Cans & Megabus – Your indispensable guide to Stoke City (A)

The thinking man's Danny Dyer is back with his guide to all of the outposts in The Championship. Next up, it's STOKE

In 2016, after watching a Joe Allen-inspired Stoke City swat away a truly pathetic David Moyes Sunderland team, your handsome Cans & Megabus correspondent vowed never to return to Stoke and the cursed bet365 Stadium. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy visiting appalling towns and appalling football stadiums but Stoke-on-Trent is something else.

First of all, it’s not actually a place and is instead 400 terrible villages amalgamated into one larger terrible place. The pubs are filled with locals that are waiting for the ‘gotcha’ moment when they overhear an accent that isn’t their own garbled Midlands-Cheshire-Whatever slur and then want to square go. And then, of course, there is the logistics of getting to their godforsaken ground in the middle of absolute nowhere.

Throw in an overly hostile police presence who threaten visiting supporters with “being put on the first train back to Newcastle”, even if you’re not from Newcastle or the north east, at the first sign of trouble in the appalling ‘city centre’, and you’ve got a recipe for just the worst day out ever. Oh, and we will 1000% lose.

It’s quite a feat to find a worse trip than Luton or Port Vale, but Stoke City really know how to put on a welcome.

How Do I Get There?

If you’re driving to this absolute tyre fire of an away day then take the A19, A1(M), M1, M62, M56 and then M6 towards Stoke-on-Trent. Exit at junction 16 for the A500 and follow the signs for the bet365 Stadium. There’s parking available at the stadium for £5.

Sat nav losers: ST4 4EG

Due to the rail strike on Saturday (fuck the Tories, up the workers), there are no trains to Stoke. However, if you happen to be around the ‘city centre’ on Saturday, there should be a shuttle bus going from outside The Terrace Inn pub to the ground.

What’s the Ground Like?

Horrendous. Nothing ever good happens at the bet365 Stadium. Despite it being August, I can guarantee it’ll be absolutely freezing because the stadium is perched on a hill next to a motorway. Such an awful place that should be immediately knocked down.

Sunderland fans are in the South Stand where you can enjoy an afternoon of being eyeballed by just the baldest men in Staffordshire.

Yer thirsty?

Another reason why Stoke is just an awful trip is the absolute dearth of pubs. There is a pathetic Harvester pub next to the stadium and a selection of truly woeful alehouses in Stoke ‘city centre’ where you’ll most likely be offered out because you don’t eat oatcakes.

However, we here at Cans & Megabus are committed to helping you have a nice time wherever you are. We can heartily recommend bod Stoke, a lovely cafe/bar at Stoke railway station, it’s run by Titanic Brewery so every pint goes down well. The only passable pub in Stoke ‘city centre’ is The Glebe on Glebe Street, about a two-minute walk from the station.

Avoid literally everywhere else.

What’s on in Stoke?

A train bus to Manchester or to literally anywhere that’s better than this place.