TORQUAY UNITED

 

The club were formed when the College boys from the academic seats of learning at Torquay and Torbay got together to see a band in Princess Gardens (she was a big girl !).  In front of them, the 1899 equivalent of A Flock of Seagulls strutted their stuff, while the lads agreed to put their resources together to play football on a regular basis.

From 1910 to 1921, they played under the name of Torquay Town, before becoming United in their name and approach.  

It was in 1927 that the club were elected to the League and that took a second ballot, when they beat Aberdare Athletic to a place in the League.  The lure of the club is obviously a strong one as managers have flocked form all over the world to take charge at Plainmoor.  Percy Mackrill was born in East Africa and Jack Butler in Colombo before ending up in the Torquay hot seat.

The club has never won a major title, but the heyday for the side was in the late 1960's when they got promoted from the old Fourth Division twice. This coincided with the club's fans being voted the "Best Behaved Supporters In The League".  They always liked to get behind the Gulls and that is why they changed ends at half time.

A few strange things have happened at the Devon club since Mike Bateson took over as Chairman.  He went through a period of carrying out media interviews with a ventriloquist's dummy and also banned players shooting at goal in the pre-match kick about.  This was because a fan was hit by a wayward shot that knocked a hot drink out of her hand and there were fears that their poor aim could leave them open to regular insurance claims.  There was no truth that he banned them from the same activity during the match though.

The club's players have been quick on the score though.  Pat Kruse was playing against Cambridge in January 1977, when he scored in six seconds. Unfortunately, it was at the wrong end !!  However, more to their advantage, Sammy Collins scored a penalty in 10 seconds after kick off against Walsall in August 1956. That was hardly time for an offence to be committed !!

The 80's were a lean time and the only high point was when Maurice Cox became the first professional player to take part in the Oxford v Cambridge Universities match.

The Devon club had a couple of lucky escapes to avoid relegation.  Firstly, in 1987, a police dog called Bryn bit Torquay player John McNichol and the time while he was receiving treatment was added onto the end of the second half. This was just enough time for the home side to get an equaliser against Crewe Alexandra that kept them up and sent Lincoln City into the Conference on goal difference.  The dog was feted among the local fans and was given a free season ticket for life and when he died, the club had him stuffed and he takes pride of place in the boardroom.  Nine years later Torquay retained their League place because Stevenage Borough were not considered to have a ground suitable for League purposes and were denied promotion.  This enraged the Stevenage chairman so much that he offered to buy Torquay's place in the League from them !!

Having got through to a play-off final at Wembley in 1991, the match went to a penalty shoot-out against Blackpool, where it was their goalkeeper - Gareth Howells (brother of Spurs midfielder David) - who converted the winning penalty to take them to the old Division 3.

The move to the Plainmoor ground was on condition that it was always open to the general public for recreational purposes.  Literally, this means that you can have access to the pitch at any time of day or night !!

Following a last day escape in season 2000-2001 at Barnet, who went into the Conference instead, new manager Roy McFarland will be hoping to avoid the same fate, but lack of funds makes it difficult for him to recruit quality players and he tried to make the best of the players available to him, but it even proved too much for him.  A succession of managers has tried to take the Gulls out of the Third Division, but their main fame these days is for being the club that Helen Chamberlain supports.  Unfortunately, they did get out of the fourth tier of football in 2006-07, but it was in the wrong direction, as they dropped out of the league and into the Conference, failing in the play-off semi-finals to get back into League Two, just a week before failing to beat Ebbsfleet United at Wembley in the FA Trophy.

Famous Players : - Colin Lee, Neville Southall, Chris Waddle, Ed Blackhead, Dennis Lewis, Colin Gull.

Famous Fans : - Helen Chamberlain (Sky TV presenter - "Soccer AM"); Andy PArsons (comedian - "Mock The Week" [BBC TV])

Club Records

Formed 1899
Turned Professional 1921
Became a Limited Company 1921
Former names 1910-1921  Torquay Town
Previous grounds 1899-1900    Teignmouth Road
1900-1904   Torquay Recreation Ground
1904-1906   Cricket Field Road
1906-1910   Torquay Cricket Ground
Nickname "The GULLS"
Club Colours HOME : Shirts - Yellow and White collars and cuffs
Shorts - Navy Blue
Socks - Yellow

AWAY : Shirts - Blue with yellow sleeves
Shorts - yellow
Socks - Yellow with Blue tops

Record Football League Win 9 - 0   .v. Swindon Town 
Div. 3(S)     8.3.1952
Record Football League Defeat 2-10   .v. Fulham      
Div. 3(S)   7.9.1931
Record Cup Win 7-1     .v. Northampton Town
FA Cup R1    14.11.1959
Record Fee Paid 75,000 to PETERBOROUGH UNITED for Leon CONSTANTINE  (December 2004)
Record Fee Received 500,000 from CREWE ALEXANDRA  for Rodney JACK  (July 1998)
Record Football League Appearances 443  -  Dennis LEWIS  (1947-1959)
Record goalscorer in a season 40  -  Sammy COLLINS  Div. 3(S)  1955-1956
Record all-time goalscorer  204  -  Sammy COLLINS  (1948-1958)
Most goals in a match 5  -  Robin STUBBS  .v. Newport County   Div. 4    19.10.1963
Record Attendance (all-time) 21,908   .v. Huddersfield Town  FA Cup R4    29.1.1955
Record match receipts 30,824  .v. Plymouth Argyle   Div. 3  25.3.2000
Record total of goals in a  League season 89  -  Div. 3(S)  1956-1957
Record  League points total 2 points for a win : - 60  - 
Div. 4  1959-1960

3  points for a win : - 77  - 
Div. 4  1987-1988

Most Capped player while at club Rodney Jack  (St. Vincent)
Youngest League Player David LYNG  -  16 years and 36 days

 

Club/Stadium details 

Address : Plainmoor Ground, Torquay TQ1 3PS

Telephone : 01803 328666
  (Box Office)
  (Credit Card Bookings)
(News)
  (Ticketline)
Fax : 01803 323976

Capacity :  6,003
Pitch size :  112 yards  x  74 yards
Official website : http://www.torquayunited.com

Unofficial sites : - Torquay United Supporters On-Line 
Barnstaple Gulls 
Capital Gulls - London Torquay Fans 
Gloucester Gulls

Fanzines

Bamber's Right Foot

 

Full results history of Spurs v Torquay United

Spurs v Torquay United Facts

Transfers from Tottenham to Torquay United

Transfers from Torquay United to Tottenham

Spurs v Torquay United Notes

Spurs v Torquay United match reports

Honours

Managers

League Record

 

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