Torquay United Club Profile
Torquay United : Quick Links
Click on the links below to go directly to the relevant parts of the guide :

Club Background; We've Met Before; Club News; Club Statistics; Club Information; Directions To The Ground; Web Resources; Food And Drink; Local Amenities
Torquay United : Club Background

The impression one has of Torquay the town doesn't say "football heartland", and the history of the club that carries the name rather bears that out. Formed as an amateur team, Torquay Town, on May 1st 1899 they played in the likes of the East Devon League and the Plymouth & District League in the early years.

The progress of local clubs Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City up the ladder saw pressure for Town to follow suit, and in 1921 they amalgamated with Babbacombe (with whom they had already shared the ground at Plainmoor since 1910), and Torquay United was born. They joined the Southern League. In 1923 they made their first application to join the Football League, receiving no votes. In 1927 (the first year Yeovil applied) they tried again, having won their first significant silverware - the Southern League (Western Section) Championship - and come runners-up in the Western League, that season. They tied for second place with Aberdare, and in the run-off ballot the Welsh club lost its League status, and Torquay was elected 26-19.

Torquay's Popular Stand - Home Supporters only - this is a side facing stand, situated to your right if you are at the away end
Torquay's Popular Stand - Home Supporters only - this is a side facing stand, situated to your right if you are at the away end
Photo 2007-12 Ciderspace

The first season in the League proved a struggle and they had to apply for re-election. They continued in Division Three South and it took them until 1949-50 to achieve a top ten finish. The Fifties saw Torquay's greatest F.A. Cup moment. In the 1954-55 season they pulled Second Division Leeds United out of the velvet bag in the Third Round, and after drawing 2-2 at Elland Road destroyed them in the replay at Plainmoor 4-0. A visit from Division One Huddersfield Town was the reward in Round Four, and a record crowd of 21,908 packed in to see United go down 1-0.

On the reorganisation of the League for the 1958-59 season Torquay went into Division 4. In 1960 United were promoted to Division 3, but only lasted two seasons. In 1966, under Frank O'Farrell's first spell, they achieved their second promotion, this time surviving in Division 3 until 1972. The next dozen years were almost completely uneventful, Torquay troubling neither promotion campaigns nor relegation struggles. However by the mid-Eighties the wheels were coming off at Plainmoor (rather coinciding with the presence in various guises of a certain Mr David Webb). Re-election was required in successive years, and the following season saw the establishment of the first ever automatic promotion place into the Football League. Torquay were to write themselves into football folklore, in a story that rivals that of Jimmy Glass - saved by a police dog.

Torquay's Family Stand - Unusually this is a family stand situated behind the goal at the opposite end to the away terrace
Torquay's Family Stand - Unusually this is a family stand situated behind the goal at the opposite end to the away terrace
Photo 2007-12 Ciderspace

On the last day of the season Torquay were 23rd, with Burnley one point behind them. A win would secure survival. However United were soon 2-0 down at home to Crewe and the news was that Burnley were winning. United did pull one back but despite throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Crewe they couldn't get another. As the match reached frantic heights in the pandemonium a police dog bit a player. The game was stopped for four minutes; news then arrived that although Burnley had won, Lincoln City, seventh at the turn of the year, had lost at Swansea and if Torquay could get a point they would escape on goal difference. Three minutes into time added on for the police dog Paul Dobson scored, and Torquay retained League status with seconds remaining on the clock.

Since then Torquay have got to Wembley in 1989 in the Sherpa Vans Trophy Final, where they lost 4-1 to Bolton Wanderers, and had four goes at the play-offs, gaining promotion once (in 1991) after a final that went to penalties. They were relegated back again the following season. In 1995-96 Torquay finished bottom of the Football League for the fourth time in their history, but Conference Champions Stevenage Borough's ground, Broadhall Way, did not meet the necessary criteria. Despite attempted 'bribes' and a High Court action by the then Stevenage chairman Victor Green, Torquay retained their place once again.

