Statue Unveiled In Honour Of Johnny King

Posted by Lord Davidd of Birko OBE DASc on
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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.

Johnny began the first of two spells as manager at Prenton Park in 1975, leading the club to promotion in 1976, but it is his second spell for which he is regarded as the club’s greatest ever manager, steering the club away from relegation to non-league football with a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Exeter City within weeks of taking over in 1987.

The following season, Rovers began a meteoric rise with promotion out of the old fourth division. Wembley became a second home for the club as King led the club to successive Leyland DAF Cup Finals and play-off finals in 1990 and 1991, Chris Malkin’s extra-time winner against Bolton taking Rovers to the second tier in 1991.

Having pulled off an incredible coup in signing John Aldridge from Real Sociedad, King consolidated Rovers in their first season before leading the club to three successive play-offs for promotion to the Premier League and the heartbreak of a Coca Cola Cup semi-final defeat to Ron Atkinson’s Aston Villa. As well as unparalleled success, Johnny brought in international players such as Pat Nevin, Liam O’Brien, Gary Stevens and Paul Cook playing alongside the home grown talents of Kenny Irons, Ged Brannan and Tony Thomas. He was also revered for the free-flowing attacking football his teams played and his legendary quotes to the press.

Johnny was then unceremoniously relieved of his duties by chairman Frank Corfe in 1996, towards the end of Tranmere’s first indifferent season for nine years. He then headed into a quiet retirement with his family at their Wirral home.

Sculptor Tom Murphy is responsible for a number of prominent statues of famous figures from Merseyside football, including Bill Shankly at Anfield and Dixie Dean at Goodison Park.

The unveiling of Johnny King’s statue will take place as part of the “Trip to the Moon” festival organised by the supporters which will last over the next three days.

For more details of the festival see

About the Author

Lord Davidd of Birko OBE DASc

A sad and lonely old man who used to have a life but it has now been taken over by his dedication to the cause of saving Renault Bears, running Jammy Toast and searching eBay, car boot sales, charity shops, lofts and even under beds for his beloved bears. He has even now taken in Flat Eric to save him from homelessness – his life is no longer his own!

6 Comments on “Statue Unveiled In Honour Of Johnny King”

  1. I read that the Bill Shankly statue was paid for by Carlsberg and the Dixie Dean one by Everton FC. Isn’t it the biggest tribute of all to Johnny King that his statue was paid for by fans!

  2. Just for Dave, your favourite quite…

    “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”

  3. Mom tried to get a picture of me dressed as a Bengal tiger…But I was being stubborn! I want to go trick or treating as myself! Thank Dog its friday, and All Hallow’s Eve to boot! Have fun and Be safe tonight!

  4. For all those Wembley memories the least we can do is give the man a statue! People use the word legend too often but Johnny King really was and still is a true legend to Tranmere supporters.

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