Best and worst – Tranmere Rovers F.C
Ethan Hoijord, 18 years old – Supporter since the 2014/15 season.
Best – The 17/18 promotion team that got us promoted from the National League. Fight, hunger and a hell tonne of skill. I loved that team, when they were climbing the stairs up to collect their trophy .. I was in tears saying how proud of them I was. The club was united then after so many years of disarray.
The team that played at Wembley? Davies, Sutton, McNulty, Monthe, Ridehalgh, Cole, Norburn, Hughes, Ginnelly, Cook, Norwood. Subs? Clarke, Jennings and Harris.
Worst – It has to be the 14/15 team that got us relegated to the fifth tier of English football for the first time in the club’s history.
This was the eleven that played on the day that was confirmed: Fonners, Laird, Ihiekwe, Dugdale, Donacien, Hill, Koumas, Jennings, Power, Odejayi, Donnelly. The subs? Green and Hume.
Best – James Norwood. Goals, pace, trickery .. he had it all and it also helped that he had a great affection for the fanbase as Rovers fans loved him too.
Worst – See, this is a tricky one. I feel like there’d be a long list if I was really going to put my mind to it and a certain current striker may be on there. However, I’ll go for defender Marcus Holness. He was awful. I remember meeting him in a pre-season friendly at Cammell Lairds, I said I had heard a lot about him .. he replied ‘anything good?’ .. I nodded, that was a lie.
Best – When Norwood scored against Boreham Wood, to promote us back to the Football League. That day will forever live in my memory, I’m so glad I was there to experience it.
Worst – Again, there would be a long list. However, considering it was the game that saw us being relegated to the National League .. Plymouth Away 2015. Made me cry, that did.
Best – In terms of end to end or in terms of what it meant? To be honest, as is a common theme, I’ll have to go for the National League Play Off final victory.
Worst – As I’ve already mentioned that Plymouth game and I don’t fancy having a nightmare when I’m sleeping tonight, I’ll go with the Play Off final defeat against Forest Green in 2017. Definitely having a nightmare.
Player’s haircut –
Best – I don’t mind a straight and narrow two all over. However, I’ll label Bas Savage’s red and blue style as the best. As a young lad, I thought it was quite cool. Tricky question, this one.
Worst – The worst? Adam McGurk’s! Looked like he had a parrot or a squirrel, I can’t remember the description too well, on his head. Made me and my comb over look alright.
Best – James Norwood, easy. Forest Green fans were laughing at us, he had played as a winger for them. We, well Gary Brabin, turned his role into an out and out striker and Nors’ time on Merseyside showed the Nailsworth outfit just what they had been missing out on.
Worst – The list is endless. Thus, I’ll go for one that is still at the club and was signed by the current gaffer in January. David Nugent, god help him .. he’s past his best and if he was food you’d refrain yourself from eating in the fear of food poisoning.
Best – Our League Two promotion campaign in 2018/19. No one expected us to go up, we defied the odds and we had fun whilst we were at it. The 4-3 win away at Morecambe still lives in the memory, so does the smell of the pyro I was next to.
Worst – 2014/15, enough said.
Best – I’ve already mentioned the James Norwood goal at Wembley, but that still leaves plenty in the back of my mind. I’ll go for Andy Cook’s long range strike against Eastleigh, what a combination those two players were. I miss them, deeply.
Worst – Impossible question, every Rovers goal is worth celebrating and I can’t remember our last tap in.
Best – I love the 2016/17 home shirt. It was nothing special but it was smart, looked so clean and it was the one that we wore when I first watched us at Wembley. Good memories, glad that I’ve got that shirt in my wardrobe.
Worst – Looking back, as I thought it was alright at the time, I hate the 2015/16 home shirt. A mixture of Cabrini, Home and Bargains as well as awkward green and blue stripes .. grim.
Best – Super Whites, bit of might.
Worst – I’ve seen rival fans label the club as ‘tranny’ and the fans as ‘trannies. Not very politically correct. However, considering I’ve went for ‘one night in gay paris’ as my best chant, I’ll just say there’s better nicknames out there.
Best – ‘one night in gay paris’. A chant that I’ve always wanted to learn and now I know every word I love belting it out in a packed away end. ‘I paid five francs to see …’ I’ll stop there.
Worst – ‘super white army’. Probably a bit of a controversial one. However, it gives me deep and dark thoughts of when those three words were the only ones that you’d hear coming from the Kop when we were awful and getting relegated. Alright chant, dark memories. Our songbook has since improved.
Best – Considering this is only since I started supporting the Whites, it’s an easy one. Johnny King is the obvious, he was before my time though. Thus, I’ll go for Micky Mellon. I was starstruck when I first met him after he had been appointed, I spent many an hour waiting for him after the game in my teenage years. He was great, understood the club so well and brought me the only footballing success I have had the pleasure of experiencing in person. I was gutted when he left for Dundee United. Honestly, I still am. What a man.
Worst – How long have you got? I’ll say Micky Adams and if you’ve read his book, which I’ve seen extracts from, you’d understand why. He’d lost all love for the game when he arrived at Prenton Park and he made all fans fall out of love with it as well. To top it all off, he left before he got a relegation on his CV. Dare I say fraud? Yeah, I’ll say it.
Cult hero –
Best – Tough one. For the case of including him in this write up, I’ll say Steve McMulty as he’s a football cult hero due to being a little bit on the larger side. He’s a unit, up close, it’s not fat .. it’s muscle. Great player in all. However, you know that if you understand football. I’m just including him because he was class, on the pitch and every time I’ve met him and he’s occasionally mocked by others due to his stature.
Worst – I suppose James Alabi is somewhat of a cult hero, considering the majority of the fanbase had such high hopes after he netted 5 past Lairds in something like half an hour. On the pitch though, in competitive encounters, he was awful. He spoke to a paper and said he’d ran out of excuses if he wanted to play in the Premier League .. I thought that was a little bit far fetched. However, he did get promoted with us .. his few games contributed, kinda.
Hard man –
Best – There’s been quite a few. The two Jay’s are in the back of my mind though, although you could add Peter Clarke into the mix as well. Jay Spearing and Jay Harris are, of course, the two Jay’s. I’ll go for Spearing, he’s been top notch this season and some of his tackles have been immense. A hard man but clean whilst he’s at it.
Worst – Worst hard man? Can I say Joss Labadie? I was watching Rovers when he was playing for us, although not supporting us entirely. He’s been in the papers for biting a few players, nasty.
Facial hair –
(I’ll leave this one unanswered as I don’t pay too much attention to facial hair, unless someone has done movember successfully).
Micky Mellon. Easily the best manager in my time supporting the club. He loved Tranmere and brought the club success, to a level that I thought I’d never experience.