James Norwood bought himself a wetsuit on his way home from scoring a Wembley winner.

The striker from Eastbourne said he needed it as the beer flew in a jubilant Tranmere Rovers team bus.

He likes to be prepared. He reckons he has enough pairs of lucky pink boots to see him through the rest of his career.

And he would love that future to be on the Wirral after making his home far from his native East Sussex.

Norwood’s late goal took Tranmere back into the Football League via an extraordinary play-off final success.

Reduced to ten men inside the first minute when Liam Ridehalgh was sent off for a bad challenge, and out of substitutes by half-time, Rovers beat Borehamwood 2-1 to regain EFL status. Cue mayhem all the way back to the North West.

Norwood said: “The beer was flying all over the place on the coach on the way back. I thought I’d keep myself dry and have a bit of a laugh.

“They had children’s wetsuits on sale when we stopped at the services so I got one and wore it.

"I didn’t sleep the night after the game. I got back in at half-nine in the morning, had a shower and went straight back out to the official celebration with the fans at the stadium.

“What a story really! How did we do it? You tell me.

“We were down to ten men after 50 seconds and we conceded two-and-a-half minutes after added time should have stopped (in the first half).

“We dug in and soaked up pressure and took our chance.”

Norwood played for Eastbourne Town and had trials at Albion as a teenager, then played in the Football League for Exeter.

But he has been out of the big league for nine years.

He said: “It has been a long time but I’ve never been at a better club than this.

“Going back up is massive. It is definitely not a National League club with its facilities, its background and its history.

“I think the fans deserved it more than anybody.

“The chairman has put a lot of time and money into the club.

“It’s a 20,000-seater stadium and we are getting 12,500 people in there.

“The training ground, the way the club is run – everything is Football League.

“The boys don’t need to be told to go to the gym, things like that.

“In the National League players aren’t really going to the gym after training.

“But everyone at the club has a Football League mentality and is just looking to improve.”

Norwood, who has one year left on his current deal, added: “I love it here. I’ve bought a house so I’m prepared to stay for as long as they will have me.

“Next season? You see what has happened at some clubs who have come up. I don’t think Tranmere as a club would be happy if we weren’t going for promotion from any league.”

It is nine years since Norwood scored for England Schools against France under-18s at Wembley. Then, as for Tranmere, he was wearing pink boots.

He said: “I thought pink boots were lucky but I’ve been looking for them online for years.

“I couldn’t find them but when Nike brought some out I bought eight pairs so hopefully I’m sorted for the rest of my career.

“The pair I wore at Wembley have been going for about three years.

“I think they are finished now! But I refuse to throw them in the bin.”