Who are they?
Stockport 0 Tranmere 3 – 2010
Yesterday, 8th May 2020, saw the ten year anniversary of the crucial away match against Stockport County. Both clubs had suffered poor seasons and a win for either club would result in survival and would relegate the opponent. I decided to take a look into the careers of the Tranmere manager and team from that day and take a look into the careers of the Stockport County players who would soon represent Tranmere.
Tranmere finished the previous season away at Scunthorpe. Ronnie Moore’s ‘SuperWhite Army’ needed a win to reach the play offs, they were two minutes away from achieving this result. Craig Curran’s goal just before half-time made the many travelling supporters excited for the near future. The excitement was cruelly taken away after Scunthorpe equalised in the 88th minute through Byrne’s goal after a corner. This goal would fire the hosts into the play-offs as Tranmere agonisingly missed out. In the summer. Ronnie Moore would leave his managerial role as Jamaican forward John Barnes was appointed manager. Barnes would only manage fourteen games, he had Jason McAteer as his assistant. Tranmere would only win three of these games, Barnes’ culminating match would be a 5-0 defeat against Milwall. Long-standing physio Les Parry was announced as caretaker manager, he was appointed permanent manager in the December, he would win eighteen points during his caretaker manager role. The fight for survival would come to the final game of the season, away at Stockport County.
Les Parry – Was 52, Now 62 – Birkenhead-born Les Parry was a physiotherapist, he had worked at Tranmere in this role since 1991, before taking his first managerial role at the club in 2009. During this time, in 2006, he released a christmas album for charity called ‘I’m Les the White legs parry’ in the tune of ‘Red nose reindeer’. He would achieve survival in the 09/10 season before finishing 18th the following season and being awarded the Liverpool echo special award for Outstanding Service to Sport. In the 10/11 season he completed the amazing feat of attending 1001 consecutive first team matches. He was well-known for his attire, wearing shorts and a t-shirt on the sidelines in the coldest of weathers. He would be dismissed in the March of 2012, although having a good start to the season. Parry was appointed physiotherapist at Accrington Stanley before taking a role at Manchester United to work with the development and academy squads. In October 2014, Parry was awarded the prestigious Fabrice Muamba award for Medical and Sports professional of the year.
Peter Gulacsi – Was aged 20, now 30 – It was the 16th of April in 2010 that Gulacsi joined Tranmere, on an emergency seven-day loan deal. He would make his debut, the following day, against Exeter City in a 3-1 win. His loan was subsequently extended for an additional seven days and into a third week. He re-joined Tranmere on a one-month emergency loan deal on 17th September in the same year, after Tranmere’s two experienced goalkeepers in Gunar Nielsen and Simon Miotto were ruled out with injuries. His loan deal was extended into a second month before he would return to Liverpool. He made no appearances for Liverpool. However, he would join Red Bull Salzburg in 2013 before signing for Red Bull Leipzig in 2015. He is a regular starter for the German giants who compete in the Champions League.
Shay Logan – Was 22, now 32 – Logan would sign a one-year loan deal for Tranmere on 24th of July in 2009, after signing a new contract at Manchester City. It was the 8th of August that he made his Tranmere debut, in a 2-0 loss against Yeovil. Logan established himself in the starting eleven, with thanks to his great performance against Gillingham where as he made two goal assists. However, he would then injure his hernia which he would require an operation on, resulting in him missing out on most of the season. Fortunately, Logan made his debut against Colchester United in a 1-1 draw and would play in the final two games before returning to Manchester City. Shay Logan would make one appearance for City. He signed for Brentford one year after his return to Manchester, he would start 90 games for them between 2011-2014 and now plays in the Scottish Premier League for Aberdeen.
