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Read more about this showcase item here...Stoke City F.C. was formed in 1863 under the name Stoke Ramblers, when pupils of Charterhouse School formed a football club while apprentices at the North Staffordshire Railway works in Stoke-upon-Trent. The club's first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the club's founder, was also captain, and scored the club's first ever goal. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground; however, they switched to a nearby ground at Sweetings Field in 1875 to cope with rising attendances.
In 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke Football Club. They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground, which soon became known as the Victoria Ground. It was around this time that the club adopted their traditional red-and-white striped kit. In August 1885, the club turned professional.
Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888. The club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions. In 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907. Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Primary and Secondary leagues. When football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league.