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Freddie Steele's 33 league goals in the 1936–37 season remains a club record.

Following the resumption of the FA Cup after World War II, tragedy struck on 9 March 1946, as 33 fans died and 520 were injured during a 6th round tie away against Bolton Wanderers. In 1946–47, Stoke mounted a serious title challenge.

In their first season back in the top flight, 1963–64, Waddington guided Stoke to a mid-table finish.

Stoke reached the 1964 Football League Cup Final, which they lost to Leicester City, 4–3, over two legs.

The club needed a win in their final game of the season to win the First Division title.

However, a 2–1 defeat to Sheffield United meant the title went to Liverpool instead.

Stoke City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire that plays in the Premier League.

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.

It was in this period that the club recorded its record league win, a 10–3 win over West Bromwich Albion in February 1937.

In April of that year, the club achieved its record league crowd – 51,373 against Arsenal.

Waddington counted on experience; Dennis Viollet, Jackie Mudie, Roy Vernon, Maurice Setters and Jimmy Mc Ilroy were all players signed in the latter stages of their careers.

Matthews was awarded a knighthood for services to football in the 1965 New Year's Honours list.