Gary Owers - The Truth!

Share those treasured memories and memorabilia.

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Gary Owers - The Truth!

Post by merse btpir » 27 Oct 2017, 21:45

The reason Alex Jackson and John Jewers were recruited by Tony Boyce was because of their enormous success in running Weymouth's lottery and on arrival at Plainmoor Alex obtained the UK licence for LOTTO; the KNVB national football numbers game in Holland and that became a huge success for United. John Jewers was the ultimate and consumate 'cold' seller and cold recruit agents and customers at will ~ he's still at it in his seventies for Yeovil Town ~ whilst Alex was a workaholic who needed someone to take responsibility for many of the other aspects of the Commercial Dept to allow him to concentrate on that fantastic scheme which was superceded by the pioneering rub off lottery tickets which he introduced in conjunction with the security printers Norton & Wright.

The summer season outlet of many little kiosks in and around the South Devon area were an absolute goldmine for the club but one of the quirkiest and funniest things I recall were he periodic get togethers with Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City when we would swap outlets after encroaching into one and another's areas and then agreeing to exchange outlets so that there was less travelling to do to service them!

Although we were fierce rivals and cut throat neighbours; it was all done with great respect and professional acknowledgement that (after all) we were all after the same golden apple.

The club shop, the supporters' social club, the 200 Club, pitch and programme advertising and as much match and player sponsorship as we could extract from the support and the community, the business fraternity; and just as I was leaving shirt sponsorship....Mike Bateson originally 'came into' the club as a programme, pitch perimeter and potential shirt sponsor and liked the bloody club so much he later bought it!

We dabbled with having the club's own kits manufactured locally and exclusively ~ not the best quality in hindsight but a deal that could and did make money for the club. Sunday markets, antique fairs and target golf on the Plainmoor pitch were all my remit. Turning the negative of having to play on Sundays due to the power crisis into a positive with unique marketing was another and taking the match programme back into a commercial printer (Duplex Litho of Newton Abbot when the club had been designing and printing them themselves when I arrived there in order to save money and cut out a loss making enterprise) financed and turned into a profit line through ensuring that every single copy was sold if not at the match then in the club shop through energetic use of the programme exchange system with other clubs and programme dealers.....a lot of grinding work; but you have to do that to finance a small professional club like Torquay United.

The Travel Club became in house and the food outlets in the ground improved through franchising two out in order to finance the renovation and equipping of a proper kitchen for the 200 Club which became another revenue stream.

These were also the days of the very first Junior Supporters club since the heady days of the late sixties when the club had run and let one decline before.

What I learned then was the oh so reliance on the good will and voluntary gift of man hours and dedication of loyal supporters in order to run these things as they deserved to be run,

From the lottery agent, the programme seller, the turnstile man and the steward ~ the club couldn't exist without them ~ they were all a great family and totally loved Torquay United.


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Post by arcadia » 27 Oct 2017, 22:57

Merse were your tickets Gold Liner I think that was the name I sold 200 a week in a factory and had other people selling them for our football club in Bristol.


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Post by westyorkshiregull » 27 Oct 2017, 23:12

Great insight merse. Seemed like in them days from top down all pushing for new ideas, whilst having fun at same time. Whilst Some people on payroll i guess many people were not or indeed hours worked by employees were in free time.
That kit supplier wonder if it was coastline as correct me if I'm wrong they were based in brixham.
I always assumed Tony Boyce just kept club going on a drip feed but it seems many people working hard to keep it going. Ok employees earning a wage , that is there job! But sure a lot of people worked hard for the club for little reward.
Thanks I'm aboustley fascinated of this period of the club.
dan McCauley ever taken a interest in club. He obviously sponsored the club with his rotolok company in 1986 but I do remember possible more of a connection.


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Post by merse btpir » 27 Oct 2017, 23:17

I think you might have been selling a Bristol Rovers product there Chris! :whip:

Their Commercial Manager (I forget his name) was a former employee of Torquay United and considered as 'less than friendly' let's say!


