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Today, I heard the dreadful news that a former player, manager and legend of my favourite and local football club died after a long illness, quietly in his sleep.
Hopefully the pearly gates, will greet the man with as much respect as he is held by the supporters of his beloved Tranmere.
He was the most successful manager of our club and held in high esteem and only one of a handful who could ever be a true legend in our football club.
The club has already named a stand, the supporters collected for a statue which proudly stands at the entrance to Prenton Park. And there will be tears on Saturday!
I am truly saddened, this is like a death in the family, anyone who knew him never had a bad word about him. This is not just the usual sentiment, this is justly deserved, he was probably one of the last gentleman in football.
He was ahead of his time in tactics, his players loved him and those players owed so much to him. A lot of the squad he took through the league always proved they were better than the league they were in.
Despite promotions to the edge of the premiership (3 play off seasons concurrent!) Despite the tenfold increase in attendance and the rollercoaster of a ride, lowly Tranmere achieved. I believe being denied a place in the league cup final, by Aston Villa at villa park was the absolute highlight of his attitude and tactical awareness, he out thought the great Ron Atkinson in the first leg, thrashing Villa 3-1, then going down to a penalty shoot out is which Bosnich the Villa keeper starred. Why, am I praising him for a defeat?
Well the Villas first goal was controversy, but what followed at Villa park was bad.
Never mind the offside goal. Bosnich, remember him? Well he brought our striker down for a penalty and the referee bottled it and as last man should have been sent off. He didn't get booked!!!!!!
We scored, the tie went to extra time and penalties.
Both referees, were never allowed to referee Rovers again!
Did our manager moan or blame anyone?
It was always what we did, not the opposition, the officials, weather, what we did, nothing else.
He inspired an attacking formation which baffled many opponents, he could, play with a sweeper and have four forwards. He never pulled his strikers backs for corners or free kicks, sometimes, three or four players on half way line for an opposition corner.
His first achievement was to keep Rovers from relegation to the non league by gaining enough points to achieve this, a winning goal against Exeter at Prenton Park did enough and the way was clear for a gradual rise through the league's to what is known now as the championship.
He took us to Wembly, four times, some good memories against Bristol Rovers, Bolton, Nottingham forest in the centenary celebrations. We were forever lowly Tranmere and punching above our weight.
We had our ground modernised, we achieved a fortnightly slot on saint and greavsie.
We were the little fish in the pond fighting the big boys.
We achieved eleven seasons in the championship, that is unbelievable for a club, with no history and forever in the bottom division.
Of course, it couldn't last and he stepped down, to let John Aldridge take the reins and the rollercoaster ride continued, with the cup exploits that Aldos reign continued.
His legacy will live on with our supporters.
I have met the great man, I'm writing this as a form of grief, I'm gutted to be honest.
Our club will rise again, I've no doubt that! But no one ever will outdo or be as richly remembered or admired as Johnny King, legend just doesn't do it!
A famous saying, one of many;
Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool or Everton.
They're like big liners like the Queen Mary.
But I see Tranmere as a deadly submarine.
This is my fiftieth blog.
It was going to be my last, I don't know, really.
I'm not getting the readers.
I have a lot to say and a lot to tell people.
I'm thinking of writing a book, but I'm not certain about that either.
I'm very busy and don't think I'll ever complete it!
These blogs should have a wider readership, which is not getting promoted.
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