Tranmere Rovers have taken time out of their schedule this week to celebrate the 70th birthday of Club legend Warwick Rimmer.
Rimmer’s reputation within the game is highly revered and no more so than at Prenton Park, where he himself set-up the Club’s Youth department some 24 years ago, at the behest of Chairman Peter Johnson.
As a player he gained a reputation as a tough tackling half-back in over 500 appearances for Bolton Wanderers but after spells managing Crewe Alexandra and the Sierra Leone national side, he was recruited by Tranmere and turned in to a star-maker.
And in two decades as Head of Youth Development he made a lasting contribution to the Wirral Club by producing scores of players for first-team football down the years raising, at a conservative estimate, more than £14 million in transfer fees from home-grown talent.
Not finished yet, Rimmer is still working for the Club albeit in a part-time capacity these days but his record has prompted current Rover’s boss Les Parry to hail his achievements and speculate that Rovers could have gone out of business long ago but for Rimmer’s remarkable skill of nurturing young players through to the Club’s Youth ranks to the first-team.
“Warwick’s role in the Club is simply massive,” Parry said. “I respect Warwick Rimmer more than any other person in football. I have worked with him for 20 years and his impact at this particular Football Club has meant we are still in existence.”
“He has brought millions of pounds into the Club by identifying young talent, nurturing that talent, developing players, putting them into the first-team and allowing us to profit from players when we sell them.”
“His record is absolutely fantastic, the equal of anyone in football.”
Ryan Taylor, Clint Hill, Jason Koumas, Alan Mahon, Danny Coyne, Iain Hume, Kenny Irons, Jason Koumas, Tony Thomas, Ged Brannan, Ian Thomas-Moore, Steve Simonsen, Alan Rogers and many many more have come through the Rimmer finishing school and Parry believes that Rovers owe Rimmer a huge debt of gratitude for his extraordinary ability to consistently produce players.
“If Warwick had not come to Tranmere all those years ago, it is questionable whether we would still be in existence because a club like ours needs the income from selling players,” continued Parry.
“He has earned his salary over the years and if he was paid for another 100 years he would still earn it. People from clubs the length and breadth of the country know about Warwick and respect him. He is 70 and he’s still in here every day.”
Shaun Garnett, the first trainee to work under Rimmer in 1987, is now Tranmere’s Head of Youth. He said:
“Warwick is a legend at this Club. He has created a lasting legacy here which we can only strive to maintain.”
“I’m privileged to still work with him and get his input on a daily basis and he is most certainly my role-model as a coach.”
LFE would also like to pass on our best wishes to Warwick on reaching this milestone.