Today marks the fourth anniversary of the passing of former Tranmere Rovers player and manager, Johnny King.
King managed Tranmere during two different spells and is widely regarded as the most successful manager in the club’s history, with good reason.
King started his playing career at Everton in 1957 before making 242 appearances for Rovers.
But it was his spells as the manager of Tranmere where he had most success and became a revered figure at Prenton Park.
Gaining his first management job at former club Tranmere Rovers in April 1975, he led the ‘Super white army’ to promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1975–76.
He had five seasons at Rovers’ before he was sacked in 1980, though King’s Tranmere experience had only just begun.
In 1987, he was reappointed as manager, a move that heralded the most successful era in the club’s history.
In that season, Tranmere were fighting to avoid relegation out of the Football League when King returned as manager.
He steered the club away from losing their Football League status, before taking them to promotion the following season.
He further took them to the Associate Members’ Cup title in 1990, the Football League Trophy final in 1991, as well as promotion out of the Third Division as winners of the play-offs.
King’s Tranmere just missed out on promotion to the Premier League, reaching the play-offs three times between 1993 and 1995, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the League Cup in 1994, losing out to the eventual winners Aston Villa in a penalty shootout.
Under the charismatic coach, who vowed to take supporters on “a rocket ride to the moon”, King gave the Tranmere faithful a reason to be proud to support “The Blue and White Army”.
Constantly playing attractive football and boasting a great home record season after season, King gave them the best and most memorable nine years in the club’s history.
A highly-respected figure throughout Merseyside and the rest of the country, King had a stand at Prenton Park named in his honour in 2002 due to his tremendous achievements as Tranmere boss.
Also, in 2014 a statue of Tranmere’s most successful manager was unveiled outside the stadium which was paid for by the supporters, portraying just how much King was respected by the Tranmere faithful.