1921–22 Tranmere Rovers F.C. season

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Tranmere Rovers F.C.
1921–22 season
Chairman WH Stott
Manager Bert Cooke
Stadium Prenton Park
Football League Third Division North 18th (of 20)
FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round (eliminated by Altrincham)
Top goalscorer League: Groves (7)
All: Bullough, Groves (7)
Highest home attendance 10,000 vs Southport (18 April 1922)
Lowest home attendance 3,000 vs Durham City (1 April 1922)
Average home league attendance 6,287
Team colours

The 1921–22 season was the first season of league football played by Tranmere Rovers. They joined the Football League Third Division North, when it was established after the restructuring of the English league system. The club played their first fixture, against Crewe Alexandra, at Prenton Park on 27 August 1921, winning 4–1.

Rovers ended the season in 18th place out of 20 teams, finishing ahead on goal average from Halifax Town, who had to apply for re-election. They were eliminated from the FA Cup in the Fourth Qualifying Round, losing a replay to non-league Altrincham.

Review[edit]

Squad picture
Before first Football League match[1]

Prior to the start of the 1919–20 season, The Football League had formed a new Third Division, composed primarily of southern teams.[2] On 7 March 1921, Tranmere – then members of the Central League – were invited to become founder members of the new Division Three North.[2][3] At this time the team were managed by Bert Cooke, who did so for 23 years in total, the club record for longest serving manager.[4]

In preparation for their new football league status, Tranmere made eleven new signings, meaning there were 25 professional players by the start of the season. They also bought the freehold on their ground, Prenton Park, for £7,500. Unlike their neighbours Everton and Liverpool, Tranmere could not sustain such growth and were forced to raise admission prices, causing an outcry amongst fans.[5]

On 27 August 1921 at 3:15 pm, Tranmere started their first Football League match against Crewe Alexandra at Prenton Park.[6] Attendance was affected by the new ticket prices, with 7,011 spectators present. Billy Caulfield scored first for Crewe, with Charles Milnes equalising for Tranmere as they went on to a 4–1 victory.[6]

Tranmere's first six games produced two wins, two draws and two defeats. However, they performed poorly over the rest of the season. They were eliminated from the FA Cup in the Fourth Qualifying Round, losing 4–2 to non-league Altrincham at home, after a 4–4 away draw, and thus being the Robins' first ever league victims.[7] They finished 18th of 20 in the league, only finishing ahead of Halifax Town on goal average, who had to apply for re-election.[8]

The optimism felt by the directors at the start of the season about being on par with their Merseyside rivals changed to uncertainty.[5] This is reflected in the statistics for the season: thirty-one players were used in total, with only seven making more than twenty appearances; the top league scorer was Fred Groves, with seven goals.[5]

Third Division North[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GAvg
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Stockport County (C) 38 24 8 6 60 21 2.857 56 Promoted to the Second Division
2 Darlington 38 22 6 10 81 37 2.189 50
3 Grimsby Town 38 21 8 9 72 47 1.532 50
4 Hartlepools United 38 17 8 13 52 39 1.333 42
5 Accrington Stanley 38 19 3 16 73 57 1.281 41
6 Crewe Alexandra 38 18 5 15 60 56 1.071 41
7 Stalybridge Celtic 38 18 5 15 62 63 0.984 41
8 Walsall 38 18 3 17 66 65 1.015 39
9 Southport 38 14 10 14 55 44 1.250 38
10 Ashington 38 17 4 17 59 66 0.894 38
11 Durham City 38 17 3 18 68 67 1.015 37
12 Wrexham 38 14 9 15 51 56 0.911 37
13 Chesterfield 38 16 3 19 48 67 0.716 35
14 Lincoln City 38 14 6 18 48 59 0.814 34
15 Barrow 38 14 5 19 42 54 0.778 33
16 Nelson 38 13 7 18 48 66 0.727 33
17 Wigan Borough 38 11 9 18 46 72 0.639 31
18 Tranmere Rovers 38 9 11 18 51 61 0.836 29
19 Halifax Town 38 10 9 19 56 76 0.737 29 Re-elected
20 Rochdale 38 11 4 23 52 77 0.675 26

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Results[edit]

All data relating to league,[9] FA Cup[9] and other matches,[10] and own goal scorers[11] are sourced from Upton and Wilson (1997). In the results column, Tranmere's score is given first. H, A and N refer to home, away and neutral venues, respectively.

