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Thursday, 29 June, 2000, 08:48 GMT
Wembley glory for Stoke City
Gudjon Thordarson
Gudjon Thordarson did well after replacing Gary Megson
If anyone had suggested that Stoke would win a cup final at Wembley, reach the play-offs and be taken over, there is a chance no one would of believed it.

Manager Gary Megson got the Division Two campaign underway and after a slow start, City finally got their season going with a 3-1 win over Millwall.

September and October proved to be a good months and hopes of becoming serious promotion contenders were now raised although the finances were still far from being rosy.

But all that was soon to change as talk of a takeover began to grow. Speculation was rife that the two main directors were in negotiations with a consortium from overseas.

The future of Megson, who had become a popular figure at the Britannia Stadium, was questioned as the potential new owners were revealed.

The Icelandic team acquired a 66 per cent stake in the club at a time when the team were in the top three. But a shock FA Cup exit at Blackpool did not help Megson's cause.

The new owners were then unveiled and with them a new manager was named. Gudjon Thordarson arrived having left his post as Iceland's national coach and it turned out to be a dream start as Stoke swept to a 4-0 win over Wycombe.


Peter Thorne
Peter Thorne scored vital goals for Stoke City

The new owners splashed out 600,000 on Brynar Gunnarson, and he opened his account in the Auto Windscreens Shield win at Blackpool.

March was the signal for Peter Thorne to come to the fore. He started with four against Chesterfield and followed on with goals against Rochdale to send Stoke to Wembley.

Some 36,000 Potters fans headed for the Twin Towers. Graham Kavanagh put Stoke ahead against Bristol City and Paul Holland bagged a late winner.

Stoke went on a run of 17 games without defeat but that was not enough to put them in the top two. Defeat at Reading meant City had to settle for a play-off spot.

Gillingham were the opponents and the dreams of Wembley were alive when they were two up early on - only for the Gills to bounce back and eventually earn themselves a place in Division One.

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