westyorkshiregull wrote: ↑
26 Oct 2017, 11:42
Please never be shy in any of your experiences at the club during your years. How did it start , how did it end , the inbetween. How did Tony Boyce feel about the club , how did he feel when he sold it. Why ? Players you came accross. Anything and everything about the 70s and 80s im totally interested in.
Over a fairly prolonged period of time there was much to recall and much more I have forgotten to say nothing of things that could not be discussed in the public domain; suffice to say it was a wonderful experience for someone so totally immersed in Torquay United in particular and football in general from the very beginnings of my childhood thanks to my father and uncle.
From training in the evenings with the amateurs and aspiring youth players in the late sixties after a lengthy period as a schoolboy supporter with much more freedom to travel the country and watch games than I would ever allow my own kids. Even being allowed to 'bunk' off school to go with my uncle on the trains to watch midweek games away from home and then being fortunate enough to be a youngster when the club were at their absolute best under Frank O'Farrell was a privilege and ever lasting memory. Five figure crowds packed in under the Saturday night lights ~ what memories!
I was never good enough to even begin to climb the ladder to playing for a living, but lived the dream of being an amateur player with Newton Spurs when they were the nursery club for Torquay United and so trained Tuesday and Thursday evenings on the tarmac behind the newly built Mini Stand, around the cinder track and up and down the terraces; playing in the South Western League, South Devon Premier and Senior Leagues and the County Cups with former pros like Tommy Northcott, Geoff Cox, Dougie Clarke, Bobby Baxter and the great, imperious Don Mills was an education of the highest order and with future pros like Ian Twitchin, Steve Morrall and Pat Roche who went on to play for Man United and Ireland was pretty special too.
Offering to work for the club for nothing in the early seventies led to an offer of employment from Alex Jackson and nine years in the commercial world of football that was an eye opener too and then even going back later as a match official ~ both as one of the then brand new fourth officials for League and League Cup games and reffing and lining in friendlies ~ more or less completed the circle for me and it has been an unforgettable and privileged time.
Meeting and talking with some absolute legends of the game; Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves, George Best, Frank O'Farrell, Bruce Rioch, Ron Atkinson, Brian Robson, Brian Clough (only on the phone alas) John Bond, Malcom Allison, Billy Bremner, Alan Ball, Terry Cooper........there are many more who don't immediately come to mind right now; it's been good and what I have been doing in recent years has been very rewarding too helping young players in their quests to get into the professional game and now watching my two sons play all goes to remind me that football is the greatest game in the world and that should never be forgotten!