It’s quite difficult writing a blog about a match you remember very little about. I don’t know what they put in the water in the Wirral, but it clearly makes you forget a lot of things. I know that a certain bunch of knuckle draggers in black and white were going for the league title. I know we were already promoted. Apart from that I’m not sure of much of else.
I remember lots of fancy dress. I have been reminded today that the plural of Elvis is Elvi. I have also been reminded that there were a group of fans wearing old school Sunderland shirts with flat caps and stick on moustaches. I’m almost certain there were grown men wearing dresses and nun outfits. It’s a habit I hear.
That Tranmere away day is a thing of legend. When we visited Blackpool last season, we took an absolute squad down. But that was different. I travelled with the Shields branch to Prenton Park and the standard pre match refreshments were in full flow. By the time we got to the working men’s club that had promised us a comedian and other entertainment we were in joyful spirits. This was a party day for us.
There was a cloud of gloom over us of course. Keegan would love it if Boro had managed to beat Man Utd and bring the title to the 92 club. We were celebrating promotion though. If they won it would be a bitter pill but you know, we were having fun. In the working men’s club the entertainment never turned up. Paper planes were made and an origami version of the Battle of Britain ensued. Dam busters rang out around the club which inevitably led to a lovely song about Leeds. We said goodbye to the club and trooped on to the buses. I say trooped. Staggered.
On arrival at Prenton Park it was quickly apparent that we had six of the eight stands. Or three of six if you held up your hand over one eye. While the match was played a break from one of the stands, don’t ask me which saw an ALS blogger running across the pitch to join his fellow Sunderland fans.
Until the other day I had no idea what the score was. I do remember Tranmere getting a penalty. Aldridge stepped up and slotted it home. His celebrations were muted as he looked at the Sunderland fans in confusion. The Sunderland fans were dancing and celebrating. Ryan Giggs had just scored for Man Utd at Boro.
We spotted Gary Rowell when they scored their first and the inevitable song happened. As Tranmere celebrated nobody gave two hoots.
At the end of the game I got back on what I think was the right coach. A man in a Sunderland strip walked to the front of the coach and spent an eternity fiddling with the telly. Curiosity spread as his back hid the screen. He ripped up a newspaper and produced Sellotape from an unknown source. When his masterpiece was finished he turned and revealed a picture of Keegan.
Taped to the screen. He produced a bugle and played the last post. The bus bounced. We stopped off at some unknown backwater and got some after match sedatives. We slept safe in the knowledge that for today, we won. As the Bigg Market got torn apart by its own residents crying that they had thrown away a 13 point lead and lost the league, we slept with smiles on our faces, sometimes good things happen.