Ten years of Tony Pulis
On this day 10 years ago, Welshman Anthony Richard Pulis took over the managerial reigns at the Britannia Stadium, after Steve Cotterill ended his short stay in the Potteries as he took the Assistant Manager`s job at Sunderland.
Stoke City Football Club and Pulis himself have gone through many ups and downs in this time, but after working 'aaard both the club and the Welsh manager have come through this decade smelling of red and white roses.
The Newport born Pulis, along with chairman Peter Coates have turned the Potters from a struggling Championship into an terrific established Premier League, European competing, F.A. Cup finalist team in a short 10 year spell.
Here`s a look at the ten moments that has made Anthony Richard Pulis a living legend in Stoke-on-Trent.
1. 1st November 2002- Then Chairman, Gunnar Gislason unveils former Portsmouth manager Tony Pulis, who had previously been out of work for two years as the man to replace Steve Cotterill.
2. 4th May 2003- An Ade Akinibiyi bullet header at the far post is enough to beat high-flying Reading at a packed Britannia Stadium on the final day of the season, which kept Stoke in the then called 'Division One`.
3. 28th June 2005- Tony Pulis is sacked by the Icelandic consortium for 'failing to exploit the foreign market` and is replaced by Dutchman Johan Boskamp.
4. 14th June 2006- Peter Coates recaptures the club from the Icelandic consortium and spends no time in bringing Tony Pulis back to the club.
5. 4th May 2008- In a dull and nervous 0-0 draw against Leicester, Stoke ended their 23 year wait to return to the top flight by finishing runners-up in the Championship and succumbed Leicester to League One. Scenes after the final whistle will never be forgotten at Britannia Stadium as the sell out crowd invaded the pitch in celebration.
6. 23rd August 2008- A dramatic injury time winner from Mamady Sidibe gave Stoke their first ever Premier League victory in their first ever Premier League home fixture. The win was also Stoke`s first top flight league victory in 23 years.
7. 9th May 2009- A Liam Lawrence striker gave Stoke a 2-1 away victory at Hull City which ensured that Stoke would have a second season in the Premier League.
8. 17th April 2011- Stoke smash Bolton Wanders at Wembley Stadium to reach their first ever F.A. Cup final.
9. 14th May 2011- Tony Pulis leads out his side for Stoke`s first ever F.A. Cup final but the Potters can`t get their hands on the trophy as they lose 1-0 to Man City after a late Yaya Toure goal.
10. 28th July 2010- Stoke beat Hadjuk Split 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium in the Second qualifying round of the Europa League, Stoke foray in the competition for 37 years.
It has been an eventful 10 years under the reigns of Tony Pulis, and we all know that every fan doesn`t like certain aspects of Pulis` managerial skills but you cannot be anything other than thankful for what he has done for the club over the last decade.
Who knows, in this 150th year anniversary year, we could all be celebrating a trophy at Wembley come May that would immortalise Tony Pulis forever.