Stoke have made their first signing for 2004 with fans' favourite Jan Staechmann returning for a fourth successive season. The popular Dane will spearhead their challenge for Premier League honours.

Promoter Dave Tattum said: "This is a great way to start our team building for next season. Jan is very well liked and appreciated at the club and he is a top performer in our league."

The former world-finalist has become something of a cult figure in the Potteries and he was the mainstay of the club's disappointing 2003 season in which Stoke were an early season honours tip before injury struck.



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