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Post by merse btpir » 27 Oct 2017, 23:34

The kit supplier was Pilgrim Sports from Plymouth introduced by Mike Green..,.......their logo on our shirts got the hackles up for many fans and (to be honest) the product wasn't the best quality. It was replaced after one season by a deal with Bukta of Stockport who were part of the Umbro family who had supplied the iconic 'Skalectric' design. Coastline came in after me when David Webb was in charge.

Dan McCauley is a very different character than popular myth paints him. Had also been chairman of Tiverton Town and on the board of Exeter City so obviously he loved football for what it was at whatever level........I'm alright with people like that. According to the Times list of wealthy people, he had a fortune larger than the chairmen of Arsenal, Aston Villa and Chelsea and of course owned Drakes Island as well. I only really 'knew' him as an extremely wealthy visitor to the boardroom during Saturday night matches along with several other perceived 'rivals' (but in reality very well meaning and helpful friends of the club) like Argyle's Robert Daniel, and Stafford & Brian Williams and Gerald Vallance the Exeter City chairman who were all regulars.

That little boardroom was run like a personal fiefdom by Club Steward Ben Street who fiercely guarded his authority in there and I rarely disturbed his routine on a match night unless he came looking for something like replenishments for the bar! But one by one most of those guests would filter down to the 200 Club for a 'late one' and more often than not I was locking up in the early hours of the morning....Malcolm Allison would be a particularly late stayer ~ what a legend ~ and Barry Silkman too; remember he was a player for Malcolm at Plymouth and later a very successful agent who I bumped into last year playing vets' football!

Tony Boyce's financial commitment was out of all proportion to anyone else's but on many occasions the board members were asked to 'get their cheque books out'.


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Post by hector » 28 Oct 2017, 04:49

Coastline didn’t come until the season of Cyril Knowles.

Dave Webb used a company called OSCA for the infamous ‘Chelsea’ Kit, which was a
Blue version of the red OSCA Kit A.F.C. Bournemouth had when Webb was there.

The yellow kit that we had when Webb left was initially produced by Henson during the “Real Great Escape” year of 87 to then be - exact same design - produced by Coastline who were a tiny operation based in Paignton.

They provided our kits for the next two seasons before we became a little more professional and had Ribero in 90/91.


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Post by Jacko55 » 28 Oct 2017, 10:14

COASTLINE was owned by my brother Keith Jackman. He was from Brixham and his small factory was based in Winner St Paignton. He was well chuffed when the lads ran out at Wembley in the Sherpa Van trophy v Bolton wearing the special kit he made!


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Post by Plainmoor78 » 28 Oct 2017, 10:24

The coastline Sherpa van final shirt was the only replica shirt I ever bought, thought it was very good quality and I wore it for years until the thing wouldn't fit anymore.
I seem to remember buying it in a pop up shop on the corner of union st and market st in the week before the final.


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Post by westyorkshiregull » 28 Oct 2017, 10:32

Great response guys. Merse that is fascinating !!!

This about kits is amazing , I remember the ribero one when we played red star Belgrade and the kit was out of stock for months.


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Post by chunkygull » 28 Oct 2017, 11:35

I remember the Rotolok, Henson/Coastline kit. The white one the year after was dreadful. Last game of the season Jimmy Smith was subbed at half time. Second half he is by the food kiosk, he turns to a few of us and says "Does anybody want this shirt, I'll probably just burn it", I hesitated and some girl grabbed it, even though the shirt was crap to this day I wish I had been quicker. After his comment I was surprised he was back the next season.
I didnt get theWembley one for some reason but got the season after with the thin sort of two tone yellow/gold imprinted stripes. Got the full kit of that Yellow shorts and the socks were bloody awful almost like orange, it was the same as Wembley just the shirt changed. I only ever got one home shirt after that in 97/98 as most have been dreadful.