Torquay surprised everyone - including themselves, one suspects - at the end of the 2003-04 season by claiming one of the automatic promotion spots in League Two. Manager Leroy Rosenior got the plaudits for not only taking a small club up to the third tier, but also getting them playing some impressive attractive football. Unfortunately for them, they could not defy gravity. The sale of David Graham to Wigan and the continuing indifference of the South Devon paying public meant that the Gulls only lasted a single season and they swapped positions with the Glovers at the end of the 2004-05 season.

The old Main Stand at Plainmoor - now replaced by the new Bristow's Bench Stand
The old Main Stand at Plainmoor - now replaced by the new Bristow's Bench Stand
Photo 2007-12 Ciderspace

Down and down they spiralled, with a real crisis of confidence enveloping the club when it hit League Two. Not even Rosenior, whose star had appeared to be in its ascendancy barely 18 months previously, could arrest the decline, and reluctantly the Gulls parted with the man that had brought nearly four years worth of success to their club.

Languishing close to the bottom of the Football League now, the Gulls made a series of puzzling decisions as their club lurched from crisis to crisis. Rather than rely on one man to save the situation, they got into the bad habit of changing managers every five minutes, this all whilst matters were also going pearshaped off the field as well. Rosenior's successor John Cornforth only lasted three months, and although Ian Atkins (yes, him) saved them from relegation he only made it through six months, three of which was the summer break.

By this time long serving Chairman Mike Bateson was busy handing over the reins to Chris Roberts, a local businessman who had agreed to purchase the club. Roberts came to the club with an apparently strong CV but shortly after his arrival, a local newspaper began to gradually debunk a large number of the claims made, and the clear inference was that Roberts was a Walter Mitty style charlatan. Every week, the soap opera took another twist and eventually the directors that were sat on the new board began to walk one-by-one. Roberts was to only last five months at the helm and it was perhaps fortunate that Bateson had never tied up the paperwork that was intended to transfer his shareholding of 51% to the Roberts consortium. Bateson ended up back in the hotseat. Between January and August, Torquay were to manage six changes of Chairman - Mike Bateson, Chris Roberts, Mervyn Benney, Keith Richardson, Mike Bateson and Mervyn Benney - a clear sign of a club in turmoil.

By now things were from from bad to worse on the pitch as well. Roberts had brought in Hungarian Lubos Kubik as manager, and he lasted a rather bemusing two months before Colin Lee and Keith Curle were brought in to salvage the mess in February 2007. That proved impossible and a shambles of a season ended in relegation and Torquay's exit from the Football League. This period also gave Torquay the infamous 'ten minute manager' episode, with Leroy Rosenior being unveiled as their manager on May 17th 2007. He lasted as long as the press conference - reportedly being fired as soon as he left the room, with new owners having agreed a deal that day, and having different views on who should be appointed to the job.

To be fair to the new owners, they chose the right man - Paul Buckle spent four seasons at Plainmoor. He needed two seasons to get them promoted back up to the Football League, during which time he inflicted a rather painful 4-1 defeat on Yeovil Town in the FA Cup, in November 2007. He then took two seasons to get the Gulls as far as the League Two play-off final, before he decided to end his time in Devon - switching to Bristol Rovers for an ill-fated period at the Memorial Stadium. In came current manager Martin Ling who has had just over a season in charge. Last season they were League Two Play-Off Semi-Finalists. This season they're a little bit below that standard, but still no reason why they can't achieve the play-offs for a third season running if they pick their form up a bit.

The paddock terrace area - mercifully this is now replaced by the new Bristow's Bench Stand
The paddock terrace area - mercifully this is now replaced by the new Bristow's Bench Stand
Photo 2007-12 Ciderspace

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Torquay United : We've Met Before
Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Torquay United

