The greatest quotes of Tranmere Rovers manager Johnny King

With the sad news of Johnny King’s passing, let’s reflect on some of the greatest quotes from Tranmere Rovers’ most famous philosopher.

  • “Tranmere Rovers may never be able to compete with Liverpool or Everton. They are big liners like the Queen Mary. However, I see Tranmere as a deadly submarine, attacking them silently from beneath with a torpedo.”
  • “I can’t promise anyone success, but I can promise them a trip to the moon.”
  • “We are all together in this boat, crossing the ocean, looking for dry land. When you see a bird with a twig in its beak, you know you are near. That’s when you have to pull hard on those oars so you are first to that beach.”
  • “A football season is like a long sea voyage. Sometimes the wind is in your favour and you can make good headway. But equally, there will be times when you are becalmed. That is when you have to stick to your course, believe in your crew, and then hoist the sails when the wind changes so you can take advantage of it.”
  • “Some managers spend weeks on complicated tactical plans and formations. We just sign good players and let them play.”
  • “Building a football team is like baking a cake. If you get the ingredients right, it rises perfectly in the oven and tastes perfect. But if you get the ingredients wrong, it will go flat and stodgy and be inedible.”
  • “The promotion run-in is like the Grand National. At the start, there are forty runners, but plenty fall by the wayside as they try to clear those jumps. In the end, there is usually about half a dozen left on the final straight and that is when you need a bit of carrot and stick to break that winners’ tape.”
  • “Aldo is my gunslinger. Throw him into a crowded penalty box and he is a deadly shot who takes no prisoners.”
  • “Jim Steel is like a Maypole. Put him up front and everyone dances around him.”
  • “Finding a replacement for Ian Muir is like mushrooming in Halewood. Most of the time, you would search but find nothing. But then, all of a sudden, you would spot a big one and you had to pick it there and then before someone else got it. That is the chance I had with Aldo, and I’m so excited for the club that I took it.”
  • “Signing players on loan is like buying a sandwich from a garage. You could get mouldy cheese or prime Wiltshire ham. There is no way of telling.”
  • “Aldo is like El Cid. Even when he is dead, you could strap him to a trolley, wheel him to the back post, and he would still knock one in.”
  • “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.”

Rest in peace, Mr King.


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Ryan Ferguson is the author of Planet Prentonia: The Real Story of Tranmere Rovers, available now in paperback and Kindle formats through Amazon. Click the link below to get your copy now!

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