In conversation with Richie Tierney.
The voice of a Tranmere matchday is Richie Tierney, Tranmere’s stadium announcer doing his role since the 1980’s. Thus, many will know about him. However, not many will know of his complete story.
In a discussion with Richie, I spoke to him about the responsibilities that his role brings, how long he has been following the club and a crazy story which involves former Tranmere owner Frank Corfe amongst many other talking points.
How long have you been going to Tranmere games for and what are your best/worst footballing experiences through this time?
I have been a Rovers fan for 59 years. My first game was Rovers v Mansfield on Easter Monday 1962 with my dearest father and we won 5 – 1. This is my 36th season, doing my role, I’ve loved it.
My best footballing experience actually didn’t happen at Prenton Park but over the water at Goodison Park. Everton 0 Tranmere 3. It was an absolutely fabulous performance and a great day out. The worst was the 2001 FA Cup versus Liverpool we lost 2 – 4 but that’s not the whole story as dreadful refereeing cost us dearly.
You are the stadium announcer at Prenton Park. When and how did you get this role?
Going back to the 80’s I was a member of Birkenhead Park Cricket Club and on the committee was Clive James who was also on the TRFC supporters club. The PA announcer at the time had had enough and the supporters club started looking for his replacement. As I was also the resident DJ at BPCC Clive knew I was a Rovers fanatic and asked me if I fancied it and you bet I did with open arms.
How would you describe your role and the responsibilities you have that some may not know about? Would you say it’s a rewarding and interesting job?
My role at Prenton Park is to keep the fans informed of what’s happening on match days: teams, scorers (usually correct), subs (if the 4th official turns his board towards the box) and the time being added on. Also safety announcements when required. It’s a totally rewarding task for me. I wouldn’t call it a job as I love it so much and as for rewarding? Yes, as I get in for free!
What are some of the best and worst working experiences you’ve had in your time as Tranmere stadium announcer?
I’ll explain the worst by far first. Prenton Park, FA Cup, vs QPR. Chris Wright was the chairman in waiting at QPR. Pre match I met a few QPR fans in the pub and during our conversation they remarked that if they didn’t get rid of Ray Wilkins they would get relegated. We got beat 2-0 so I wasn’t that happy. As the away fans were leaving, that was when they were on the Kop, I spotted the lads I met in the pub so I wished them all a safe journey home and we would see them in the Endsleigh League next season. About 10 minutes later the phone rang in the box and it was Chairman Frank Corfe who promptly sacked me. I found out later that Chris Wright had complained about me implying they would be relegated and was furious. I was escorted from Prenton Park. So Sunday afternoon I drove up to Scotland to catch the ferry to Belfast. I then returned to Scotland on Tuesday and received a phone call from a Radio asking if I would do an interview later that morning with them regarding my sacking. I was on the road to Glasgow when I received a call from Frank Corfe. He had also been asked for an interview with Radio Merseyside. Frank then phoned me and said if I refuse to do the interview I could have my job back so obviously I didn’t do the interview. QPR got relegated so I was correct in my comment.
I’ll have to be honest and say that all games are the best for me as I love my job so much.
Outside of your work for the club, do you have other jobs and what would you say your hobbies are? Are you a massive fan of football in general?
I am an area Sales Manager for a Chemical construction supplier. However, I haven’t worked for nearly 2 years now because of lung cancer and a brain tumour. I do enjoy all football but don’t like it when Liverpool and Everton win, although not much to worry about with Everton at the moment.
Touching on Tranmere teams, since you’ve been stadium announcer at the club who would get into your best eleven and who would manage them?
It’s always difficult picking an all time best 11 as you tend to change your mind regularly. So if any Rovers players I have left out there I’m sorry. However, I’d go for: Eric Nixon, Tony Thomas, Ian Goodison, Mark Hughes, Gareth Roberts, Jason Koumas, Jimmy Harvey, Paul Hall, John Aldridge, Ian Muir and Pat Nevin. They’d be managed by Johnny King.