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

Squad picture
Before first Football League match1

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.23 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

Final league table

Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Stockport County 38 13 5 1 36 10 11 3 5 24 11 60 21 2.857 +39 56
2 Darlington 38 15 2 2 52 7 7 4 8 29 30 81 37 2.189 +44 50
3 Grimsby Town 38 15 4 0 54 15 6 4 9 18 32 72 47 1.532 +25 50
4 Hartlepools United 38 10 6 3 33 11 7 2 10 19 28 52 39 1.333 +13 42
5 Accrington Stanley 38 15 1 3 50 15 4 2 13 23 42 73 57 1.281 +16 41
6 Crewe Alexandra 38 13 1 5 39 21 5 4 10 21 35 60 56 1.071 +4 41
7 Stalybridge Celtic 38 14 3 2 42 15 4 2 13 20 48 62 63 0.984 –1 41
8 Walsall 38 15 2 2 52 17 3 1 15 14 48 66 65 1.015 +1 39
9 Southport 38 11 6 2 39 12 3 4 12 16 32 55 44 1.250 +11 38
10 Ashington 38 13 2 4 42 22 4 2 13 17 44 59 66 0.894 –7 38
11 Durham City 38 14 0 5 43 20 3 3 13 25 47 68 67 1.015 +1 37
12 Wrexham 38 12 4 3 40 17 2 5 12 11 39 51 56 0.911 –5 37
13 Chesterfield 38 12 2 5 33 15 4 1 14 15 52 48 67 0.716 –19 35
14 Lincoln City 38 11 2 6 32 20 3 4 12 16 39 48 59 0.814 –11 34
15 Barrow 38 11 2 6 29 18 3 3 13 13 36 42 54 0.778 –12 33
16 Nelson 38 7 6 6 27 23 6 1 12 21 43 48 66 0.727 –18 33
17 Wigan Borough 38 9 4 6 32 28 2 5 12 14 44 46 72 0.639 –26 31
18 Tranmere Rovers 38 7 5 7 41 25 2 6 11 10 36 51 61 0.836 –10 29
19 Halifax Town 38 9 4 6 37 28 1 5 13 19 48 56 76 0.737 –20 29
20 Rochdale 38 9 2 8 34 24 2 2 15 18 53 52 77 0.675 –25 26

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against;
GA = Goal average; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

Key
Division Champions, promoted
New club in the league: all except Stockport County, Grimsby Town
Re-elected
Failed re-election (none)


Results

All data relating to league,9 FA Cup9 and other matches,10 and own goal scorers11 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

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

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

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

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 appearances9 and first names12 are sourced from Upton and Wilson (1997).

Name Position League
apps
League
goals
FA Cup
apps
FA Cup
goals
Total
apps
Total
goals
Baldwin, EdmundEdmund Baldwin CF 1 0 0 0 1 0
Bradshaw, HarryHarry Bradshaw G 38 0 2 0 40 0
Bullough, DenisDenis Bullough CF 9 5 2 2 11 7
Campbell, JohnnyJohnny Campbell WH 26 2 2 0 28 0
Cook, FredFred Cook OR 16 0 2 2 18 2
Cunningham, CharlieCharlie Cunningham IL 32 6 2 0 38 6
Fairclough, PeterPeter Fairclough LH 8 0 0 0 8 0
Ford, JohnJohn Ford IR 15 4 0 0 15 4
Forshaw, AllenAllen Forshaw RB 1 0 0 0 1 0
Fulton, DavidDavid Fulton CF 8 3 0 0 8 3
Grainger, JohnJohn Grainger RB 1 0 0 0 1 0
Groves, FredFred Groves IR 12 7 0 0 12 7
Hayes, CharlieCharlie Hayes RB 17 0 2 0 19 0
Heslop, TomTom Heslop LH 8 0 0 0 8 0
Hilton, HaroldHarold Hilton IR 18 2 0 0 18 2
Hughes, ThomasThomas Hughes OL 3 0 0 0 3 0
Hyam, JamesJames Hyam CF 1 0 0 0 1 0
Lloyd, EvanEvan Lloyd CF 11 2 0 0 11 2
Mercer, JoeJoe Mercer CH 16 1 2 0 18 1
Milnes, CharlesCharles Milnes CH 16 2 0 0 16 2
Moorhouse, GeorgeGeorge Moorhouse OL 2 0 0 0 2 0
Moreton, JimmyJimmy Moreton OR 26 4 2 0 28 4
Niven, JamesJames Niven LB 17 0 0 0 17 0
Prentice, JohnJohn Prentice OL 23 3 2 2 25 4
Rainford, BillyBilly Rainford IL 15 3 0 0 15 3
Roberts, JamesJames Roberts OL 32 1 2 0 34 1
Robinson, AlfredAlfred Robinson IR 4 0 0 0 4 0
Stott, TomTom Stott CF 1 0 0 0 1 0
Stuart, TomTom Stuart LB 37 4 2 0 39 4
Sugden, ArthurArthur Sugden RB 3 0 0 0 3 0
Winn, EdwardEdward Winn CH 1 0 0 0 1 0

Notes

  1. ^ Bishop (1998).
  2. ^ a b Upton (1991). "Football League via Central – 1919–21". 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. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Upton (1991). "Epilogue and Epitaph – 1921". pp. 69–76. 
  6. ^ a b "Club History". Tranmere Rovers F.C. 12 May 2010. 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". p. 12. 
  10. ^ Upton; Wilson (1997). "Secondary Fixtures". pp. 124–130. 
  11. ^ Upton; Wilson (1997). "Own Goals". pp. 115–117. 
  12. ^ Upton; Wilson (1997). "Players' Data". pp. 101–108. 

References

  • Upton, Gilbert (December 1991). Tranmere Rovers, 1881–1921: A New History. ISBN 978-0-9518648-0-7. 
  • 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. 







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