A revealing new book will be released tomorrow which delves in to one of the most tumultuous periods in Tranmere’s history.
Riding The Rover Coaster, by author and journalist Matthew Jones, pieces together a decade which saw Tranmere fall from League One in to non-league before climbing back up once again.
Combining Matt’s skilfully written narrative with a series of fascinating interviews, the book examines many of the key events and subplots which led to both the demise and rebuild of the club.
It begins in League One, with Les Parry among those to talk about Tranmere’s near-miss with the play-offs, the ultimate sacking of Ronnie Moore and the crazy decision to appoint John Barnes as manager.
On the sacking of Moore, there are some interesting opinions, but none more so than those of Tranmere legend Ian Goodison. Matt managed to track down the former defender and spoke at length about his time with Rovers.
There’s also a rare interview with former owner and Chairman Peter Johnson who talks openly about the sale of the club to Mark and Nicola Palios.
One of the most intriguing areas of the book is those pages telling the story of Tranmere’s relegation out of the Football League during the 2014/15 season and Micky Adams’ ill-fated spell as manager. Along with Parry, Steven Jennings, Danny Holmes and Liam Ridehalgh add their voices to a story which has not been fairly told until this point.
Adams has certainly had his say in his autobiography, and one of those who gets some criticism in his book is Rovers cult hero Iain Hume. Humey returned to Rovers under Adams in January 2015, and for the first time lifts the lid on what really happened as he found himself banished from first team training.
Hume tells Matt: ““It was supposed to be a fairytale, my return, but it turned into a nightmare,”
“I went up to see him and next thing I know, he says: ‘you’re right, I don’t want you here. I didn’t sign you’. This is after telling me to my face that he wanted me as a player. He said: ‘You’re not involved anymore. If you want to come in and train, then get changed in the match day dressing room’.”
The relegations and fall-outs are covered in part one of Riding The Rover Coaster, whereas part two of the book focusses on Tranmere’s revival and the turnaround which subsequently saw the club return to League One last May.
A fascinating chapter covers the sacking of Gary Brabin and appointment of Micky Mellon. The big names continue to contribute to interviews, with Micky himself quoted along with Scott Davies and Mark Palios. Davies reveals more about Mellon’s management style and gives an insight in to what training is like following a defeat.
“He’s an awful loser,”
“But I also think his group are awful losers now. We’ve had players sign for our club who have found it hard to adjust to how we respond to defeat, because it’s the end of the world.
“If you came into training on a Monday morning aher a defeat, it’s like a morgue. Nobody speaks. That transcends down from the manager to his coaching staff, to his captain and his players. ‘This is how you behave when you get beat’. You go back to square one and put everything right”.
The book is going to be a huge seller and is a quite fascinating read – perfect for the upcoming Christmas break!
You can order your copy now online from here or pop in to the Fan Park tomorrow to buy your copy in-person.