Wirral’s Viking expert Professor Steve Harding – a Tranmere Rovers fan – has written a book tracing the club’s special link with the Norsemen.
Steve, who recently received an award from the King of Norway for his work on the Vikings in North West England. said: “It is written primarily for the Wirral public - and of course Tranmere fans – interested in the origins of the name and the strong links with the Vikings and the very many Scandinavian supporters who come to Tranmere and Liverpool games.”
He acknowledged that the Scandinavian support for the two clubs was heavily weighted in favour of the Anfield outfit – 30,000 signed-up members, compared with Tranmere’s 20.
Steve observed: ”Clearly Tranmere have a lot of catching up to do, but I hope the penny – or kronor – will start to drop soon.”
His book, entitled Viking Tranmere – Scandinavian Tranmere and Wirral, will be out next week.
He said: “In or shortly after the year AD 902 Viking settlers on Wirral noted some cranebirds or herons on a sandbank on the banks of the Mersey.
“Since trani is Old Norse for cranebird/heron and mere in this context is from Old Norse melr, a sandbank, the place-name Tranmelr – Tranmere – came into being.
“A millennium afterwards the connections of Tranmere and Wirral with Norway and Scandinavia are still very strong, particularly in the genes of the people from the area.
"There is even a ‘Viking Navy’ and Tranmere Rovers – its football team – preserves this tradition as the only team in the Football League with a Norse Viking name.
“And Thingwall was once the place of assembly for Wirral’s Viking.”
“ I hope everyone enjoys reading about the connections!”