Ian Goodison – Was 37, Now 47 – The Jamaican defender is a Tranmere legend. He was signed by Brian Little in February of 2004 and played in the heart of defence. He would go on to make more than 400 appearances for Tranmere. He was named supporters’ player of the season three times and the North West League One Footballer of the Year another three times. He played in the Tranmere team that reached the FA Cup quarter final in his first season, in his second season the team would finish third in league one and enter the play-offs. He was the first player to play for Tranmere past the age of forty. On 9th December 2013 it was reported that he had been arrested as part of a police investigation into match fixing, those charges were later dropped. In May 2015 his testimonial was held at Prenton Park, a game that names such as: Ricardo Fuller, Ricardo Gardner, Eugene Dadi, John Achteberg and Fabrice Muamba all played in. The game was officiated by the Premier League referee, Mike Dean. His career would come to an end at Tranmere.
Ash Taylor – Was 19, Now 29 – Ash Taylor was a product of the academy, he joined Tranmere at the age of 10. In January 2009, he signed his first professional Tranmere deal. He joined Colwyn Bay on loan in the same year. Taylor made his first team debut in a League one match against Scunthorpe, in a 1-1 away draw on 2nd May 2009. He replaced Antony Kay as a substitute in the 89th minute. His first league goal for Tranmere came on 26th January 2010, Tranmere beat Yeovil 2-1. At the end of the season he won the ‘Young player of the season’ award. Following his 50th appearance for the club, manager Les Parry said the defender had the attributes to become the future Tranmere captain. Taylor would go on to sign for Aberdeen in the summer of 2014, after declining the offer of a new Tranmere contract in a pre-season that came after Tranmere’s relegation to League Two. He would go on to make more than 100 appearances for Aberdeen before signing for Northampton where he would spend two seasons before his return to the Scottish Premier League in his second Aberdeen spell.
Marlon Broomes – Was 32, Now 42 – On 9 June 2009, Blackpool confirmed that defender Marlon Broomes was going to be released. Two months later, he would sign for Tranmere on a non-contract basis. He would make his Tranmere debut three days later, 11 August 2009, against Grimsby Town in the first leg of the League Cup in a 4-0 win. Broomes signed a permanent one-year deal Tranmere signed on 1 September 2009. Broomes would be a regular starter in the Tranmere defence and would score his first goal in a 2-1 win against Southampton on 6 March 2010. After an impressive second half of the season, he was offered another one-year deal. At the end of the 10/11 season he wasn’t offered another Tranmere contract, he would sign for non-league club Clitheroe. He would go on to play for Altrincham on nine occasions before retiring in 2012.
Zoumana Bakayogo – Was 23, Now 33 – On 1 September 2009, it was announced that Tranmere had signed Bakayogo on a free transfer until January 2010. He had a successful start at Tranmere with two man-of-the-match performances, his debut came on 12 October 2009 in a 1-0 win against Stockport County, because of this the speculation was rife of the defender leaving in the January window as several clubs were showing interest in him. Two of the clubs mentioned were Leeds United and Southampton. However, he signed another contract at Tranmere to keep him at the club until the end of the season. He would continue to be a regular starter for the club and kept his ability to score goals as he assisted a goal in the pivotal game at Stockport. Bakayogo would sign a one-year-contract at the end of the season however he found himself on the bench due to the great form of academy graduate Aaron Creswell. Bakayogo returned to a regular starting place after Creswell’s injury. He would sign a two-year-deal in the summer. However, it was a new player that kept him away from the starting eleven .. David Buchanan. He would miss most of the season through injury concerns yet would appear as a substitute towards the latter part of the season. In the second year of his contract he would return to the regular start, following the departure of Buchanan. He would have a successful season: making fifty-two appearances, scoring give goals and receiving the fans and players player of the season award. He would sign for Leicester in the summer of 2013 yet wouldn’t start regularly until he joined Crewe Alexandra in 2016. He would return to Tranmere in 2018, he would be back up for full-back Liam Ridehalgh as Tranmere were promoted to league one through the play-offs. He now features for Neal Ardley’s Notts County in the National League.
