An old rivalry will be played out in a new setting when Stoke City meet Port Vale in the Britannia Stadium tomorrow - but will the Potters' famous president be so sad if the derby honours finish even?
Sir Stanley Matthews, who had two legendary spells with Stoke, makes no secret of his early devotion to their rivals. After retiring at 50, Sir Stan managed Vale and reprised his wing wizardry for them in friendlies.
Over 100 players have appeared for both clubs. When Billy Rowley, later England's goalkeeper, moved from Vale to Stoke 101 years ago, the neighbours' court-room wrangle over his contract set the tone for relations.
Several Stoke stalwarts have managed Vale: Jackie Mudie, Alan Bloor and Freddie Steele, who led them to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1954. Mark Chamberlain represented England soon after leaving the Valiants for the Victoria Ground aged 20 in 1982, whereas Vale's ex-Stoke men, like Jimmy Greenhoff, Alan Dodd and Eric Skeels, have tended to be at the veteran stage.
Yet two Burslem heroes, Roy Sproson and Robbie Earle, were snapped up as teenagers on being spurned by Stoke. Meanwhile, Mike Pejic will coach the home side tomorrow - the former Stoke full-back won damages for unfair dismissal by Vale. In terms of footballing compatibility, it often seems the opposite ends of the Six Towns remain worlds apart.
Ten things that Paul Gascoigne might be missing
in Glasgow today
1 The art, music, theatre, dance and literature that made Glasgow the European City of Culture 1990.
2 Graceful architecture by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The coliseum's hardly subtle, is it?
3 Cleopatra's. Not an exhibition about Caesar's mistress, but a Glasgow West End nightclub which is popular with student nurses.
4 Barras market. Not quite Armani, Versace and Gucci, but plenty of hot fashions dirt cheap.
5 Political efficiency - the Italian government makes Glasgow City Council look organised.
6 The renowned Nardini family, purveyors of the finest ice-cream. (Not to mention Daniela Nardini, This Life's Anna).
7 Touching gestures - Eternal City romance has nothing to match a Glasgow kiss.
8 Neeps, tatties, fish suppers, Scotch pies and bridies - just like mamma used to make.
9 Irn Bru.
10 Marvelling at the colourful but impenetrable language.
Name of the game
No 4: leyton orient
Few clubs have had as many name changes as the Os who, since their formation in 1881, have been called Glyn Cricket and Football Club, Eagle FC, Clapton Orient, Orient and Leyton Orient. The "Orient" part of the name dates back to 1888, when many of the players worked for the Orient Shipping Line. The club is thought to have been formed by members of Homerton Theological College who wanted to play cricket - when their first cricket season finished they stayed together in the winter to play football.
On 13 October 1965, Scotland met Poland at Hampden Park in a crucial qualifying match for the 1966 World Cup finals. The Scots - including Billy Bremner, Denis Law and their youngest international debutant, the 18-year-old Willie Johnston, took the lead after 14 minutes. The Poles, however, scored twice in the last five minutes.
"Stunned into silence, sickened by defeat, 107,000 Scots suddenly poured boos down on to their beaten team from the towering terraces," read the next day's paper. The unexpected defeat effectively left them unable to qualify. Their last two matches, a win and a loss against Italy, confirmed this.
The last time England qualified for the World Cup finals was in 1989, with the circumstances remarkably similar to today's. Eight years ago to the day, Bobby Robson's team went to Chorzow needing a draw against Poland. The mission was duly accomplished, Peter Shilton's outstanding display earning a goalless draw.
Of the team that played that day, only Stuart Pearce is still in contention for an England place. Des Walker and Peter Beardsley are the only others still appearing regularly in the Premiership, although Gary Stevens (Tranmere), Chris Waddle (Burnley) and David Rocastle (Chelsea) are all still playing.
This week's transfers
Transfers: Chris Marsden (midfielder) Stockport to Birmingham (pounds 500,000); Paul Bracewell (midfielder) Sunderland to Fulham (pounds 75,000); Christer Warren (forward) Southampton to Bournemouth (undisclosed fee); Nicky Mohan (defender) Bradford City to Wycombe (undisclosed fee); Micheal Rodosthenous (forward) West Bromwich to Cambridge Utd (undisclosed fee); Jason Peake (defender) Brighton to Bury (free); Jason White (forward) Northampton to Rotherham (free).
Loans/trials: Valur Gislason (midfielder) Arsenal to Brighton; Brian Borrows (defender) Coventry to Swindon; David Rocastle (midfielder) Chelsea to Hull City; Paul Simpson (midfielder) Derby to Wolves; Mark Devlin (midfielder) Stoke to Exeter; Steve Finney (forward) Swindon to Cambridge Utd; Guy Branston (utility) Leicester to Rushden & Diamonds; Dietmar Beiersdorfer (defender) Reggiana (It) to Leicester (trial); Arnold Wetl (midfielder) Porto to Hibernian (trial); Ivar Ingimarsson (defender) Valur Reykjavk (Ice) to Ipswich (trial).
Contributors: Phil Shaw, Nick Harris, Paul Newman. Readers' contributions welcome. Send to Sidelines, Sports Desk, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. E-mail: email@example.com.Reuse content