Football League Third Division North[edit]

Date Opponents Venue Result Score Scorers Attendance
27 August 1921 Crewe Alexandra H W 4–1 Stuart, Milnes, Groves, Ford 7,011
3 September 1921 Crewe Alexandra A D 1–1 Prentice 8,000
10 September 1921 Walsall H L 0–1 8,446
17 September 1921 Walsall A L 0–2 11,000
24 September 1921 Halifax Town H D 2–2 Bullough, Prentice 7,000
1 October 1921 Halifax Town A W 2–0 Groves, Bullough 8,000
8 October 1921 Rochdale A L 1–2 Bullough 6,000
15 October 1921 Rochdale H W 7–0 Groves (2), Bullough, Cunningham (4) 6,000
22 October 1921 Stalybridge Celtic H W 4–1 Campbell, Ford, Groves, Cunningham 5,000
29 October 1921 Stalybridge Celtic A L 0–4 6,000
5 November 1921 Wigan Borough A D 0–0 10,000
12 November 1921 Wigan Borough H W 2–0 Groves (2) 8,000
26 November 1921 Hartlepools United A D 0–0 6,000
10 December 1921 Southport A D 1–1 Bullough 5,000
17 December 1921 Stockport County H L 0–2 8,000
24 December 1921 Stockport County A D 0–0 8,000
26 December 1921 Ashington H L 2–3 Hilton, Cunningham 8,000
27 December 1921 Hartlepools United H L 1–2 Prentice 7,000
31 December 1921 Grimsby Town H D 2–2 Roberts, Lloyy 6,000
14 January 1922 Grimsby Town A L 1–5 Hilton 7,000
21 January 1922 Accrington Stanley H L 2–4 Moreton, Ford 4,000
28 January 1922 Accrington Stanley A L 0–3 5,000
4 February 1922 Darlington A L 0–4 3,000
11 February 1922 Darlington H L 0–1 6,000
18 February 1922 Lincoln City A L 1–4 Stuart 4,000
25 February 1922 Lincoln City H W 4–0 Mercer, Moreton, Fulton, Ward (o.g.) 5,000
4 March 1922 Ashington A L 0–1 4,200
18 March 1922 Barrow H D 2–2 Stuart, Fulton 4,000
25 March 1922 Barrow A L 0–2 4,000
1 April 1922 Durham H D 3–3 Ford, Fulton, Musgrove (o.g.) 3,000
8 April 1922 Durham A L 0–3 1,500
14 April 1922 Chesterfield H W 2–0 Moreton, Lloyd 8,000
15 April 1922 Wrexham H D 0–0 6,000
17 April 1922 Chesterfield A L 0–3 6,000
18 April 1922 Southport H L 0–1 10,000
22 April 1922 Wrexham A W 3–1 Stuart, Rainford (2) 3,700
29 April 1922 Nelson H W 4–0 Campbell, Milnes, Moreton, Rainford 3,000
6 May 1922 Nelson A D 0–0

FA Cup[edit]

Date Opponents Venue Result Score Scorers Attendance Notes
19 November 1921 Altrincham A D 4–4 Cook, Bullough, Prentice (2) 2,000 Fourth Qualifying Round
24 November 1921 Altrincham H L 2–4 Cook, Bullough 4,000 Replay

Secondary fixtures[edit]

Date Competition Opponents Venue Result Score Scorers Attendance Notes
28 September 1921 Cheshire Senior Medals Stockport County A L 0–3
5 April 1922 Liverpool Senior Cup New Brighton A W 4–2
1 May 1922 Liverpool Senior Cup Everton N L 0–1 At Anfield
8 May 1922 Liverpool County Medals Skelmersdale United N W 2–0 At Goodison Park
11 May 1922 Liverpool County Medals Marine N W 2–0 At Anfield, semi-final
13 May 1922 Liverpool County Medals Liverpool A W 2–0 14,000 Final
23 February 1922 Friendly Unemployed XI H W 4–0 Raised £33 for the National Unemployed Workers' Movement
11 March 1922 Friendly Crewe Alexandra H W 5–1
22 April 1922 Friendly League XI H L 0–2
4 May 1922 Friendly Stoke City H W 4–3 1,000 Testimonial for Moreton, Cunningham and Leck