Gareth Edds – Was 29, Now 39 – Australian midfielder Gareth Edds joined Tranmere in June 2008 on a two-year contract. He would make more than 70 appearances in 2 years. When the contract ended, it was announced that Edds wouldn’t be offered a new contract as he had signed for A-League side North Queensland Fury.
Andy Robinson – Was 30, Now 40 – Robinson began his football career at Merseyside non-league club Cammell Laird, he was recruited for Tranmere in December 2002. However, he wouldn’t make an appearance for Rovers. The forward was signed by Swansea City in 2003 where he would be a regular starter for five years. He signed for Leeds United in 2008, he would spend two years at Elland Road but would have a loan spell at Tranmere in 2010. He returned to Tranmere on a permanent-basis in 2011. He played regularly. Robinson scored his first career hat-trick in August 2012, against Carlisle. The forward got off to a flying start, he helped Tranmere to the summit of the table with the club’s best start in their history. However, he would encounter many injury concerns from January 2013 onwards. He would soon sign for Shrewsbury Town before moving to Stockport County. He now features for Welsh club Ammanford.
Joss Labadie – Was 19, Now 29 – On 24 March 2010, Labadie signed for Tranmere until the end of the season. He made his debut in a 3-0 defeat away at Brighton. He would score three goals, one being in the pivotal away game at Stockport as Tranmere survived relegation by one point. He would be released by West Brom in the summer of 2010 and would sign a two-year-deal at Tranmere. He was a first team regular yet he was plagued by injuries. Labadie made 37 appearances and scored twice in his first permanent season, where he was labelled as a diver due to his actions away at MK. In the 2011/12 season, Labadie started the season well, he scored four goals. However, he would soon be a regular on the sidelines due to a foot injury. He was released at the end of the season. He has since played for: Notts County, Torquay (where he was charged by the FA for a bite on current Tranmere midfielder Ollie Banks in a game against Chesterfield), Dagenham and Newport (where he faced Tranmere in a league two play off final).
Bas Savage – Was 28, Now 38 – On 9 July 2008, forward Bas Savage would sign a two-year-contract at Tranmere. He scored a goal on his debut, away to Swindon Town, on the opening day of the season. He would go on to make 55 appearances for Tranmere and score 9 goals. In the summer of 2010, it was announced that Savage wouldn’t be offered a new contract. He has since represented: Dagenham, Northampton and TOT (who play in Thailand).
Ian ThomasMoore – Was 23, Now 33 – Birkenhead born Moore began his career at Tranmere, he broke into the first team as a teenaged academy graduate, he would make more than 50 appearances. He had a short spell on loan at Bradford where he gained more first team experience. He had clear quality, many believed he was destined to play at a higher level. He would go on to represent: Nottingham Forest, Stockport, Burnley, Leeds and Hartlepool before returning to Tranmere. On 31 January 2008 he joined his father and manager Ronnie Moore, for an undisclosed fee.He scored on his debut against Leeds in a 2-0 victory. He continued to score (he scored eleven by the end of the season) and would be partnered up-front with Chris Greenacre in a team that missed out of the play-offs on the final day of the season. Moore impressed in the following season, he scored 15 goals, scoring in crucial home games against Millwall and the pivotal Stockport finale. He was awarded the player of the season award. In August 2010, manager Les Parry revealed that Moore had submitted a transfer request after being approached again by his father, at Rotherham United.
