This season Prostate Cancer UK is the official charity of The
Football League. To celebrate, we've asked bloggers from each of
the 72 clubs to count down their top five strikers to have worn the
No9 shirt, in recognition of the fact that prostate cancer
affects one in nine men.
Penalty-box predator: John Aldridge went on to manage Tranmere. Photo courtesy of Action Images
Here blogger Paul Harper, of paulharpersportswriter.wordpress.com,
selects Tranmere's five best No9s… and one to forget!
5. Pongo Waring (1926-28 &
In his first spell at the club, Thomas 'Pongo' Waring had the
impressive record of 23 goals in 24 appearances, including six in
one game in an 11-1 victory against Durham City. This impressive
form earned him a £4,700 move to Aston Villa and he then went on to
win five England caps. He returned later in his career to notch up
another 42 goals from 74 appearances.
4. Dixie Dean
Dixie Dean was of the greatest goalscorers in English football
history. Strong and brave as can be, with a deadly finish, he had
all the attributes of a top centre-forward. He had a short but
impressive career with Rovers, scoring 27 goals in 30 appearances,
before going on to bigger and better things with Everton and
England. He remains the only player in English professional
football history to have scored 60 goals in a single season.
3. Ian Muir
Muiry was brought to the club by Frank Worthington and is
Tranmere's record goalscorer with 180 goals. He was far from just
an out-and-out striker, though - he had a great first touch and
scored some spectacular goals as well as his fair share of tap-ins
during his 10-year spell at Prenton Park. Arguably, he is one of
the best strikers never to have played in the top-flight.
2. Bunny Bell
Bunny Bell was a great goalscorer. Scoring goals was second nature
to him and in the 1933-34 season, he netted an amazing 57 times.
And nine goals in one game isn't bad either, in a 13-4 victory over
Oldham Athletic on Boxing Day 1935. His incredible goalscoring
exploits led to a move to Everton, but unfortunately, the outbreak
of World War II prematurely ended his football career.
1. John Aldridge
Johnny King brought Aldo to Tranmere for the bargain sum of
£250,000 from Spanish club Real Sociedad. It proved to be money
well spent, as he went on to score 174 goals for the club. He was
the definition of a penalty box centre-forward. Nicknamed 'the
Gunslinger' by King, Aldridge was deadly when the ball was in the
18-yard box. A better finisher you will be hard pushed to find. He
then went on to become manager and led Rovers to the League Cup
final in 2000.
And the worst…
Kithson Bain (2009-10)
Did he win a raffle prize to become a member of the Tranmere
squad? No, he was signed by John Barnes. Bain, a Grenada
international, was, quite frankly, terrible. His first touch took
the ball out of the postcode in which it started and it was all too
evident that he was not up to playing professional football. He did
try very hard, but I'm afraid that only gets you so far.
Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulHarper82