Rotherham United made their first summer signing today as central defender Michael Ihiekwe joined the club at the end of his contract at Tranmere Rovers. Here’s the low-down on the former Liverpool FC academy kid.
1. You think his surname is hard to spell? One of his middle names is Uzoukwu.
2. You think his surname might be hard to pronounce? It’s ‘a-heck-way’.
3. The 24-year-old centre-half, who can also play as a full-back, began his career as a youngster with Liverpool FC before Wolves gave him his first professional contract.
4. He never played for Wolves’ first team, although he was twice an unused substitute in their 2013/14 League One campaign when they finished as champions and were promoted along with Steve Evans’ Millers.
5. Ihiekwe made his Football League debut on loan at League Two Cheltenham Town in January 2014 and left Wolves for Tranmere Rovers at the end of that season. Rovers were a League Two club at the time but suffered relegation and left the Football League in his first year.
6. He made 112 league appearances for Tranmere, scoring five goals.
7. The defender played in this season’s National League Play-off Final at Wembley - a match watched by Rotherham boss Paul Warne - but Tranmere were unable to regain their place in League Two as they were beaten 3-1 by Forest Green.
8. With Tranmere pushing for promotion, Ihiekwe scored a late winner against Sutton United in April this year and declared: “That will kill Lincoln.” Rivals Lincoln City used his quote as motivation, won their next six matches and went up as champions!