Stoke City chairman Peter Coates was delighted with the club's progress during 2008.

"It's been very much the highlight of my involvement in football," he told The Sentinel, "and the over-riding memory will be the relief of winning promotion after waiting for so long.

"It has helped raised the profile of the city and given people a feel-good factor, even in these difficult times.

"I would have settled for our first-half of the season if you'd offered it me at the start - and we think we have every chance of building on what we've achieved so far."