They came, they saw, they conquered.
Stoke weren’t everybody’s cup of tea but, at their best, they were more than effective.
Some promoted clubs disappear from the Premier League with a whimper, but Stoke have made a lasting impression.
So much so that a cold Tuesday night there is now feared not just nationwide, but worldwide.
But on Saturday they were relegated after 10 eventful years in the top flight after a defeat to Crystal Palace.
But let’s not dwell on the bad times, let’s celebrate the good times – and they had plenty.
Here’s just seven times (there are more) they were right b******s and laughed in the face of the big boys.
1 The introduction of Rory Delap’s s***house long throws bamboozle Arsenal (2008)
Surely the newly promoted Potters would be no match for Arsenal and their pretty tika taka football, would they?
Try two goals – one off Seyi Olofinjana’s chest and nose – from Rory Delap throw in assists blew away the Gunners as Robin van Persie also saw red.
2 Defying all the odds to reach the FA Cup final (2011)
Let’s just appreciate what a bloody achievement this was for Tony Pulis’ side.
Granted, they did have a pretty easy run to the final, knocking out Cardiff, Wolves, Brighton, West Ham, and Bolton on the way.
The Potters were beaten on the big day at Wembley courtesy of a Yaya Toure goal.
Defeat in the final wasn’t all bad though.
The cup run brought with it a lucrative European prize for Stoke… more on that later.
3 Peter Crouch stuns Man City with gravity defying volley (2012)
Crouch has scored some absolute bangers in his time but he calls this one the “best” of his career.
The absolute thunderbastard helped Stoke secure a 1-1 draw against City.
Even after this goal Crouchy was still neglected of a place on the plane for Euro 2012, surely this should have guaranteed his spot.
Who said Stoke only score boring goals?
4 Oussama Assaidi’s late drama snatches victory against Chelsea (2013)
Assaidi will be a pub quiz answer in years to come.
The Moroccan winger had been an absolute flop at Liverpool before Stoke took him on loan.
He repaid the faith Mark Hughes showed in him when he scored a last minute winner against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
The goal meant the Potters managed their first league win over the Blue since 1975.
He faded into obscurity shortly after the dramatic moment, which makes this story even more hilarious.
5 Charlie Adam scores from a different post code at Stamford Bridge (2015)
What a moment this was.
Only Adam would have the cojones to do something like this.
The Scotland midfielder looked up and took a punt when he saw Thibaut Courtois off his line.
Somehow he managed to navigate the ball into the net from 65 yards out.
Adam’s side were beaten on the day, but nobody even cared about the result after that goal.
He described it as a “once in a lifetime goal.” He was just being modest
After the match, Mourinho said that the strike was something that Messi or Maradona would be proud of. They wish they could be like Adam.
6 Making sure Steven Gerrard will NEVER forget his last Liverpool appearance… for all the wrong reasons (2015)
Stoke always did love to spoil a party.
Gerrard’s final game for Liverpool was well and truly ruined at the Britannia.
The Potters were 5-0 up at half-time in what was meant to be the perfect send-off for Gerrard.
The Liverpool Captain did manage a consolation to make it 5-1, before Crouch rubbed more salt into the wounds and made it 6-1 late on.
It’s still one of the strangest Premier League results ever.
7 Qualifying for the Europa League… and actually beating Besiktas (2011)
We had completely forgot this even happened.
After their cup final heartbreak at the hands of Man City, Stoke were awarded a place in the Europa League.
Pulis’ men managed to reach the group stages after wins against Hajduk Split and FC Thun in the qualifying rounds.
Stoke were handed a tough group, pitted alongisde Dymano Kyiv, Besiktas and Maccabi Tel Aviv.
They finished runners up in their group to Besiktas and set up a glamour tie against Valencia in the next round.
Sadly, that is where the European adventure would end, the Spanish side knocking out the Potters after 1-0 wins in both legs.
Relegation won’t mean the end of the hilarious antics of Stoke.
Ten years in the Premier League is a bloody good innings from the Potters. Thanks for all the memories, lads!
Love them or hate them, we’re all going to miss Stoke… right?
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