THE REAL GREAT ESCAPE, BRYN THE POLICE DOG ETC, 30 YEARS ON. (Has much really changed.)

Discuss all the latest news at Plainmoor with fellow fans.

Topic author
chunkygull
Player Coach
Player Coach
Posts: 1882
Joined: 20 Dec 2012, 22:49
Favourite player: david graham
Location: paignton

THE REAL GREAT ESCAPE, BRYN THE POLICE DOG ETC, 30 YEARS ON. (Has much really changed.)

Post by chunkygull » 28 Apr 2017, 20:40

You can give me a T L D R, I dont care!

Well next week sees the 30th anniversary of our infamous last game of the season 2-2 draw with Crewe Alexandra which saw us escape relegation from the old division 4. As many Gulls fans know this had the incident where Bryn the police dog bit our right back Jim McNichol on the thigh and the treatment incurred the injury time in which our hotshot striker Paul Dobson scored our equalising, league status rescuing goal.

This game was very special to me as it was my first ever watching TUFC. All looked lost and the odds were against us, Torquay looked like getting relegated and back then it was more of a big deal if you went out of the league. I know we did 20 years later but it wasnt as bad to do so then. In 87 there was a real fear and stigma about going down to the conference, many fearing we would never come back or indeed fold as a club. Anyway, I was late getting into football and my Dad was determined I was going to watch TUFC in a league match and this could have been the last chance, so a week after my 12th birthday off we went. I was totally hooked and at half time I asked my Dad that even if we went down could we still come next season. I remember the pitch invasion after, the players and manager being chaired on fans shoulders, the players around the back of the mini stand coming out of the dressing rooms, chatting with fans and supping cans of beer. There were grown men on the pitch allowing a few tears of joy that day. I wasnt quite as invested as some at that point but I had a tear in my eye too. It was very emotional. The only other game of football thats ever had me so close to tears was the last day defeat to Leyton Orient in 98. Indeed I felt so bad about the Orient game I refused to go to Southend in 04 because I just couldnt bear to go through that again, so I missed the greatest moment we have had in my 30 years of being a fan.

The rest is history and what a rollercoaster the last 30 years have been. I was so lucky and totally spoilt for my first few years supporting The Gulls, there was so much incident and success. My first full season Cyril Knowles's team when we bet Wrexham 6-1 in the first game, beat Tottenham in a littlewoods cup first leg tie, then nearly got promoted, then the Sherpa van trophy final, then after Cyril we knocked West Ham out of the cup, got promoted at Wembley in 91 and it just goes on from there as what followed were the typical highs and lows of being a Torquay United fan.

I dont post on the forums very often but I read them constantly throughout the day, every day, I dont miss a word. From everything I have read and seen I feel as a club we have never seemed to be so up against it as we are now. Obviously I am not just talking about on the pitch. I have to say I have been impressed with the efforts of those few that have been trying to spread the word about Clarke Osbourne and his cronies at Gaming International, especially in the last few weeks where those have took the fight to them. These last few weeks have felt different, there seems to be a bigger buzz than there has been for a while and I am so proud to be a Torquay United supporter when I see the way our fanbase, team and coaching/management has galvanised and seemed to thrive in the face of adversity and given us the chance of survival. This especially since the Guardian/Observer article which seems to have finally woken many up and the recent petition for The Mayor , which has seen so much support, not only from our own fans and community but from ex players, journalists and hearteningly fellow football supporters from other clubs. So very proud of our club.

So we come around to the final match of the season and this just feels so similar to 87 for me, so many parallels, people touting the real possibilty of football oblivion and ignominy, a slide into an abyss we may not come back from. Thats what was being said back then and very much likewise now. I know we have been relegated from the football league twice but this definitely would be different. This is unprecedented and uncharted territory for us. This really could spell the end as it may mean something we might not come back from. If we go down we could very possibly go out.

All the Clarke Osbourne, Gaming International and Geoff Harrop shenanigans and threats of doom have had an effect that if their suspected devious plans are true then their dastardly deeds so far could well have backfired. It seems to have got the players having a go and finally showing some professional pride. I have to give credit to Kevin Nicholson for the fact that he has kept going and kept trying. If the tales of the low down dirty tricks and treatment are true then the bloke has got balls.Good on him.

I openly admit that I have not been to a TUFC match during Nicholsons tenure, something I am not proud of but when he was appointed I lost my rag big time and absolutely blew a gasket, I declared there and then I would not go whilst he was manager and painfully I have stuck to it. It was nothing personal, nothing against Nicholson at all, I dont know the man, he does indeed seem a decent fella, top bloke and a good guy. No, the reasons I flipped were just the fact we hired a rookie ex player again, not long after making the same mistake with Chris Hargreaves. These are the sorts of decisions a club like ours has to get absolutely spot on, we cant afford to mess these sorts of appointments up. Appointing managers just because they played quite well for us or scored a great goal in a match is no basis to managing a football club and the last regime allowed a heart ruling the head decision to almost cost us dear, just like their predecessors had. I felt it was just a terrible example of old pals act, jobs for the boys and short sighted cronyism. Especially after the rumours I heard and things I read on forums about who we were looking at and who else was interested in the job. I'm not going to go into any thoughts now on who should or should be manager or who has done this or that, now is not the time.

