The year 2018 will always be remembered in the hearts and minds of every Tranmere Rovers supporter and is one that will be spoken about for years to come.
So many magical moments stand out, both on and off the field, but none more than Saturday 12th May at Wembley Stadium.
Determined to right the wrongs of the previous year’s Play-Off final defeat against Forest Green Rovers, TRFC secured promotion back to the English Football League against all of the odds.
Tranmere played nearly the entire 2018 final against Boreham Wood with ten men, but as one, the team and the SWA stood together and a late James Norwood header secured a deserved 2-1 victory under the famous Wembley arch.
More than seven months have passed since that memorable day in the capital, and what an exciting ride it has been.
Tranmere currently have the best home form in League Two, and second best overall in the EFL. Micky Mellon’s side are now just four points off the automatic promotion places after 25 league matches.
In 2018, Tranmere were the 12th best team out of the 92 clubs in the top four divisions in terms of points per game, finishing higher than last season’s EFL Championship winners Wolves and Merseyside neighbours, Everton.
Our beloved number 10, James Norwood, scored 32 goals in 47 appearances in 2018, the seventh best return for a Tranmere player in the Club’s history. The 28-year-old striker is currently the joint top goal scorer in League Two, with 16 so far.
Friday night football made its anticipated return to Prenton Park with a win against our New Year’s Day opponents, Macclesfield Town, courtesy of a stunning strike from October’s EFL Young Player of the Month, Harvey Gilmour.
On the road, more than 1,000 travelling supporters witnessed our first away three points back in the EFL, as we beat Carlisle United by two goals to nil.
This and so much more has happened in 2018, so take a full read of our journey below as we reflect on a memorable year. We started the year sixth in the National League and we finish on the cusp of the automatic promotion places in a league above and preparing for a third round FA Cup tie against Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in front of a sell-out crowd at Prenton Park.
- Lost 5-2 at AFC Fylde on New Year’s Day
- The first win of 2018 came on the 13th January in a 1-0 win at Woking
- Fought back to draw 2-2 away at neighbours Wrexham
- Home wins against Ebbsfleet United and Bromley before a valuable point at Leyton Orient
- Disappointing 4-1 defeat against Macclesfield but a strong finish to the month with a 3-2 win against Maidstone United
- A 4-0 win at Dagenham kick started the month before a 2-1 loss at Boreham Wood
- The third month of the year concluded with a home victory against Eastleigh
- Five league wins on the bounce, which was kick started with a 2-0 win at Chester
- Victories followed against Gateshead, Aldershot Town, Dover and Halifax Town
- Tranmere secured second place in the National League but lost the last two matches against Solihull Moors and Hartlepool United before the Play-Offs began
- Overcame Ebbsfleet United in the Play-Off semi-finals with a 4-2 win at Prenton Park after extra time to secure a place in the National League Play-Off final for a second year in a row
- Won promotion back to the EFL after a 2-1 win against Boreham Wood at Wembley with goals from Andy Cook and James Norwood
- Andy Cook joins League One side Walsall after scoring 28 goals during the promotion winning season
- Ollie Banks joins Tranmere on a permanent deal after a successful loan spell at the Club
- Manny Monthe and Jake Caprice both sign permanent deals at Tranmere Rovers
- Captain Steve McNulty signs a 12-month contract extension
- Striker Paul Mullin joins Tranmere from fellow League Two side Swindon Town
- The players return to pre-season training as preparation began for the new season back in League Two
- Experienced defender Mark Ellis joins Tranmere Rovers on a permanent contract
- Harvey Gilmour and Jonny Smith sign on loan from Championship sides Bristol City and Sheffield United respectively
- Full back Zoumana Bakayogo makes his return to TRFC, signing a permanent contract with the Club
- Ollie Norburn joins League One side Shrewsbury Town on a permanent deal
- Rovers kick-start their season with a 2-2 draw at Stevenage, fighting back from two goals down
- First win back in the EFL at home to Cheltenham Town
- Luke McCullough signs on loan from League One side Doncaster Rovers
- James Norwood wins Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month with five goals in as many league games
- First away win back in the league, a 2-0 win at Carlisle United with Paul Mullin scoring the final goal of the game
- Draws against promotion hopefuls Colchester United and MK Dons plus a point picked up at Northampton Town
- TRFC started the month with a 1-0 victory against league leaders Lincoln City at Prenton Park
- Harvey Gilmour’s last minute strike clinches a 4-3 win at Morecambe
- Friday night football returns to Prenton Park as we beat last season’s National League champions Macclesfield Town, 1-0
- TRFC put on a five-star show, seeing off Crawley Town by five goals to one at home
- James Norwood scores twice as TRFC dispatch Exeter City 2-0 at Prenton Park
- Rovers secure their passage into the second round of the FA Cup, beating Oxford City by two goals to nil in a first round replay live on BT Sport
- More than 1,500 TRFC supporters cheered the team on in a League Two match at Crewe Alexandra
- Over 7,000 fans watched Tranmere’s 1-1 draw against Oldham Athletic at Prenton Park
- A late James Norwood goal handed Tranmere all three points at home to Cambridge United
- Rovers secured their place in the third round of the FA Cup after a 2-0 win at Southport in a second-round replay, shown live on BT Sport
- Tranmere drawn at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the third round of the FA Cup
- Nearly 7,500 fans watched the Boxing Day win against Morecambe at Prenton Park
A huge thank you to all the SWA for their continued support and lets make many more special memories in 2019!