John Aldridge resigned from his post as manager of Tranmere Rovers on March 17 2001 with the club lying bottom of the Division One table.
Despite leading Rovers to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the second successive year, the former Liverpool hero could not transform his team's form to the League and ended his ten year relationship with the club.
Aldridge became Tranmere's player/manager in April 1996 replacing the man who brought him to Prenton Park, John King.
As a striker Aldridge was regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers in the modern game. He remains Britain's top post-war scorer with more career goals than even the great Jimmy Greaves and earnt 69 caps for the Republic of Ireland. He has served under the likes of Jim Smith, Kenny Dalglish and big Jack Charlton and has brought some of that know-how to his position at Tranmere.
He helped Liverpool win the League Cup in 1987 and was the club's leading scorer as he helped them to the League title in 1987/88. Probably the only real disappointment of his Liverpool career was having his penalty saved at Wembley by Dave Beasant in the 1988 FA Cup final as Wimbledon recorded one of the most unlikely victories ever seen in the Cup, denying the favourites their second Double in three years.
Aldridge has been at Rovers for eleven years, having cost just £250,000 from Real Sociedad, and was well worth the fee with 174 goals for the club, ending his playing career with a total of 474 goals.
John was rewarded with a new two-and-a-half year contract in December 1999, which will keep him in charge at Prenton Park until July 2002.
He then guided his team to Wembley in the League Cup final, probably the biggest achievement in the club's history. Rovers were unfortunate to lose to Leicester on the day, having beaten several Premiership teams en route to the final, but with another excellent cup run in the FA Cup; reaching the semi-finals, Aldridge and his team became renowned as Cup specialists.
In 2000/2001, Aldridge and Tranmere enjoyed another good run in the FA Cup although the team's league form was less impressive.
Victories over Leeds and local rivals Everton in the Cup were followed by an incredible win over Southampton. Having been 3-0 down at half-time, Tranmere came out to defeat Glenn Hoddle's team 4-3, with Stuart Barlow scoring the winner after a Paul Rideout hat-trick, in one of the greatest comebacks the FA Cup has ever produced.
Another comeback looked on the cards in the quarter-final against Aldridge's old team, Liverpool, but it was not to be and ironically it was a comeback by Tranmere's opponents Barnsley six days later that proved to be his last game in charge. Rovers surrendered a two- goal lead to go down 3-2 to Nigel Spackman's Tykes, leaving them at the bottom of Division One.