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John Aldridge

Posted: Mon 30 Apr 2012
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As both player and manager at Tranmere Rovers, John Aldridge enjoyed remarkable success. 

Aldo arrived at Prenton Park in the summer of 1991 for a bargain £250,000 from Real Sociedad in Spain. The former Liverpool striker scored twice on his debut in a 2-0 win at Brighton and scored an incredible 40 goals in his first season, including nine in the first five games of the season.

He was the Club's top scorer in each of his first six seasons, finishing with tallies of 40, 26, 28, 26, 29 and 20. Famed for his goalpoaching abilities, Aldo was deadly from inside the penalty area whether with his head or foot. He even scored both goals in his final appearance at the age of 39 years and 228 days, a 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Prenton Park. His career scoring record of 476 goals in 889 games is better than that of any other post-war striker in England.

While at Tranmere he continued to represent the Republic of Ireland, gaining 30 caps and playing in the 1994 World Cup in USA. There he became the first Tranmere player to score at a World Cup as he found the net against Mexico. 

Towards the end of the 1995-96 season Aldridge became Rovers' player manager and he kept Tranmere in a mid-table Division One position for the next few seasons before a historic period in the Club's history began.

In 1999-2000, under Aldridge's stewardship, Tranmere reached their first ever major final, competing in the Worthington Cup Final at Wembley Stadium against Leicester City. The same season Rovers reached the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup as a host of top flight sides were defeated. The remarkable cup runs continued in 2000-01, including a 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park and a remarkable 4-3 win over Southampton at Prenton Park after Rovers had trailed 3-0 at half time. 

His time at Tranmere came to an end after almost ten years in 2001.