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This was a match which you can say was 36 years in the making! When  club president and long term benefactor J.H. McGaul encouraged the boys of Belmont football club to change the clubs name to that of Tranmere Rovers, he had a dream that one day they would become both the premier club in the town and play their football in the most prestigious league of them all, the football league. When McGaul died on 16th December 1921, thankfully it was in the knowledge that both ambitions had been achieved. Indeed, he must have been a very proud man on 27th august 1921 as he took his seat in the stand at Prenton Park on the opening day of the newely formed Northern section of the Football League third division in which Rovers were to play, except for one season in the second division (1938-39), until the formation of the third and forth division in 1958. However, the previous week, before the final public trial match in which the ‘Blues’ bet the ‘Greens’ 2-1, there had  been protests about the increase of some popular admission prices to 1s 6d (7 ½ p) at a public meeting outside the ground. Contempory reports recorded that there was some ‘ragged, irresponsible and ignorant’ speeches which were dismissed as ‘spicy vapourings’ and the crowd soon dispersed into Prenton Park as kick-off time approached. In the letter to the Birkenhead news, an anonymous writer said that, with ‘less wages, higher rent, dearer gas and dearer terms’, the working man could not afford the new prices. Despite the protests, it was clear that Prenton Park was packed the following Saturday for the historic match. The two teams lined out in a 2-5-3 formation for the 3:15pm kick-off. The ebb and flow of the game was described in great detail by the Birkenhead news until Crewe took the lead after 30 Minutes through Caulfield, to whom go the twin distinctions of scoring the first league goal at Prenton Park and being the first to score against Tranmere Rovers. That setback obviously spurred on Tranmere, because they went in at half-time with a gratifying 3-1 lead’, the equaliser and Tranmere’s first ever league goal came from a header by Centre –Half Charlie Milness, courtesy of Jimmy Moreton’s corner after 33 minutes Then left-back Tommy Stuart scored on 36 minutes with rovers first League Penalty, and inside left John Ford added a third two minutes from the break. The reporting style of the time is nicely encapsulated in the description of the third goal, when ford is said to have ‘banged the leather into the net’. The second half was an evenly-balanced affair in which Crewe’s Davies was taken off with two broken ribs. A late goal from inside –right Fred Groves – later sold to Stoke for a record £1,000 – on 88 minutes added to Tranmere’s total, leaving them run out-  winners, a rather flattering scoreline on the evidence of the news report by R.E.T. Interestingly that Tranmere’s first two league goals were scored by defenders while right-back John Grainger and centre-forward Jim Hyam were never again to turn out for Tranmere’s first team. Nevertheless, they have gone down in the history of the club for their efforts that Saturday afternoon against Crewe Alexandra.

Tranmere Rovers: Bradshaw, Grainger, Stuart, Campbell, Milnes, Heslop, Moreton, Groves, Hyam, Ford, Hughes.

Crew Alexandra: Scott, Wright, Goodwin, Moss, Simpson, turner, Davies, Coule, McIntyre, Caulfield, Winterburn.

Referee: W.S.Brierley (Accrington)

Attendance: 7,011

V Crewe 1921



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MOTTO: UBI FIDES IBI LUX ET ROBUR which means "Where there is faith, there is light and strength."

Designed by Ned O'Toole, Paul Harmon and Oisín Ronan.
Special thanks to Tranmere Rovers Football club for the information.