April 9th sees the release of Does This Train Stop on Merseyside: The Very Best of Ian Prowse, a collection of the Cheshire-born, Liverpool-based singer/songwriter’s finest moments from his twenty-one-year career as main man of first Pele and then Amsterdam, including duets with legendary duo Elvis Costello and Christy Moore. Football Burp caught up with Ian for a natter about his beloved Tranmere Rovers…
Apparently you were recently part of a night alongside Dietmar Hamann and Brian Reade. What was it all in aid of? And how did it go?
It was put on by BOSS Magazine which is a Scouse bi-yearly (if you’re lucky) fanzine. They accurately describe the uniqueness of Mersey cultural identity, when they can be arsed. It’s very, very good. (Click here to read Ian discussing this with The Anfield Wrap.)
Who would you like to see as England manager? (Do you even care?)
Mourinho! Something has gone missing in international football hasn’t it? Mind you, something very important has gone missing in league football too.
What do you think of the job Ronnie Moore’s doing? Are you confident of staying up? And of Tranmere’s prospects beyond that?
Yeah, I’m glad Ronnie’s back. I’m sure we’ll stay up now. As for the future, football is f***ed. The heart has gone.
Which players have been the standout performers for you this season?
God knows, we have a sixteen-week old baby so I only get the chance to check the results at the minute.
Do you manage to get down to Prenton Park much? Do you ever meet up with the Half Man Half Biscuit guys?
Been too busy to go for a bit. I know Nigel [Blackwell, front man], yes – he’s just about the loveliest fella you could wish to meet and an absolute folk star in my eyes.
What was the first match you ever went to? And the best (I’m guessing 3-0 v Everton)? And the worst?
My first match was against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup circa 1984. We got beat in the last minute 0-1. I loved the entire experience, including getting legged through Birkenhead by two hundred West Midlands skinheads. Going the match then was a whole different ball game, especially away in the north Manchester archipelago. Bury, Rochdale, Burnley and Oldham are all grounds I’ve been chased around.
Not just the best game of my life but the best actual moment of my life was when we beat Everton on January 28th 2001 in the fourth round of the FA Cup. It was away at Goodison Park, and when we went three up the ground emptied, and six thousand Tranmere fans began singing to the last stragglers “are you Chester in disguise?”. I nearly died of happiness there and then. All my family and friends are Blues, you see.
The worst would be away at Aston Villa in the semi-final of the League Cup. We were 3-1 up from the first leg and blew it. Crushing.
Finally, if you had to select a five-a-side team out of all the Rovers players you’ve ever seen, who would you pick?
Ian Muir. Jimmy Harvey. Jim Steel (though he’d be totally ineffective on a five-a-side pitch). Bobby Hutchinson. Pat Nevin.
Ian Prowse, thank you.