23/02/1924HomeSLWDW3-2Radford, Pidgeon(2)
04/12/1926HomeSLWDD2-2Parker, Connor
26/03/1927HomeWLD1L2-3Hayward, Scott
19/03/1959HomeTestW4-0O Donnell, Travis, Edwards(2)
05/01/1966HomeWCCW3-1Hirst(2), Harding
12/01/1966AwayWCCW4-1Harding, Hirst, Foley, Albury
22/01/1975HomeWCCW2-0Own Goal, Verity
07/04/1975AwayWCCW2-1Own Goal, Irwin
14/11/1992AwayFAC1W5-23453Wilson, Batty(3), Spencer
03/04/2004AwayDIV3D2-26156Way 17, Edwards 27
31/07/2004AwayFrndW4-21429Tarachulski 37, 39, 55, Caceres 84
28/09/2004AwayLDV1L3-41610Stolcers 42, Caceres 67, Tarachulski 84
03/08/2007AwayFrndD2-21621Stewart 31, Guyett 77
11/11/2007AwayFAC1L1-43718Stewart 20
16/10/2012AwayLDV2D2-21280Hayter 38, 90
15/07/2014AwayFrndD2-2Leitch-Smith 54, Chergui 79
22/07/2015AwayFrndW2-1823Jeffers 27, Dolan 49

Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Torquay United


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Torquay United : Club Statistics


21/09/2019Dagenham and RedbridgeHomeNATLD0-02524
24/09/2019EastleighHomeNATLL2-32005Whitfield 35, Andrews 55
28/09/2019Stockport CountyAwayNATLW4-04275Reid 18, 44, Arthur 25, Keane 42
05/10/2019AFC FyldeHomeNATLW2-12440Kalala 8, Buse 90
08/10/2019Ebbsfleet UnitedAwayNATLW4-2908Andrews 8, Reid 24, Buse 47, Davis 54


Jamie Reid10000010
Jake Andrews400004
Matt Buse200002
Kalvin Kalala200002
Opi Edwards200002
Ben Whitfield200002
Liam Davis100001
Armani Little100001
Jean-Yves Koue Niate100001
Asa Hall100001
Connor Lemonheigh-Evans100001
Own Goals200002


Highest League Attendance: 3138, vs Boreham Wood, 03/08/2019
Lowest League Attendance: 2005, vs Eastleigh, 24/09/2019
Average League Attendance: 2616


Games Without A Win: 0 Games Without A Home Win: 0
Games Without An Away Win: 0 Games Without Defeat: 3
Games Without A Home Defeat: 1 Games Without An Away Defeat: 2
Games Without A Draw: 4 Games Without A Score Draw: 7
Games Without A No-Score Draw: 4 Games Without Scoring: 0
Games Without Conceding: 0 Home Results Sequence: WLWDLW
Away Results Sequence: WDDLWW Overall Results Sequence: LDLWWW

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Torquay United : Club Information
Plainmoor Ground,

Telephone Number : 01803-328666
Fax : 01803-323976
Chairman : Simon Baker
Press Officer : Tim Herbert
Fixtures Secretary : Daryl Batten
Manager : Martin Ling
Capacity : 6,283
Seated : 2,446
Covered Terrace :

Record Attendance : 21,908 (29th January 1955) v Huddersfield Town, FAC R4

Nickname : The Gulls

Ticket Prices : For this 2012-13 Football League Trophy tie, the two clubs have agreed a simple flat structure across the whole ground which is as follows:

Adults: 10.00; Children: 5.00.

The standard away allocation for matches at Plainmoor is for 1,100 spaces to be made available on the Popside Away Terrace, which is a covered standing area situated behind the goal. In addition there is seated accommodation of up to 500 spaces in the new Bristow's Bench Stand that has been built since our last visit to Plainmoor.

There will be no advance tickets helped by the Huish Park Ticket Office - hence travelling supporters should pay on the night of the match, on the turnstiles.

Disabled Info : Torquay's facilities for away wheelchair users are much improved since they built their new stand. There are nine dedicated spaces for Wheelchair Disabled supporters in the Bristow's Bench Stand, with ramped access to an elevated view. Torquay's policy is to allow an assistant to be admitted free of charge. For special arrangements, drop an email to or call their Reception on 01803 328666, chosing Option 0.

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Torquay United : Directions To The Ground

The away terracing - situated behind one of the goals at Plainmoor
The away terracing - situated behind one of the goals at Plainmoor
Photo 2007-12 Ciderspace


Something of a novelty this one - a journey westwards! The initial option is whether to get on the M5 early or follow the A303/A30 route to Exeter, joining the motorway at Junction 29.

