WIRRAL’S mayor will hold a special reception today to thank Tranmere Rovers FC for being an “ambassador for the borough”.
The event at Wallasey town hall at 5pm is being held at the request of council leader Phil Davies.
Cllr Davies said the club had always helped promote Wirral in a very positive way, and he hoped the club’s close links with the council would continue.
Despite Wirral’s long- standing shirt sponsorship deal coming to an end last year after 24 years, he said: “This reception is to thank the club for the excellent partnership we had during the period we sponsored them. I hope that we can continue to work together, particularly on initiatives involving young people, where their input has always been of great value.”
Wirral began sponsoring Tranmere Rovers during the 1989/90 football season.
As part of the deal, the authority’s branding was used on the club’s home and away shirts – with the Wirral logo popular with fans as a clear marker of the club’s home
As the association developed, players were also enlisted to support council events and activities, which the authority said was particularly useful in helping to engage so-called “hard to reach” groups.
The sponsorship deal was originally to repay a loan from the council to the club, which was repaid in full in 1998.
The deal continued to be renewed annually but last year, Cllr Davies said it was hard to justify the £100,000-a- year deal in the face of “unprecedented” cuts to council funding.
The link-up finally came to an end, with Home Bargains taking over as shirt sponsors at the start of this season.
Tranmere marked the end of the 24-year association by presenting a framed photograph of Prenton Park to deputy council leader George Davies.
Cllr Dave Mitchell, Mayor of Wirral, said: ‘‘Tranmere Rovers have always been great ambassadors for the borough and have a unique position as Wirral’s ‘own’ football club.”