When you look at what the club have been through in the last 18 months , Nicholson has surely gained quite a few years worth of experience in just a short time. He most definitely does come out of all this with credit, even if the unthinkable happens.

Well, on we go to tomorrows game, quite possibly one of the most important in our history. I dont have to big this up or give any synopsis. I have decided to break my self imposed exile and shall be attending. Like I said, there are parallels of this game to what was going on at the seasons end 30 years ago. Now more than ever our club needs as many supporters as we can muster. This will be the first time I have sat in Bristows bench and I have also vowed if we still have a club next season nd regardless of league or manager I will be back properly supporting and watching matches. This feels like a kind of rebirth and start again for me. Like I said parallels.
You are my torquay, my only torquay, you make me happy when skies are grey, you'll never know, just, how much i love you, so don't take my torquay away.
(laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la, - laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la. - la,la,la,la,la, - la,la,la,la....).


budegull1954
On the Bench
On the Bench
Posts: 20
Joined: 13 Dec 2016, 21:06
Favourite player: Steve Cooper

Post by budegull1954 » 28 Apr 2017, 21:02

Great posting! There is an article on the Jim McNicol/Bryn the police dog on the back of the sports page in today's 'Daily Telegraph'.


Topic author
chunkygull
Player Coach
Player Coach
Posts: 1882
Joined: 20 Dec 2012, 22:49
Favourite player: david graham
Location: paignton

Post by chunkygull » 28 Apr 2017, 21:13

Oh brilliant, I will have to try and see that.
You are my torquay, my only torquay, you make me happy when skies are grey, you'll never know, just, how much i love you, so don't take my torquay away.
(laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la, - laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la. - la,la,la,la,la, - la,la,la,la....).


Topic author
chunkygull
Player Coach
Player Coach
Posts: 1882
Joined: 20 Dec 2012, 22:49
Favourite player: david graham
Location: paignton

Post by chunkygull » 28 Apr 2017, 21:24

You are my torquay, my only torquay, you make me happy when skies are grey, you'll never know, just, how much i love you, so don't take my torquay away.
(laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la, - laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la. - la,la,la,la,la, - la,la,la,la....).


brucie
Player Manager
Player Manager
Posts: 2788
Joined: 06 Sep 2010, 17:51

Post by brucie » 28 Apr 2017, 22:16

Wow 30 years ago - I was 30 and now I'm 60. Those were the days of the wooden benches in the enclosure in front of the grandstand erected by Lew Pope. Now we have Bristows Bench but we have a worse team than we had then.

Enjoy the game - I will be there as well.


lucy6lucy
Player Coach
Player Coach
Posts: 1427
Joined: 13 Feb 2012, 21:13
Favourite player: Moore
Location: Wigan

Post by lucy6lucy » 28 Apr 2017, 22:20

That game and result is why I started supporting the club, I was intrigued watching grandstand that day in my home in Liverpool, the rest is history.
Lucy


lucy6lucy
Player Coach
Player Coach
Posts: 1427
Joined: 13 Feb 2012, 21:13
Favourite player: Moore
Location: Wigan

Post by lucy6lucy » 28 Apr 2017, 22:23

brucie wrote:
28 Apr 2017, 22:16
Wow 30 years ago - I was 30 and now I'm 60. Those were the days of the wooden benches in the enclosure in front of the grandstand erected by Lew Pope. Now we have Bristows Bench but we have a worse team than we had then.

Enjoy the game - I will be there as well.
I thought you where told to stay away :aww
Lucy


gateman49
Star Player
Star Player
Posts: 308
Joined: 19 Apr 2012, 09:23
Favourite player: George McBrearty

Post by gateman49 » 28 Apr 2017, 22:32

Welcome back Chunkygull, Brucie and any other exiles.


Topic author
chunkygull
Player Coach
Player Coach
Posts: 1882
Joined: 20 Dec 2012, 22:49
Favourite player: david graham
Location: paignton

Post by chunkygull » 28 Apr 2017, 22:53

Thanks gateman. I dont know what it is but I have always loved the club, my own stupid stubborness is whats made me stay away, but I got so damn mad at it all. However, like I said, something in the last few weeks, not neccessarily even on the pitch has really got to me, the way the fans have started pulling togerher and the few people doing great things to protect our club and then seeing the petition and facebook with fans of other clubs lending support. Whatever happens tomorrow I shall be there next season and beyond as long as there is a TUFC.
You are my torquay, my only torquay, you make me happy when skies are grey, you'll never know, just, how much i love you, so don't take my torquay away.
(laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la, - laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la. - la,la,la,la,la, - la,la,la,la....).


Topic author
chunkygull
Player Coach
Player Coach
Posts: 1882
Joined: 20 Dec 2012, 22:49
Favourite player: david graham
Location: paignton

Post by chunkygull » 28 Apr 2017, 23:07

brucie wrote:
28 Apr 2017, 22:16
Wow 30 years ago - I was 30 and now I'm 60. Those were the days of the wooden benches in the enclosure in front of the grandstand erected by Lew Pope. Now we have Bristows Bench but we have a worse team than we had then.