By Road

A couple of miles after leaving the motorway, the road splits going up a very steep hill and you need to take the A380 towards Newton Abbot and Torquay. On reaching Kingskerwell, take the first exit at the large roundabout (there is a McDonalds & Sainsburys on one side) onto the A3022 towards Torquay. After one mile turn left towards Babbacombe (A379). After one mile turn left into Westhill Road for Warbro Road. Plainmoor is signposted on nearing the ground.

By Rail

The ground is over two miles away from the main Torquay railway station and so a taxi may be your best option if you are coming in by train. Some journeys require you to change at Exeter Central whilst others require a change at Newton Abbot.

The walk from Torquay station takes about 35 minutes. Head out of the main station down to the seafront and turn left towards the main town, this is the B3199 Torbay Road. Stay on this road as it becomes The Strand, Torwood Street and then Babbacombe Road. After passing Ilsham Road on the right and Westwood Avenue on your left, take the next left-hand turn into Warberry Road. At the top of the hill turn into Windsor Road. The ground can be clearly seen from the bottom of Windsor Road.

Torre station (one halt before Torquay station, but not all trains stop there) is closer to the ground. Walk up the hill opposite the station and Plainmoor is a 10-15 min walk. However, trains for this local stop are a lot more infrequent than the more mainline Torquay station.

Note that for evening games it is not possible to get a train back from Torquay to Yeovil Junction - the last one departs Torquay at 21.37 and you're too far from the station to be able to do that without leaving the game early.

Torquay United : Web Resources
Web Sites

One doesn't wish to say it but Torquay is not really very well served by web sites. It has one of the standard PTV efforts as its Official Site.

Web Message Boards

TorquayFans.Com - Easy to use dedicated forum site.

TorquayUnited.Net - Used to be a forum site, but is now a Twitter aggregator for Torquay/League Two stuff.

E-Mail Mailing Lists

None known

Local Press

South Devon Herald Express

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Torquay United : Food & Drink
Club Bar :

There is a newish pub/restaurant facility, Boots & Laces, on the Marnham Road side of the stadium, underneath a stand, which is the main Supporters' Club. Normally away fans are admitted - there was no charge being levied when we tried it. It is large. Drink is the expected range of keg beers, lagers, pressurised stout etc.
Boots & Laces
Boots & Laces, the social club.
Photo 2004 Ciderspace

In the ground the pies and pasties are recommended as large and good value.

Local Pubs :

Bickley Mill Inn: Out in the sticks, but well worth the effort to find, in a beautiful location. About a ten minute drive from Torquay. Has own gardens and parking and is disabled friendly. Food served lunchtime and evening. The menu is quite extensive but fairly middle-of-the-road and mid price range. Children are welcome, and have their own menu if they wish. House beers are Greene King IPA and Teignworthy Springtide (Newton Abbot), with a seasonal beer and guest ales in addition. Opening is 12.00 - 3.00 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. - 11.00 p.m. Bed and breakfast is available. Check out their website for further details.
Bickley Mill Inn, Bickley Road, Stoneycombe, North Whilborough, Kingskerswell, Devon, TQ12 5LN. Tel: 01803 873201. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Good old-fashioned local
Good old-fashioned local
© Hugh Gleave
Crown & Sceptre: 0.7 of a mile from Plainmoor. An old coaching inn with a wide selection of beers: Bass, Courage Best, Directors, London Pride, Old Speckled Hen, Young's Special and guests. Cider is Old Rascal Dry Scrumpy - which rather belies its name by being a keg. Food is served lunchtimes (from 12.30) and evenings. The chilli was hot. Children and dogs are welcome, and it has two enclosed gardens. Own parking - presumably somewhere round the back. Saturday opening is 11.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. - 11.00 p.m., weekday evenings 5.30 p.m. - 11.00 p.m.
Crown & Sceptre, 2, Petitor Road, St. Marychurch, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 4QA. Tel: 01803 328290. Map: Click Here.

