TRANMERE CAN LEARN FROM CLASSY PLYMOUTH
ON a Tuesday night back in April 2010, Newcastle and 2,431 of their fans made the longest journey in English football, an 820-mile round trip to play Plymouth Argyle.
There, with a comfortable 2-0 win, they clinched the Championship title, relegating the doomed Pilgrims in the process.
Plymouth’s Green Army would have been within their rights to resent their opponent’s achievements, and rain on their parade.
But they didn’t. As the PA system played Blaydon Races and Local Hero, Home Park rose to applaud the Toon Army. A banner was unveiled congratulating Newcastle on their promotion, even as their fans invaded the pitch.“Fantastic hosts,” said Toon keeper Steve Harper.“It was just a wonderful place to be.”
It is a gesture that has not been forgotten.When Plymouth were struggling to pay their staff during administration in 2011, Newcastle fans made a video publicising their plight and money was raised for a hardship fund. It is somethingTranmere would do well to ponder after refusing Bournemouth permission to lift the League One trophy at Prenton Park.
Initially, Rovers tried to pass the decision off as a policing issue. However, after the local cops denied their claims,we were left to assume a more spiteful motive.
If so, what a grubby trick. More than 2,000 Bournemouth fans made their way to theWirral yesterday, pouring money into Tranmere’s coffers. Those who stayed overnight won’t even get back for Sunday’s promotion parade.Would it have been so hard to let them celebrate?
But hey-ho.You can’t buy class. And as Plymouth found out, what goes around comes around.