It all started for Tranmere in the Sainty's Cocoa House - a place that was made entirely out of chocolate derivatives.  The members of Belmont and Lyndhurst Wanderers cricket clubs discussed what they should do when the season finished and "Football" was the answer.  And so Belmont AFC were formed in 1884 and on 16th Sept 1885 became Tranmere Rovers.  Within four years, the club almost ceased to be when the players all left to join another club (probably one that had more chocolate), but they soldiered on through those early years.  In fact, in 1923-24, the side went the first nine games of the season unbeaten and later that season they blooded a youngster called Dixie Dean too.  In stark contrast, the 1938-39 campaign saw the club lose 31 out of 42 games, gaining only one point away from home and finishing 14 points below the next highest club.  They managed a big match score in 1935 though, when they trounced Oldham Athletic 13-4 in a game that equalled the top League score in Division Three North, as Bunny Bell grabbed 9 of the goals.

The Second World War came as a relief to the club.  The ground was commandeered and used as a place to produce black smoke to fool German bombers.  Unfortunately, they didn't fool them or, if they did, they missed the chip shops and hit the ground instead !!  Their defence of the realm was helped by tank traps being placed on the pitch (something that could have been useful in the modern game to stop marauding forwards), but after the conflict, these were used as foundations for new terracing at the ground.  It was a rocky re-start for Rovers, but they stood their ground and got some reward in FA Cup ties.  Into the Fifties they took four goes to beat Blyth Spartans in 1951-52 in the second round and then Harold Atkinson hit Ashington for 6 in the same competition, but it took until 2000 to reach their furthest in the FA Cup, getting to the quarter-final thanks to a substitution mix-up, which the referee didn't spot when he sent a Tranmere player off against Sunderland !!  They had gone one better semi-final of the League Cup six years before, when they took Aston Villa to penalties before losing out.  In 2000, they had got to face Leicester City in the League Cup final, losing out to the Foxes.

In 1959, the team recorded the highest Division 3 win of 9-0 over Accrington Stanley and Jim Fryatt scored the quickest goal in Football League history in four seconds for Bradford Park Avenue when they played Tranmere.  And that was in the days before betting on football matches - strange as the player is was at one time a croupier in a Las Vegas casino !!

Times were hard at Prenton Park in the 70's and in 1977-78, the team was unchanged for the first 28 matches of that season, with only five games featuring different personnel from those 11 after that during the campaign.  This reflected the fact that Harold Bell made 401 consecutive matches in a record breaking run without his place being challenged.  Even when John Aldridge joined to score 170 league goals for the club in the twilight of his career, he had to pick himself when player-manager due to lack of competition for his place in the forward line.

Now playing their football in Division Two after relegation in 2001, Tranny are the third team on Merseyside (even though they are on the Wirral), although at times in the Cup they looked like moving up one rung at least.

Famous Players : -  Bunny Bell, John Aldridge, Alf "Rabbit" Warren, Ian Muir, Tom "Pongo" Waring, 

Famous Fans : - Half Man Half Biscuit (Post Punk musical combo), Glenda Jackson (Politician), Patricia Routledge  (Actress - "Keeping Up Appearances"), Ray Stubbs  (BBC Sport presenter), Trevor Ward  (Granada TV presenter - "Reportage"), Warrior ("Gladiators"), Elton Welsby (Football presenter - Granada TV)

Club Records

Formed 1884
Turned Professional 1912
Became a Limited Company 1920
Former names 1883-1885 =  Belmont AFC
Previous grounds Steele Fields = 1884-1887
Ravenshaw's Old Prenton Park = 1887-1912
Nickname "The Rovers"
Club Colours HOME : Shirts - White with Blue trim
Shorts - Blue
Socks - Blue and white

AWAY : Shirts - Navy Blue with Sky Blue trim
Shorts - Sky Blue
Socks - Navy Blue

Record Football League Win 13-4  .v. Oldham Athletic
Division 3 (North)  26.12.1935
Record Football League Defeat


Record Cup Win 13-0  .v. Oswestry United    FAC R2
Record Cup Defeat 1-9  .v. Tottenham Hotspur    FAC R3r   14.1.1953
Record Fee Paid 450,000 to Aston Villa for Shaun TEALE (August 1995)
Record Fee Received 3,300,000 from Everton for Steve SIMONSEN (September 1998)
Record Football League Appearances 595  -  Harold BELL  1946-64
Record goalscorer in a season 35 -  Bunny BELL
Division 3 (North)  1933-34
Record all-time goalscorer  142  -  Ian MUIR  1985-95
Most goals in a match 9  -  Bunny BELL  v Oldham Athletic  Division 3 (North)  26.12.1935
Record Attendance (all-time) 24,434  v  Stoke City  FAC R4  5.2.1972
Record match receipts 130,541   v  Sunderland  FAC R4  24.1.1998
Record total of goals in a  League season 111  -  Division 3 (North)  1930-31
Record  League points total 3 pts for a win : - 82  Division 2 (1984-85)

2 pts for a win : - 82  Division 2 (1984-85)

Most Capped player while at club 30  -  John ALDRIDGE  (Republic of Ireland)
Youngest player Dixie Dean - 16 years and 355 days


Club/Stadium details 

Address :  Prenton Park, Prenton Road West, 
Prenton, Wirral  CH42 9PY

Telephone : 0151 609 3333
0151 609 0137  (Box Office)
  (Credit Card Bookings)
09068 121 646  (News)
0151 609 0438  (Club Shop)
Fax :  0151 609 4385

Capacity :  16,789
Pitch size :  110 yards  x  70 yards
Official Website :

Unofficial websites : Prenton Park Life 
Ian Bourne's Tranmere Rovers Site 


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Full results history of Spurs v Tranmere Rovers

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