Sub (92nd minute):
Craig Curran – Was 20, Now 30 – Curran was born and raised in Liverpool. He is a product of the Tranmere youth system, signing his first professional contract in 2006. In that year, he was top scorer for the reserve side. Curran’s first team debut came on 13 January 2007, he came on as a sub in the 84th minute. He scored with his first ever senior touch at Prenton Park on 9 April 2007. On 5 May 2007, Curran scored three times in the first 36 minutes to record his first hat-trick for the club as Tranmere beat Brentford 3-1 at Prenton Park. This hat trick broke a club record set by Dixie Dean in 1924, the youngest player to score a hat-trick in a Rovers shirt. He finished his first senior with four goals in four games, two of the games being as a substitute. Curran would sign a three-year-contract in the summer. He would end his first regular starting season with forty appearances and two goals. He would end the next season having made sixteen appearances and scoring three times, one goal in the season finale away at Scunthorpe. His third season ended with fifty appearances and six goals. He left in the summer of 2010. He has since represented: Carlisle, Rochdale, Limerick and Nuneaton before playing football in Scotland. In Scotland he has represented: Ross County and both Dundee clubs on Tannadice street. He now plays for Welsh club Connah’s Quay Nomads.
Players that remained on the bench:
Andy Coughlin – Was 17, Now 27 – Goalkeeper Coughlin was a product of Tranmere’s youth system. In April 2011, he signed his first professional contract on a one-year contract. He made his debut in a 1-1 draw against Hartlepool on 21 April 2012. He was released at the end of the season. He has since regularly represented: Wrexham, Southport and Airbus. He now plays for Colwyn Bay.
Aaron Creswell – Was 20, Now 30 – Born in Liverpool, Creswell is a product of Tranmere’s youth system. He signed his first professional contract in July 2008. He made his first-team debut in a 1-0 loss against Milton Keynes on 1 November 2008. He started regularly, he made over 70 appearances between 2008-2011. Although he was offered a new contract by the club in the summer of 2011 manager Les Parry said ‘I don’t think he will sign as there are a number of Championship clubs after his signature’. He started regularly for Ipswich Town for three years before signing a premier league deal in 2014 for West Ham United. He is a regular starter for West Ham in the Premier league and has represented England’s senior team on three occasions.
Chris McCready – Was 28, Now 38 – The defender signed a one year contract at Tranmere in the summer of 2007, after impressing on trial. He established himself as a regular in the Tranmere defence, playing in all but four of the club’s league games. He re-joined Crewe at the end of the season. In January 2010, he re-joined Tranmere on loan for the remainder of the season. In July 2010 he signed a two year deal at Morecambe where he would feature regularly for four seasons, he is now retired.
Charlie Barnett – Was 21, Now 31 – Barnett is a product of Liverpool’s youth system. He signed for Tranmere on a one year contract on 1 August 2008, signing his first professional contract in the process. Barnett made his debut for Tranmere away to Swindon Town, in a 3-1 league defeat on 9 August 2008. His first senior goal came against Peterborough on 17 February 2009 in a 1-1 draw. He would soon score a vital goal against Oldham. He was named the club’s young player of the season: he made thirty-three appearances and scored three goals. He signed a new one year contract in the summer of 2009, he was soon released. He has since regularly featured for Accrington Stanley and AFC Telford. He is now retired.
Players for Stockport that made a name at Tranmere:
Owain Fon Williams (sub) – Was 23, Now 33 – Welsh goalkeeper Fon Williams appeared on Stockport’s bench. One year later, he signed a two year contract at Tranmere. He made his Rovers debut in the first game of the season, starting against Chesterfield, as Tranmere won 1-0. He spent four seasons at Tranmere, appearing on more than 150 occasions and experiencing relegations from league one to the national league. He has since represented Inverness and is currently at Hamilton. He has made one appearance for his country, Wales.
David Perkins – Was 27, Now 37 – Midfielder David Perkins played for Stockport in that pivotal game. He had signed a loan deal in the previous January. He represented: Barnsley, Blackpool, Wigan and Rochdale before moving to Tranmere in 2019. He signed for Tranmere in the January transfer window of 2019 with the main aim of promotion to league one, that aim was reached with a win at Wembley in a league two play off final against Newport. He is currently at Tranmere.
Statistics for Stockport County 0 v 3 Tranmere:
Possession – 47% – 53%
Attempts on target – 5 – 7
Attempts off target – 4 – 6
Corners – 6 – 7
Fouls – 7 – 7