Enjoy the game - I will be there as well.


For those first few seasons I went, my Dad and I went in the standing section of the grandstand, there were a few little terrace steps and the pathway along the barriers. I remember when Torquay were attacking everybody hammered the shit out of the barriers. We actually used to stand just in front of where the guy filmed the matches, he had a little makeshift podium. I havent watched a game over there for years but tomorrow will be sat up in the seats.

I always used to want to be over on the popside in those early days as a kid, watching longingly where all the big boys were but my Mum told my Dad no. What he didnt know was when he couldnt go a few times and I had to go with some mates and their Dad we went on the pop and stood near the middle. First time I stood there and Torquay scored I absolutely shit myself with the surge that followed and all the jumping about that went with it. I lost a cup of hot chocolate and a mars bar.

I wanted to go on the popside tomorrow but Dad has a dodgy knee nowadays.
You are my torquay, my only torquay, you make me happy when skies are grey, you'll never know, just, how much i love you, so don't take my torquay away.
(laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la, - laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la. - la,la,la,la,la, - la,la,la,la....).


ACW2IOW
Youth Team
Youth Team
Posts: 5
Joined: 19 Dec 2016, 01:19
Favourite player: Mark Ellis

Post by ACW2IOW » 28 Apr 2017, 23:28

A great opening post, Chunkygull - well done. I vividly remember that famous last game 30 years ago - didn't actually attend but was staying in Dartmouth at the time so enjoyed the after match celebrations over there. Doesn't seem that long ago!
So pleased you are returning to the fold tomorrow - I sense you are really looking forward to it. Here's hoping for the right result.
Best of luck for the future from the Isle of Wight.


Topic author
chunkygull
Player Coach
Player Coach
Posts: 1882
Joined: 20 Dec 2012, 22:49
Favourite player: david graham
Location: paignton

Post by chunkygull » 29 Apr 2017, 00:10

Thanks for that. I am so looking forward to it. I havent been this hyped about football for ages. I think its seeing our fanbase galvanise and come together, with those few doing good work to get the word of our situation also. It feels more like Torquay United again. Sod the owners and the last few boards running it into the ground and making poor decisions, this is our club, we are in it together and being together and supporting is the only way we are going to get back to anywhere near where we should be. I'm just sorry its took me this long to put my annoyed feelings aside.

Lets just hope we get our result tomorrow and we can get the chance to start again.
You are my torquay, my only torquay, you make me happy when skies are grey, you'll never know, just, how much i love you, so don't take my torquay away.
(laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la, - laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la. - la,la,la,la,la, - la,la,la,la....).


Dutchgull
Player Coach
Player Coach
Posts: 1236
Joined: 05 Sep 2010, 13:15
Favourite player: Eunan O'Kane

Post by Dutchgull » 29 Apr 2017, 01:24

Brilliant opening post Chunky gull .....spot on

have to admit that I was one of the guys who banged those advertising boards trying to make some kind of atmosphere. I have recently been told from a much younger work colleague that I was one of his first memories of going to Plainmoor because of it !! One of his friends told me the same thing and thats why he is now Gull as well !! Now I just have to yell my encouragement from Bristows Bench .....its not the same !!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


Topic author
chunkygull
Player Coach
Player Coach
Posts: 1882
Joined: 20 Dec 2012, 22:49
Favourite player: david graham
Location: paignton

Post by chunkygull » 29 Apr 2017, 01:53

Ha ha, brilliant. Tomorrows my first time sat in the bench in fact I dont even think I ever sat up in the old grandstand. Definitely miss the sound of the boards being bashed but alas with the strict rules now I dont think anybody has been allowed to stand near them on any side of the ground as its classed as a pathway and we cant have that can we. When I think that little terrace area of the grandstand used to get quite packed.
You are my torquay, my only torquay, you make me happy when skies are grey, you'll never know, just, how much i love you, so don't take my torquay away.
(laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la, - laa, laa, - laaaa, - la, la. - la,la,la,la,la, - la,la,la,la....).


merse btpir
Team Captain
Team Captain
Posts: 510
Joined: 02 Jan 2017, 10:58
Favourite player: robin stubbs

Post by merse btpir » 29 Apr 2017, 07:05

ACW2IOW wrote:
28 Apr 2017, 23:28
I vividly remember that famous last game 30 years ago - didn't actually attend.........
Neither did I and I was in blissful ignorance of it all; island hopping as I was in the Aegean. I picked up a Sunday Mirror on the Tuesday afternoon, sat down with a coffee on the little island of Symi ~ which was little more than a monastery and a taverna ~ and read all about the drama.

That was as early as the English papers could arrive on the ferry that docked on the steps of the monastery...felt 'guilty' about it ever since!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: A Candy, Bing [Bot], Bleeper, Gloomy Gull, Jerry, Magpiegull, Richinns, stephen breed and 108 guests