During the 2009-2010 season, it became clear that Tranmere Rovers were in a relegation struggle, with the very real possibility of a return to the fourth tier for the first time since 1989. Caretaker manager Les Parry had made it clear that he had little in the way of funds to bring in new players, either permanently, or on loan.
In January 2010 the Trust decided to step in to help…
Several Trust members had recently donated their shares to the Trust for free and this gave the members of the Trust board an idea. They came up with the idea of Les Aid – a campaign to raise funds to be handed to Les Parry to enable him to bring in a loan player before the deadline day at the end of March. The Trust advertised via local media, radio, supporters’ websites and through the club’s own website and programme for supporters to donate their shares. These shares would in turn be offered for sale to other supporters for £3 a share, with all profits going to Les for his transfer fund.
A Les Aid Evening was arranged for 4th March 2010, with the man himself promising to put in an appearance. As well as the donation and purchasing of shares, a limited edition Les Aid t-shirt was commissioned and a memorabilia auction was arranged. The event was very well attended and the £10,000 target was quickly attained, then passed, with a final figure of £12,500 raised. Les gave an impromptu speech at the end of the evening and left a happy man. The cheque was presented at the following home game and on the 30th March 2010, Les used the money to sign Andy Robinson from Leeds. Robinson was a former Rovers trainee, who had left to play for Swansea and Leeds.
Robinson’s first game was not the idea start, as he was sent off in a defeat at Brighton. It looked as if the supporters and the Trust’s hard work would be for nothing. But after serving a 3 game ban, Robinson came good, scoring a wonder goal at home to Millwall in a 2-0 win and helping Rovers to a last day 3-0 win at Stockport, which secured Rovers League One status for another 12 months.