Tranmere Rovers Football Club
Tranmere Rovers Football Club was formed in 1884 as Belmont FC, when two cricket clubs chose to merge. The club then adopted their present title the following year. Based on the Wirral, the club’s main rivals are Liverpool and Everton.
The club initially played their home games at Steeles Field from 1884, until they moved to Ravenshaws Field in 1887. Rovers then joined the Lancashire Combination in the 1892/93 season, before leaving the following year. The club chose to join the Combination and then leave again, before rejoining in the 1900/01 season. After being deducted two points for fielding an ineligible player during the 1905/06 campaign, Tranmere were crowned Combination Champions in the 1907/08 season.
The club then chose to rejoin the Lancashire Combination, where they would play in Division Two. Such was their quality though that, the following season, the team achieved promotion to Division One. At this point, Tranmere moved from Ravenshaws Field to their current home at Prenton Park. Bert Cooke also then became the first official club manager in 1912. The club went from strength to strength, and became Lancashire Combination Champions in the 1913/14 season.
The club were founding members of the Cheshire County League in the 1919/20 season, but resigned after eight matches to play in the Central League. This was part of a re-shuffle due to Leeds City being expelled from the Football League. This then led to Tranmere Rovers becoming a founding member of the Football League Division Three North in the 1921/22 season. The team finished as runners-up in the Welsh Cup in 1934, before winning the trophy in 1935. This proved to be Cooke’s last act as manger, as he left shortly after.
As a result, Jim Knowles was in charge of the club when Tranmere were crowned Football League Division Three North Champions in the 1937/38 season. However, the team was relegated the following season, before war intervened during the 1939/40 campaign.
When football resumed, Tranmere spent just over a decade in the Division Three North, before eventually being placed in Division Three after a league re-shuffle in the 1958/59 season. The team performed poorly in the 1960/61 season, and were relegated to Division Four. Tranmere were almost promoted during the 1965/66 season, but missed out by the slightest of margins. However, the following season saw Tranmere finally achieve promotion back to Division Three.
Dave Russell had previously taken charge of team affairs in 1961, but he left in 1969 after a poor series of results. Ron Yeats became Tranmere Rovers’ manager in 1972, but oversaw another relegation season, after a disappointing 1974/75 campaign. John King immediately took charge, and the team was promoted the following season. However the team struggled, and were eventually relegated back to Division Four after the 1978/79 campaign. John King then left the club in 1980. Both Bryan Hamilton and Frank Worthington tried and failed to haul Rovers back into Division Three. However, it was John King’s return in 1987, which dramatically changed the fortunes of the club.
The return of John King
Tranmere finished as Football League Division Four runners-up in the 1988/89 season, and were promoted to Division Three. The team reached the play-offs the following season, but lost 2-0 to Notts County in the Final at Wembley.
Tranmere did however achieve promotion via the play-offs in the 1990/91 season. The team beat Brentford 3-2 on aggregate, before beating Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in the final. This capped a remarkable transformation of the club since King’s return only three years ago. Division Two was then re-designated as Division One when the FA Premier League formed in 1992. During the 1992/93 campaign, Tranmere again reached the play-offs, but lost 5-4 on aggregate to Swindon Town in the semi-final.
In the 1993/94 season, Tranmere Rovers reached the semi-final of the League Cup. The team drew 4-4 on aggregate with Aston Villa, but Villa won 5-4 on penalties to reach the final. Tranmere also reached the Division One play-offs the same season but this also ended in disappointment, after the team lost 2-1 on aggregate to Leicester City.
The club was then involved in their third end of season play-offs in three seasons, during the 1994/95 campaign. Once again Tranmere were on the losing side, after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Reading. After a successful but intermittently frustrating nine year return to Prenton Park, John King left in 1996. His replacement was John Aldridge, who stayed for five years, until Tranmere were relegated in 2001. Dave Watson and Ray Mathias both had short spells as manager, but neither were able to achieve promotion.
Brian Little took charge in 2003, when the Football League Division Two was then renamed League One in time for the 2004/05 season. During this campaign, Little managed to guide Tranmere to the play-offs. After a 2-2 aggregate draw with Hartlepool United, Rovers eventually lost 6-5 on penalties, capping a monumentally infuriating era for the club. Brian Little then left the club by mutual consent on May 5th 2006 after a large portion of fans voted that they no longer wanted Little in charge.
Ronnie Moore took over in June 2006, and led Tranmere to 9th place in his first season, just outside the play-offs. With Rovers sitting comfortably in mid table this season, Moore will be hoping his side can push on and hopefully reach the play-offs yet again and maybe break the hoodoo that has plagued the club’s recent history.
- Football League Division Three North – Winners (1937/38)
- Football League Division Four – Runners-up (1988/89)
- FA Cup – Quarter-finals (2000, 2001, 2004)
- League Cup – Runners-up (2000)
- Welsh Cup – Winners (1935), Runners-up (1934)
- Leyland Daf Cup – Winners (1990), Runners-up (1991)
Contact and Ticket Information
For club enquiries or tickets please contact:
Tranmere Rovers Football Club
Prenton Road West
Main Reception (tel): 0870 460 3333
Ticket Office (tel): 0870 460 3332
From the north – From Liverpool city centre, travel through the Queensway Mersey Tunnel (signposted Birkenhead). After the toll (there is a £1.30 charge for cars), bear right onto the flyover. The ground is signposted from here. Continue along borough road for approximately two miles, and the ground appears in front of you.
From the south and east – Go via the M6, M56 and M53 to J4. Take the fourth exit from the roundabout onto the B5151 (Mount Road). Continue for 2.5 miles when Mount Road becomes Storeton Road, and turn right onto Prenton Road West at the traffic lights. The ground appears on the right hand side after 200 yards.
The nearest stations are Conway Park, Birkenhead Central or Rock Ferry.
From Liverpool Lime Street – Head for the Wirral line lower level station, and board a New Brighton or West Kirby train to Conway Park. Alternatively, board an Ellesmere Port or Chester train to Birkenhead Central or Rock Ferry.
From Chester – Take a train from Liverpool and get off at Rock Ferry or Birkenhead Central.
From Conway Park – Turn right outside the station, and walk 100 yards to Birkenhead Bus Station.
From Rock Ferry – The ground is a 15 minute walk. Turn right outside the station onto Bedford Road. Continue along Bedford Avenue and Bedford Drive until you reach a road junction shortly after Prenton High School. Move onto Mount Road and turn right at the first set of traffic lights onto Borough Road. The ground is then a further 5 minutes on the left.