I wrote a book about Tranmere Rovers, and you can buy it now
When I was a kid, reading was my salvation. It was a passport to another town, a different world, and a brighter reality. From the age of ten until my late teens, I was constantly attached to a book. Now, at the age of 24, after hundreds of blogs over nearly a decade, I have written and published a book of my own. I can finally call myself an author.
Available in paperback and Kindle ebook editions, Planet Prentonia: The Real Story of Tranmere Rovers features all of my best writing about the club, fully updated and enriched, in a flowing anthology format. It also features 13 new and exclusive articles plugging some of the gaps left by the original Planet Prentonia website.
I first launched Planet Prentonia in 2015. It was a digital enterprise dedicated to the untold stories of Tranmere Rovers, a club of distinct dignity that was often overlooked in close proximity to Everton and Liverpool. The blog gained a cult following, but my battles with mental ill health stunted its productivity in 2017 and beyond. A full-blown psychological breakdown ended the project entirely eight months ago, before a covert resuscitation.
Yesterday, I relaunched Planet Prentonia in a new format. In the original format, concentrating on writing rather than all the excess accoutrements of a modern media outlet. Writing played a powerful role in my recovery from depression, in my reclaiming of self from the corporate abyss. Writing gave me hope and kept me sane. It told me who I really was and encouraged me to express that soul without fear of judgement.
On the surface, Planet Prentonia has lay dormant since December last year. In reality, it never went away. Not in true spirit. On the individualist road to sanity, I typed, and typed, and typed some more. Patrycja, my girlfriend, encouraged me to keep going, keep believing, and keep typing. The result was a 256-page manuscript that is now available on Amazon. The council estate kid from South Wirral High finally published a book.
I wrote this book not in self-congratulation or jaded arrogance, but in thorough appreciation of writing, the greatest anti-depressant I have ever encountered.
I wrote this book for you, the loyal readers of Planet Prentonia, who always encouraged me to dig deeper and create something great.
I wrote this book because a comprehensive history of Tranmere Rovers in lyrical, narrative form – rather than statistical and pictorial - has never been attempted.
I truly believe this is the definitive book about the club we all adore. By a fan, of the fans, for the fans. At long last, it puts Tranmere Rovers in their correct cultural context.
It took me six months to collate, freshen, corroborate and improve the best articles ever featured on Planet Prentonia in its various forms. It took five years of blood, sweat and tears to write this book, however, travelling all the way back to my bedroom in Ashfield Crescent, Bromborough, where the idea for such a project initially bloomed to fruition.
Every fact has been checked in painstaking detail - every date and score and attendance and note. The book also includes a raft of new content that has been pieced together during my apparent hibernation from the Tranmere space. Fresh stories focus on Johnny King and Dave Russell, James Norwood and Micky Mellon, among many others.
Perhaps most importantly, Planet Prentonia: The Real Story of Tranmere Rovers updates the club’s written history to encompass the present glory period. When Connor Jennings scored in the dying seconds at Wembley, heading Tranmere back into the third division, a Planet Prentonia article would have went down a treat. Such was our relationship in the old days. Well, I did write about that game, that wonderful promotion, and you can read it all in the book.
One unmissable chapter tells the story of how James Norwood, the most important player ever to represent Tranmere, ended up in the back of my car just hours after our latest Wembley triumph. Micky Mellon, one of the club’s greatest ever managers, was about to get in, too. I’m just glad I didn’t crash.
Writing, editing and publishing this book would not have been possible without the support of my family - without my mum, dad, Nathan and Patrycja. It also wouldn’t have been possible without Mr Robinson, my only real English teacher, who told me to stop pissing around in year nine. I hope this makes you all proud.
Above all else, though, this book is for everyone who ever said a nice word about Planet Prentonia. To all the people who have shook my hand, bought me a drink or just thanked me for writing a certain article with which they associated: thank you. I hope you enjoy the book.
Let this just be the beginning, and let Tranmere Rovers reign supreme. Thank you.