Player statistics[edit]

Bert Cooke used a total of 31 players during the 1921–22 season and there were fifteen different goalscorers. The team played in a 2–3–5 formation (the standard formation at the time) throughout the campaign, with two fullbacks, three halfbacks, two outside forwards, two inside forwards and a centre forward. Harry Bradshaw – the goalkeeper – played in every league and cup game, whilst Tom Stuart – a left back – missed just one match, the defeat to Accrington Stanley on 21 January. All data relating to appearances[9] and first names[12] are sourced from Upton and Wilson (1997).

Name Position League
apps
League
goals
FA Cup
apps
FA Cup
goals
Total
apps
Total
goals
Edmund Baldwin CF 1 0 0 0 1 0
Harry Bradshaw G 38 0 2 0 40 0
Denis Bullough CF 9 5 2 2 11 7
Johnny Campbell WH 26 2 2 0 28 0
Fred Cook OR 16 0 2 2 18 2
Charlie Cunningham IL 32 6 2 0 38 6
Peter Fairclough LH 8 0 0 0 8 0
John Ford IR 15 4 0 0 15 4
Allen Forshaw RB 1 0 0 0 1 0
David Fulton CF 8 3 0 0 8 3
John Grainger RB 1 0 0 0 1 0
Fred Groves IR 12 7 0 0 12 7
Charlie Hayes RB 17 0 2 0 19 0
Tom Heslop LH 8 0 0 0 8 0
Harold Hilton IR 18 2 0 0 18 2
Thomas Hughes OL 3 0 0 0 3 0
James Hyam CF 1 0 0 0 1 0
Evan Lloyd CF 11 2 0 0 11 2
Joe Mercer CH 16 1 2 0 18 1
Charles Milnes CH 16 2 0 0 16 2
George Moorhouse OL 2 0 0 0 2 0
Jimmy Moreton OR 26 4 2 0 28 4
James Niven LB 17 0 0 0 17 0
John Prentice OL 23 3 2 2 25 4
Billy Rainford IL 15 3 0 0 15 3
James Roberts OL 32 1 2 0 34 1
Alfred Robinson IR 4 0 0 0 4 0
Tom Stott CF 1 0 0 0 1 0
Tom Stuart LB 37 4 2 0 39 4
Arthur Sugden RB 3 0 0 0 3 0
Edward Winn CH 1 0 0 0 1 0

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bishop (1998).
  2. ^ a b Upton (1991). "Football League via Central – 1919–21". Tranmere Rovers, 1881–1921: A New History. pp. 61–68. 
  3. ^ Felton, Paul; Spencer, Barry (14 June 2000). "England 1921–22". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Tranmere Rovers Managers Since 1912". Tranmere Rovers F.C. 12 May 2010. Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Upton (1991). "Epilogue and Epitaph – 1921". Tranmere Rovers, 1881–1921: A New History. pp. 69–76. 
  6. ^ a b "Club History". Tranmere Rovers F.C. 12 May 2010. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Rowley, Terry (June 2005). "Altrincham FC A to Z". Altrincham F.C. Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Division 3 (North) 1921/22". FootballSite.co.uk. Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c Upton; Wilson (1997). "1921–1922". Tranmere Rovers 1921–1997: A Complete Record. p. 12. 
  10. ^ Upton; Wilson (1997). "Secondary Fixtures". Tranmere Rovers 1921–1997: A Complete Record. pp. 124–130. 
  11. ^ Upton; Wilson (1997). "Own Goals". Tranmere Rovers 1921–1997: A Complete Record. pp. 115–117. 
  12. ^ Upton; Wilson (1997). "Players' Data". Tranmere Rovers 1921–1997: A Complete Record. pp. 101–108. 

References[edit]

  • Upton, Gilbert; Wilson, Steve (November 1997). Tranmere Rovers 1921–1997: A Complete Record. ISBN 978-0-9518648-2-1. 
  • Bishop, Peter (1 November 1998). Tranmere Rovers Football Club. Images of England. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 978-0-7524-1505-5.