I remember the all yellow Ribero for the 90/91 promotion season. The Red Star Belgrade pre season game is memorable but we had the wrong shorts on, they were white, obviouly the yellow wasnt quite ready. Then we played FC Pumas. Mike Bateson was so enthusiastic that year when he took over. We had those cracking pre season games, he was all about promotion, there was entertainment pre match and at half time.

I am not even going to mention yellow and white stripes ever again. :no:
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Post by westyorkshiregull » 28 Oct 2017, 22:17

Surperb information chunky. Disappointed today very much so , my niece is 14 lives in London has been visiting TORBAY all week at my parents with her dad who is a exile living london. So I paid for them all to go today as a treat and from the reports from them it's same as everyone else. Played well first half and just never turned up second half.
This forum need a history section!!!!

Please why is there not one

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Post by Southampton Gull » 29 Oct 2017, 04:15

Other sections are rarely used on this forum but I have heard there's supposed to be a good one on one of the others that is very extensive. I think it would be futile to try and emulate and we have no issues with the other forums fulfilling the needs we can't satisfy. Seems to work for most people but that said we're always open to trying to give members what they want when and where we can.
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Post by westyorkshiregull » 29 Oct 2017, 05:39

Southampton Gull wrote:
29 Oct 2017, 04:15
Other sections are rarely used on this forum but I have heard there's supposed to be a good one on one of the others that is very extensive. I think it would be futile to try and emulate and we have no issues with the other forums fulfilling the needs we can't satisfy. Seems to work for most people but that said we're always open to trying to give members what they want when and where we can.

Thank you for reply , I do use the history bit on the other forum to. But with about 3 people using it these days there is little debate and is off putting. Also most the pictures posted never seem to work after a month , something about the host needs to upgrade something ? Rather annoying , so i don't use it now. Even though the couple of posters do post some really excellent stuff.

I'm a super interested in all the history of torquay united and with my very limited time in my life I would love to contribute as much as I can. There are people on this forum with vast knowledge which would be fascinating if we just had a history section to document it.
Between the admin and owners of this forum please consider it in the future

Regards Andy, westyorkshiregull


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Post by westyorkshiregull » 29 Oct 2017, 05:42

Jacko55 wrote:
28 Oct 2017, 10:14
COASTLINE was owned by my brother Keith Jackman. He was from Brixham and his small factory was based in Winner St Paignton. He was well chuffed when the lads ran out at Wembley in the Sherpa Van trophy v Bolton wearing the special kit he made!
Welcome to the forum , wow that's interesting. Used to love winner street used to go with my uncle to the ex military bar and love the old shops they had.

Totally of topic but anyone remember datadeal??? Was that winner once upon a time

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Post by Louis » 29 Oct 2017, 06:57

westyorkshiregull wrote:
29 Oct 2017, 05:39
Southampton Gull wrote:
29 Oct 2017, 04:15
Other sections are rarely used on this forum but I have heard there's supposed to be a good one on one of the others that is very extensive. I think it would be futile to try and emulate and we have no issues with the other forums fulfilling the needs we can't satisfy. Seems to work for most people but that said we're always open to trying to give members what they want when and where we can.

Thank you for reply , I do use the history bit on the other forum to. But with about 3 people using it these days there is little debate and is off putting. Also most the pictures posted never seem to work after a month , something about the host needs to upgrade something ? Rather annoying , so i don't use it now. Even though the couple of posters do post some really excellent stuff.

I'm a super interested in all the history of torquay united and with my very limited time in my life I would love to contribute as much as I can. There are people on this forum with vast knowledge which would be fascinating if we just had a history section to document it.
Between the admin and owners of this forum please consider it in the future

Regards Andy, westyorkshiregull
Andy I will set one up now for you. I always wanted one on here and it has been here in the past and was merged into this one because it became abandoned. Prove me wrong and it can stay 😆
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