Jon Walters condemned his former club Blackburn to defeat after scoring his first goal for Stoke to earn the Potters a deserved 1-0 Barclays Premier League win.
The £2.75million summer signing from Ipswich scored the winner in the 47th minute at the Britannia Stadium.
It was a special moment for Walters, who had played for Blackburn in his youth before joining Bolton.
Stoke got quickly into their stride and goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen released Matthew Etherington with a long throw. He raced down the left before delivering a cross into the area only for Brett Emerton to make the clearance with Jermaine Pennant lurking.
A long throw from Rory Delap took a deflection and came back off the post in the 10th minute. Walters latched on to the rebound, only for Paul Robinson to turn his effort over the bar.
Blackburn responded and almost took the lead in the 15th minute. Emerton's delicate chip beat Sorensen but Ryan Shawcross was on hand and averted the danger.
Stoke made the breakthrough two minutes into the half after a towering leap from Kenwyne Jones released Etherington. He threaded the ball through to Walters, who had timed his run to perfection before drilling a shot beyond Robinson.
Stoke almost added a second in the 53rd minute when Etherington's free-kick sailed over the wall but Robinson parried it to safety.
The Potters came close to extending their lead in the 78th minute when Jones peeled away from his marker to get on the end of a cross from Etherington - only to head wide.
Then substitute Ricardo Fuller, who had recovered quickly after dislocating his shoulder at Newcastle, fired wide after a solo run.