Tranmere Rovers are ninety minutes away from reclaiming a place in the Football League today. Here at Jammy Toast we are on edge and nervous about the outcome of today’s game. However, for someone with his heart and money invested in the fortunes of Tranmere, Mark Palios is remarkably relaxed about the fine line between waking up as the owner of a Football League or National League club on Monday morning. “You cannot rely on one game, you have to step back,” he says of the National League play-off final against Forest Green Rovers.
We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we would start a feature on Jammy Toast where we feature heroes and give them the praise they deserve. To start the ball rolling we thought we would feature someone who was so loved at Tranmere Rovers that fans and sponsors of the club worked together to raise the money to build a statue in his tribute. Johnny King was Tranmere Rovers’ most successful manager and was always the man to find the right words for any occasion. Our favourite quote of his was; “Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They’re like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine.” Today, we would like to pay our own tribute to Johnny King and make him the inaugural Bear Hero…
Amemorial service will be held today at St Peter’s Church, Heswall, to pay tribute to former Tranmere Rovers player and manager, Johnny King. More than 50 former Tranmere players are expected gather to join club officials, family and friends for the service of thanksgiving. Team-mates from Johnny’s years as a player at Prenton Park together with players who featured in Rovers teams during King’s two spells as manager will be paying their last respects at the service, which begins at 1pm. The large turnout reflects the esteem and affection in which Johnny was held by the football community and Tranmere supporters alike.
Today we would like to pay our tribute to Johnny King by sharing some of the memories and players that he brought to Tranmere Rovers. Here are some of the reasons why he turned Tranmere into the team that it was in the late 1980s/early 1990s. He managed everything he achieved on meagre resources and by bringing out the best in the players he brought to the club. It is difficult to remember these days with Tranmere languishing in non-league football that once – because of Johnny King – they missed out on promotion to the Premier League three seasons on the trot. This is our tribute to Johnny…
The whole of Jammy Toast is in mourning today for the loss of former Tranmere manager and legend Johnny King. He was more than the most successful manager Tranmere has even known – he was a legend. He was a football manager who built exciting and successful football teams and won the hearts as well as the respect and admiration of supporters. The love affair lasted long after King reluctantly stepped aside for the last time in 1996. Mainly because he left behind a legacy as a manager who, in two spells in charge of the team, won three promotions and in the second – from 1987 to 1996 – took the club from the old Fourth Division to hammer on the door of the Premier League. In his own words he took the modest Wirral club “on a rocket ride to the moon”. For many players and supporters, it was the ride of a lifetime.
The statue of Johnny King was unveiled by the Tranmere Rovers Trust at 12pm today before the home game against Stevenage. Tranmere’s current manager, Mickey Adams said; “It’s well deserved. He was a terrific servant for this football club and if I can achieve half of what he achieved, I’ll be a happy man. Any manager who gets a stand named after him and now a statue outside the ground must have done something very special. He took this club on five trips to Wembley Stadium and to the highest league position it has ever had, coming so close to getting to the top flight three years in a row. The statue is a wonderful tribute to him and a great addition to Prenton Park.”
Over the weekend Tranmere Rovers are set to unveil a permanent tribute to their most successful manager; Johnny King. The Tranmere Supporters Group have raised the £50,000 for the cost of the tribute to the most successful manager in Tranmere Rovers FC history. The Trust have been oversubscribed in applications from fans to have their names etched on the base of the statue, with more than 450 people paying £60 per name, and a number of other fundraising events helped the trust reach its target.
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