At DUCK, we are hugely fortunate to have the support of some great people and great companies......

And we will be honest, they are what keeps the mag going financially along with our readership. WES WILKES is one such person - top Stokie, top bloke, and the top bloke at IRONMARKET LTD who have been fully behind our mag for some time.

Here are his answers to this month's A Potter's Tale questions. If you ever need any financial advice, then please get in touch with a company whom I know first hand are great people and great at what they do.



Name:          Wes Wilkes


Age:              43


Family:         Wife(Helen). 3 Girls (Grace-13, Nell-5 and Erin-3)


Live:              Seabridge


Job:               Owner, Investment Manager & Adviser at IronMarket Ltd


Reads:          With limited time, I spend a lot of time reading economic and market research & data (yes, I’m that dull!) so to break it up I love to read a Julia Donaldson book with the girls at home.



Not a great deal with being so busy at home and work. Enjoy watching sports obviously, and am a massive Marvel fan, the great thing being now that the girls are too!



Favourite is Inception. Love the Marvel Universe and will always watch a Bond film!

Three course meal:  

Not sure there’s a particular food I don’t like tbh, ha ha!


Pub in the ST postcode:        

I don’t go very often, but had some good times with friends at The Sportsman and like its traditional look and feel etc.


Restaurant in the ST postcode:        

Probably The Swan with Two Necks, nice and easy with the family and their Thai Red Curry is awesome!


Favourite away ground and why?                  

Been to all the big ones, but I have to say I really have good memories as a kid watching Stoke at Gay meadow in Shrewsbury(I know it’s not there anymore). I just felt really close to my heroes at that point, and it’s a beautiful town, too.


Who do you go to matches with?                    

I’ve been going to Stoke since I was 4 when my dad (no longer with us) used to take my brother and I. That then evolved into going with my family but with COVID, we haven’t been able to take the youngest yet, so I’m looking forward to the 5 of us going this season.


The most embarrassed you have been watching Stoke?                      

I am very much a glass-half-full kind of guy, so I’m always supporting and looking for positives, but have to say with the reputation we’ve had over the last 15 years or so as a very well-run club, to be relegated with the player problems we had, that was disappointing.


Make S-O-T better in less than 50 words:    

Again, being an eternal optimist, I think we must spend more time focussing on what we do have and using that to lift us upwards. We have amazing, amazing people, some outstanding businesses and business leaders, not to mention some stunning places to visit with a rich, successful history.

To make Stoke better, investment and outlook should use all of those things that make Stoke great as the foundation to project Stoke forward, rather than seemingly spending a lot of money on buildings you see anywhere and everywhere, if that makes sense?


Prefer the Victoria Ground or the bet365 and why?

Easily the Victoria Ground. I was born in ’78 so I’ve seen more tangible success at the Bet365/Brit, BUT my memories at the Victoria Ground, playing for Stoke as a kid on the pitch, the wooden floor in the Gym inside and the routine of parking and walking to the ground with my Dad, Brother and Uncles on a match day.

Also, the fact that as Dad moved us out of the Boothen to the stand (got a bit lively in the ‘80’s!), leaving the seats 10 minutes early and watching the last 10 minutes in the terraces underneath – I used to love that.


First Stoke game and memories:

 If my Dad was here, he’ll tell you he spent the first season buying my brother and I match tickets to play cars on the steps of the Boothen end! I can remember that, but not the game necessarily!


Pre-match routine:

 I’ve had a few. As a kid it was leaving the house about half one, picking up my uncles from all around ‘Castle and heading over to park in Stoke town centre – walk to main entrance and pick up tickets because brother and I were in the academy then, so we used to get them free - amazing when you think back. Then inside to choose a bet for the older ones and watch the players warm up.

Last routine for the seasons pre-Covid, I was lucky enough to be parking outside the ground and having a pre-match meal in the Stanley Matthews Suite with family before going out to watch the game. One thing that has been consistent since I was old enough, was making sure I place a pre-match bet.


Favourite Stoke XI:

This is tough so going to go with who I’ve seen(4-3-3……ish)!!

 1.     Peter Fox

2.     Andy Griffin

3.     Lee Sandford

4.     Robert Huth

5.     Ryan Shawcross

6.     Steven Nzonzi

7.     Peter Beagrie

8.     Ricardo Fuller

9.     Mark Stein

10.  Peter Crouch

11.  Marko Arnautovic


Your biggest letdown following Stoke:

 Like I said above really, the way the club was when we were relegated


Save one thing from a burning house (not family):

Dad’s watch. I got it for him for his 60thwhen he was ill with Leukaemia. It was an illustration that time is precious, sadly he died in October that year.


Tell us about your company, IronMarket Ltd……

 We are a financial advice and Investment Management firm in Newcastle. We are one of less than 3% of advisory firms in the UK, the only one in Stoke, that are also licenced to manage money which means that everything stays in house with us rather than giving advice and then pensions or investments being managed by some faceless firm in the Big Smoke.


…..And the services that you offer and why people should use you……

 We build our entire business on building long-term relationships with clients, their families, and their businesses. We spend most of our time finding out what it is that’s important to them, what they want to do or don’t want to do and work back from that. We are easy to deal with, attentive and highly skilled in helping clients - from investing to planning for retirement, business exit or expanding their outlook.


Your plans for the future at IronMarket?

 We have some very exciting plans for the IronMarket Group as we look to grow and expand throughout 2021 and into 2022.  Starting with the purchase of our second and much larger office, which we hope to move into before the end of 2021. We are creating an exciting, comfortable, innovative & futureproof environment for our people and our clients.

Having much larger premises will allow us to recruit more local talent where we can support individuals who wish to create their own path or enhance our existing teams and services, with the opportunities we have. As a firm we will continue to enhance the services we offer our existing clients as well as development and innovating our service offering across, financial planning and investment management to business owners, entrepreneurs and individual clients.

 We can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store… our ninth year in business!


You have been big supporters of DUCK for a long time - you co-sponsor our website and advertise with us - why get on board withus?

That’s easy, the people. We love what you do in terms of creating something that supporters really want to read and take interest in. No standard interview questions, you ask from the fan’s perspective, and I think that comes across in the energy of DUCK and the content you produce. Much like how we start with what’s important to the client and their lives and work back from there.

We can't recommend Wes and the IronMarket team enough. Need financial advice - please get in touch with them and mention the DUCK name. They'll sort you out, and are a pleasure to deal with.

CONTACT: IronMarket HQ

01782 461563