Peter Johnson, former owner and Chairman, and Lifetime President of Tranmere Rovers has died peacefully at the age of 84.
The son of a butcher, Johnson played a role in managing Park Foods, a family-owned enterprise that supplied Christmas hampers. Birkenhead-based Park Foods had made Johnson one of the UK’s richest people, with an estimated fortune of £150m.
At this time, he invested in Tranmere Rovers, witnessing their ascent from the bottom of the Football League to the Championship. Additionally, he served as the chairman of Everton F.C. until 1999.
Tranmere Rovers issued a statement which reads: “Peter, a Birkenhead boy turned hugely successful businessman, remained fiercely loyal to the place of his birth and came to the aid of Tranmere in its time of need, buying it out of administration in 1987.
“Under his ownership, the Club not only avoided relegation out of the Football League on the last day of the season under the guidance of then Manager, Johnny King, but then went on to propel the Club to the most successful period in its history, rising to Division 2 (now the Championship), achieving the play offs for the newly formed Premiership in three consecutive seasons, and making it to the League Cup Final.
” Under Peter’s ownership, the Club made five trips to Wembley, signed some of its most iconic players, including John Aldridge, Liam O’Brien, Gary Stevens and Pat Nevin, and created memories that will last a lifetime for those of the SWA who were lucky enough to see it all unfold.
“Despite living out his final years in Monaco and France amid failing health, Peter continued with a keen interest in Tranmere, watching matches on iFollow, attending at Prenton Park when his health permitted and sometimes calling the Chairman to discuss the games.”
The club also extended their heartfelt condolences to Mel, Susie, Kate, and Charlotte, and all of Peter’s family at this difficult time.
Mark Palios said, “Peter became owner and Chairman just as I finished as a player at Tranmere, but our paths crossed professionally and socially on many occasions over the years, and the personal friendship grew stronger when Nicola and I took over the reins from him in 2014.
“He had a sharp business brain, an equally sharp wit, but also a deep sense of commitment to helping his local community. Without his intervention in the 1980s, there may well literally not have been a Tranmere Rovers today. Everyone who loves the Club owes him an enormous debt of gratitude and I will miss him hugely. Thank you for everything Peter, and God Speed.”
Books of condolence will be available to sign in the Club Shop from tomorrow and Peter’s passing will be marked at the home match on Saturday.
Statement From The Family Of Peter Johnson
It is with great sadness that the Johnson family share the news that Peter Johnson has today passed away at the age of 84.
Peter died peacefully surrounded by his partner, Mel, and daughters, Susie, Kate and Charlotte.
A devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Peter was the centre of our world and always happiest when surrounded by his friends and relatives.
His impact though spread much further than his family, with his charitable work at home, through the Johnson Foundation, benefitting thousands of people throughout the Liverpool City Region and raising more than £10m for local causes.
He was also proud of his achievements in the business world where he established and turned a hamper company into Park Group PLC and also spent time as owner and chairman of both Tranmere Rovers and Everton football clubs.
At Tranmere, he guided the Club from Division Four to Division Two and the brink of the Premier League along with five trips to Wembley Stadium, while at Everton he proudly watched the Club win the FA Cup in 1995.
He will be hugely missed by the entire family and we will be forever grateful to have had him in our lives.