Last night, Tranmere Rovers legend Johnny King sadly passed away after battling a long illness. He died peacefully next to his family, and when the news of his passing broke on social media, many realised how important King was to Tranmere, and football on Merseyside.
Football personalities such as Robbie Fowler, Steve Bower, Ryan Lowe, Tony Incenzo and John Aldridge have spoken about how important King was to them, and how he made Tranmere Rovers a club that meant something more than just a football club to the fans. Legends have come and gone in Merseyside, but not many will be as impactful as Johnny King was to the “Super White Army”
Not many managers can be at a club long enough, and have statues outside of their stadium, and have a stand named after them. Sir Alex Ferguson and Bill Shankly have that honour, but so does Johnny King. King lived to see the statue of himself erected outside of the main stand of Prenton Park, and saw the Johnny King stand being filled up by loyal Rovers supporters, week in, week out.
For some, the name of Johnny King may not ring any bells, but to people who have grown up around Tranmere, like myself, you will know how important the man was to the club. He helped the club survive in the Football League, and transformed the club into one that could challenge for domestic cups, and promotion. He was a very successful manager, and would also deliver amazing quotes for everyone to enjoy.
“Tranmere Rovers may never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They’re big liners like the Queen Mary. However, I see Tranmere as a deadly submarine, attacking them silently from behind with a torpedo.”
“It will be a sad day when I leave Tranmere, but I’m proud of what I have achieved here. Now I have to think towards the future.”
Tranmere Rovers fans loved him, everyone loved him, and football in Merseyside loved him.
Rest in Peace, Johnny King.