with a wealth of experience in that position who knows the Premier League.

“In that respect, Kempy has so much to offer and it’s good having him around again. He has a good eye for what is going on in matches and isn’t scared to voice his views.”

Stoke fans let us know your reation to the return of Kemp.

Staffs Artists To Paint Live At City Festival

Rob Pointon, the artist responsible for painting a huge scene now adorning the wall of the Civic Chamber, will be one of five local creatives wielding their paintbrush in the unlikely venue of Hanley in July.

On July 3, Rob will be among a group of five artists painting live as part of the Piccadilly Circus street festival, at which last year he captured the atmosphere of the event in a painting later purchased by well-known local writer, Fred Hughes. The creative line-up includes artists Roger Taylor, Darren Roberts, Neil Twemlow and Julie Gould.

Two years ago Rob staged a charity auction of paintings he had done of leading Stokies, during a 48-hour painting marathon in which Joan Walley MP and Nick Hancock were immortalised on canvas. Over £3000 was raised by the event for Meningitis Research.

Since then Rob has gone on to become one of the area’s most prominent artists, completing large commissions for Stoke Station and a portrait of Tony Pulis.

The artistic group will be part of the diverse attractions going on at the all day festival at which visitors will get the chance to throw their own pot on a potter’s wheel, tie-dye their own t-shirt, and be bewildered by magicians, as well as see the main entertainment on the stage. And for the older folk in the audience, there’s a real-ale and cider tent to keep everyone refreshed.

Included in the line up are local rockers The Sport, The Fears and Molotov Revival, as well as folky rock band Dead Radio Society. But it’s not all rock’n’roll. As well as the electric bands, early in the day the stage will feature musical performances by kids from North Staffs high schools plus am-dram favourites Five Towns Theatre and Stoke Youth Musical Theatre Company.

Piccadilly Circus promises to keep all the family entertained, and now has backing from Stoke City Council, after Staffordshire Police initially objected to it being allowed to go ahead because of concerns over a clash with World Cup football.

Festival organiser Matt Taylor said:

“With the help of co-organiser Sarah Smith plus partners Tremolo Studios, we have put together an amazing lineup which can’t fail to have something for everyone.

“We are really happy that the event is going to go ahead and confident that it will be an even bigger success than last year.

“In future, I hope that, taking place on the first Saturday of July, Piccadilly Circus will be penned into every Stokie’s calendar.

“And I’d like to thank all my friends for their help in lots of ways, as well as the council for coming on board this year.”

Piccadilly Circus will be in Piccadilly, Hanley, on July 3, from 10am to 11pm.

Stoke City Players To Switch On Christmas Lights

By Mike Rawlins

Stoke City first team & management team will be guests of honour at the switch on of the Christmas lights in Hanley this year.

Tony Pulis said “It’s a great honour for the football club to be invited to turn on the Christmas lights. To see so many people turn out will be magnificent and shows what a fantastic city Stoke-on-Trent is. It’s the type of event that brings together all types of people and communities, and the football club is proud to be a part of something so special. “We see people cheering us on every week in the Premier League, but this is something different, something that puts us right at the heart of so many people’s lives at a special time of the year, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

The team will be joined in Fountain Square by Potters fan Nick Hancock, who will compare the evening to ensure everything goes smoothly. Nick said: “I love Christmas time and I love Stoke-on-Trent, so I am genuinely looking forward to this event, it will be great fun!”

A whole day’s entertainment is planned from 10am, with Stoke City’s double decker bus decking out the street with a mini football pitch, Table Tennis, Competitions and giveaways, along with mascots Pottermus and Pottermiss, and a chance to meet former heroes, first team and academy players during the day

At 3:30pm, the Pre-Count Down Stage Show starts in Fountain Square. Hosted by BBC Radio Stoke’s Tim Wedgwood, highlights include the Stoke-on-Trent Male Voice Choir and the City Music & Performing Arts Service.

Then, at 5:00pm, The Black Watch Marching band will lead the Christmas Lights Parade through the city centre, starting at the Victoria Hall. The band will take in Marsh Street, Piccadilly, Stafford Street and Lamb Street before sweeping down into Fountain Square. They will be leading mascots from Stoke City, Port Vale, Kier Stoke and Signal 1, dance groups and school pupils to fountain square, with Santa Claus bringing up the rear on his sleigh.

Taking part in the parade will be 60 children from the city’s lantern project, who will be designing a variety of large Christmas lanterns over the previous day that they will be carrying through the city centre on the night.

Then, the countdown show begins at 5:30pm, with special guests taking part in the event before the official switch on by the players at around 6:45pm.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Jean Bowers, will also be part of the lights’ switch on. She said: “There is plenty for everyone to enjoy at this year’s event. The Stoke City players bring a touch of Premier League class to the event and I’m sure it will be a huge success.”

Stoke City – Oil Leak Found To Be Cause Of Flight Scare

By Pits n Pots Reporter

A small oil leak was found to be behind the scare that caused the plane carrying Stoke City back from their Carling Cup fourth round tie at Portsmouth to make an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport.

Air Southwest said in a statement: “Following detailed investigations by our engineers, the smell in the cabin is believed to have been caused by a very small oil leak in a motor used to start one of the engines. At no point were the passengers or crew at any risk and our Captain made the right decision in choosing to make a precautionary landing.”

The flight was forced to make an emergency landing after some of the players reported that they could smell smoke.

Club manager Tony Pulis has insisted that the incident would not affect the Club’s future travel plans if it was felt that flying was the best form of transport for an away trip. “These things happen, but you can get as many problems going by road, so we are not going to let it affect how we plan things in the future,” he commented when asked about the incident. One or two of the players were a bit shocked at the time, but generally speaking they are a resilient bunch of lads and everyone seems fine now.”