The Potters face West Ham today.
Etherington told The Sun: "I played in some really big games there and enjoyed some good times.
"We won promotion in the play-offs and, in 2006, I played in the FA Cup final against Liverpool which we came so close to winning.
"But when the time came it was probably right for me to move on.
"I'd been at West Ham for six years, got a bit stale and the fans had got a bit tired of me as well."