Badly behaved Footballers are now a common part of the modern game with on pitch insults and night out busted ups being splashed across News. Some look back at footballers of years gone by, to those clean cut chaps who never put a foot wrong bar . I too believed that footballers of old were somehow a cut above modern day players with nice side partings and understated suits….how wrong I was.

Thomas ‘Pongo’ Waring was a Birkenhead born and bred and like many in the area started his career in Football at Prenton Park in 1926. Pongo was quality player and goal scorer which soon attracted the attention of Aston Villa where he made 216 appearances and scored 159 goals. With such talent he even managed to secure 5 England Caps and 4 goals. Towards the end of his career he returned to Prenton Park in 1936 to become part of the team which would win Tranmere’s first and only league title.

This hero of the game was welcomed back to Birkenhead with open arms and many a school boy came to Prenton Park dreaming of being this great player.

However his career was by know means spotless as some of my recent research suggests. Whilst looking at Tranmere’s title winning season I came across an article in the local press about Pongo’s Magistrate appearance!! He was charged with Disorderly Behaviour and  Police Obstruction after an incident on a bus.

On Sunday the 19th September Pongo and several friends were taking the bus from New Ferry to Birkenhead. They all bought Penny tickets which would take them as far as Grove Road where most were departing the bus except for Pongo and a friend.

Once the bus left Grove Road the conductor asked for further payment to cover the rest of the journey to which Pongo flatly refused according to witnesses. An agrument quickly ensued and at the next stop several passengers brought the disagreement to the attention of some near by police constables.

With police now involved one would expect this former England International to simply pay his fare, however Pongo and his friend still refused. The Police then asked for both of their names and address to which according to one witness Pongo replied ‘You know who I f****** am.’ The agruing continued until a scuffle broke out between the police and the Tranmere player which resulted in one of the constables falling of the bus.

Pongo’s friend was then escorted off the bus by the police and taken in the direction of the nearest station however Pongo decided to rescue his friend and charged the police constables. Taken by surprise Pongo’s charge resulted in one of the Police constables going through a near by shop window!!

More police arrived and Pongo along with his friend were taken away…

Perhaps not all players of years gone by are as clean cut and respectable as our elders would lead us to believe.

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