This is a link to one of my greatest and most traumatic moments watching football. I first attended a professional match at the age of 7. This was several years later.
At the time, I was living away from home whilst at college. I travelled back for this game played on a Friday night, aware that my team were one game away from oblivion. It was hard in those days to be a Tranny supporter, given that the other local teams Liverpool and Everton were the dominant sides at that time. Had it not been for the ban a couple of years earlier, it is safe to say that they would have been successful in the European Cup. Not so for the minnows of Prenton Park.
The catastrophic coupling of flamboyant Frank Worthington as player-manager, and an American owner (Osterman) had led to the club facing relegation from Division 4 (now League 2).
The club had been taken over by local businessman, Peter Johnson and, former player and manager, Johnny King had been handed the arduous task of preventing the unthinkable. Current manager Ronnie Moore had acted as caretaker boss, but had yet to find his feet as the man in charge.
Three other sides, Burnley, Torquay and Lincoln city were similarly embroiled in this fight to extricate themselves from financial oblivion. A fellow student was a Burnley fan and understood the reality.
The last match was against Exeter city. Average attendances had at this time been around 1200 but the town turned out to witness either the demise of TRFC, or the phoenix rising. The official attendance was given at less than 7000, leading to accusations that the gates were being fiddled. Given that there were queues around the block and the game was delayed for fifteen minutes, there may be some substance to this. It was unusual for the programmes to sell out.
I usually stood in the paddock area but had to queue with my father for a seat in the Main Stand.
The video uploaded to YouTube brings back great memories, although I remember little of the game itself, other than the goal and Exeter's shot hitting the crossbar. Oh, how historic a piece of wood can be.
The scorer of the goal was Garry Williams, a defender, from Ian Muir's sublime chipped cross. I had the honour of meeting GW a few years later. I probably owe him a drink.