“If the urge to write should ever leave me, I want that day to be my last.” – Naguib Mahfouz.
“Tranmere may never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They’re big liners like the Queen Mary. But I see Tranmere as a deadly submarine.” – Johnny King.
For as long as memory will serve, I’ve had two overriding passions: Tranmere Rovers Football Club, and writing.
I was born with Rovers in my blood, into a family of devout supporters. I attended my first game in 2001, aged six or seven, and instantly fell in love with the team and Prenton Park, which was passed down like a treasured heirloom, from one generation to the next.
I remember sitting on the Kop, so large and imposing, and worshipping those heroes in the white shirt. Jason Koumas was my first idol. Even to my untrained child’s eye, he moved with a grace and majesty somehow different to everybody else. He was truly special. Soon thereafter, Iain Hume burst onto the scene, assuming the mantle with a startling abundance of skill. Then came Ian Goodison, an inspirational warrior, and Max Power, a local boy who lived the dream.
Ever since that first match, when the huge floodlights burned my eyes and the atmosphere touched my heart, Tranmere Rovers has been something of an obsession. The club has been one fine thread snaking through my childhood, adolescence and adult life, always there, always relevant. Through memorable cup runs and stinging relegations, I’ve continued to attend, because, essentially, it’s my life. I couldn’t imagine a world without the Rovers.
Through a vast portion of my relationship with this club, the urge to write about the experience has been omnipresent. As a kid, I began by scribbling on match programmes and writing ideal lineups for forthcoming fixtures. Before long, I graduated to writing rudimentary match reports and recaps of awaydays. Then, as a teenager, I started contributing to the programme and Give Us An R fanzine at the beginning of a career in journalism.
Thus, as a diehard Tranmere fan with a regular compulsion to write, I’ve been dissatisfied in recent years by the way our club is perceived in the mainstream. As I mention in the About page, Rovers are covered in a lazy, cliched manner, with people viewing it as a younger brother to Everton and Liverpool. To many outlets, a sparse match report constitutes adequate coverage of Tranmere, a small club tucked away on the sleepy Wirral.
Well, I believe there’s a different way to do it, and there’s a much more nuanced story to tell. Tranmere Rovers was founded eight years before Liverpool, and the club has a far more distinctive heritage than it is ever given credit for. From the discovery and development of Dixie Dean to playing in Europe with stars such as John Aldridge and Pat Nevin, this is a fascinating club with an intoxicating yet perpetually disregarded soul.
It’s about time that changed.
Planet Prentonia is an attempt to show people the real character of Tranmere Rovers, in it’s proper context, with an informed outlook. On this website, and the various social media platforms springing from it, I hope to shed light on Rovers’ history and cultural significance, whilst also providing an alternative take on contemporary news and events.
Hopefully, this will become one of your favourite sites for Tranmere news, opinions and history. We all love Rovers with unbridled passion, and it’s time to show the world why.