As August draws to a close all eyes in the footballing world are focused on midnight the 2nd September as deals in millions are rushed through the FA.

Transfers have been a key part of the game since the early years of the league football and just like now money talks. The famous Preston North Invisibles introduced the first professional players and even New Brighton Tower FC used their wealth to bring England internationals to the seaside town in early 20th Century.

Like many smaller clubs across the country Tranmere did not have the funds to bring top class players to their grounds. For the first fifty years or so many of the club’s best players were still classed as amateur and could not be sold.

However in 1921 Tranmere joined the newly formed Third Division North and slowly players began to move towards becoming professional players. With this came the luxury of selling on top class players.

By the late 1920s Tranmere was a team with some real youth talent from the local area. The two most famous Tranmere players to be sold in the 1920s were Dixie Dean and Ellis Rimmer. Dean made the move to Everton for £3,000 which cleared the clubs debts in 1925 and Rimmer moved to Sheffield Wednesday for £2,000 in 1928.

Dixie Dean went on to be one of the greatest players of all time but his £3,000 price tag was not the biggest of the 1920s, which honour fell to Thomas ‘Pongo’ Waring.

Like Dean and Rimmer Waring was a local boy from Tranmere who had showed real promise. Tranmere had already had offers from Liverpool for the youngest but Tranmere refused after seeing some of their fans move across the water with Dixie Dean.

But when Aston Villa put in a significant offer it seemed only fair to let the player go. Waring left Tranmere for the Midlands in 1928 for the sum of £4,700. However Waring story doesn’t end there as in 1937 Tranmere bought the player back from Wolves for £1,000. Waring brought back a profit and help Tranmere secure the Third Division title the following year.

By the 1960s Tranmere’s transfer budget was still fairly low but in 1965 they signed an accomplished Cricketer to play in goal. Jimmy Cumbes signed for Rovers from Runcorn for £1,000 in 1965. After four years of a successful football and cricket careers he was snapped up by West Brom for £34,000, a record sale for the club at the time.

Three years later another Tranmere legend left Prenton Park for a staggering figure of £35,000. Kenny Beamish from Bebington made his debut for Tranmere in 1966 and went on to score 81 goals in 278 appearances. He moved to Brighton and Hove Albion in 1972 for the above figure and Alan Duffy.

One of the biggest sale of the 1970s however was Steve Coppell who had joined Rovers whilst studying for a degree at Liverpool University. Coppell was a quality winger and soon one of the biggest clubs in the world took notice. In 1975 Coppell was sold to Manchester United for £60,000 a club record.

By the late 1980s the club financial fortunes had significantly improved and Tranmere now found itself actively looking to buy players. One of these new players was Jim Steel who would be instrumental to much of Rovers success in the 1980s and 90s. He moved from Wrexham to Tranmere for £50,000 in 1987 and went on to score 47 goals in 226 appearances.

The 1990s saws two of the clubs biggest signings to date in John Aldridge and David Kelly. Aldo joined Tranmere from Real Sociedad in 1991 for £250,000 and became one of Tranmere’s greatest all time players. In his first season he scored 40 goals a club record he holds with Bunny Bell. David Kelly signed from Sunderland in 1997 for £350,000 and went on to score 21 goals in 88 games.

In 2002 Tranmere made one of its biggest ever sales in Jason Koumas who went to West Brom for £2.25 million.

Tranmere will probably never see the £80 million deals which seem to dominate the headlines in the modern game but over the years the club has still seen some significant deals.

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