Hole in the Wall: Oldest pub in Torquay, dated to around 1540. Down in the centre just away from the harbour, opening is 11-11. Children are welcome and food is served. Beers are Bass, Courage Best, Wells Bombardier and guests.
Hole in the Wall, 6, Park Lane, The Strand, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2AU. Tel: 01803 298020. Map: Click Here.

London Inn: A short step from the Hole in the Wall (above). Wetherspoon pub. Children admitted. On the route to the ground for those walking up from Torquay's main railway station.
London Inn, 15-16, The Strand, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2AA. Tel: 01803 380003. Map: Click Here.

At the southern end of Fore Street
At the southern end of Fore Street
© Hugh Gleave
Molloy's: No more than ten minutes walk from the ground, the first hostelry one comes across on turning into the pedestrianised main shopping street of St. Marychurch. The pub does food, but no Under 14's and 15-17 year-olds only with an adult.
Molloy's, 20, Fore Street, St. Marychurch, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 4LY. Tel: 01803 311825. Map: Click Here.

Oirish bar
Oirish bar
© Hugh Gleave
O'Connors: Further along St Marychurch Road from The Union Inn (below). An 'Oirish' theme bar, for those that like that sort of thing.
O'Connors, 113, St Marychurch Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 3HL. Tel: 01803 328271. Map: Click Here.

Several bars, and lots of old people
Several bars, and lots of old people
© Hugh Gleave
Snooty Fox: Large upmarket looking establishment at the top of the pedestrianised high street, opposite the church. Does meals. Family friendly.
Snooty Fox, 89-91, Fore Street, St. Marychurch, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 4PZ. Tel: 01803 323388. Map: Click Here.

As it looks
As it looks
© Hugh Gleave
Strikers Sports Bar: A few hundred yards to the north of the ground. The name tells you what you can expect. Rather scruffy and unappealing looking from the outside. The same inside. Has a big screen.
Strikers Sports Bar, 187, St Marychurch Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 3HP. Tel: 01803 326272. Map: Click Here.

General all things to all people pub
General all things to all people pub
© Hugh Gleave
The Dolphin Inn: Third outlet in Fore Street. Has a big screen, welcomes families, does food.
The Dolphin Inn, 36, Fore Street, St. Marychurch, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 4LY. Tel: 01803 328462. Map: Click Here.

A fish and chip palace round the corner that is sheer quality
A fish and chip palace round the corner that is sheer quality
© Hugh Gleave
The George Inn: A bit further from the ground than some of these listings, and therefore less packed with home supporters, but still under ten minutes walk. One road back from the beach, and no problem with admitting away fans. Two real ales, a pool table, a juke box and terrestrial TV. No kids allowed. The fish and chip shop just around the corner has to be seen to be believed - a menu longer than the list of names in Trevor Kettle's notebook - brilliant. Be prepared for a wait though. Everything is cooked to order and it's incredibly popular, so the queues are lengthy.
The George Inn, 48, Babbacombe Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 3SW. Tel: 01803 328016. Map: Click Here.

The John Bull: Another pub within a few hundred yards of the ground. No futher details.
The John Bull, 38, Cedar Court Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 3HH. Tel: 01803 326773. Map: Click Here.

The Sloop Inn: Only Hungry Horse chain pub in Devon. You'll see it on your left hand side as you take the A380 through Kingskerswell down to Torquay. Large pub, ample parking, and good if you want to drink and eat away from the vicinity of Plainmoor.
The Sloop Inn, Newton Road, Kingskerswell, Devon, TQ12 5ES. Tel: 01803 872979. Map: Click Here.

Full of home fans
Full of home fans
© Hugh Gleave
The Union Inn: Further west along St Marychurch Road from Strikers Sports Bar (above), the other side of the Plainmoor Road turning. Nearest drinking venue to the stadium apart from Boots & Laces. Has satellite TV, pool, darts and a skittle alley. Popular with the local fans.
The Union Inn, 127, St Marychurch Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 3HW. Tel: 01803 328356. Map: Click Here.

Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You :

Natives? What natives? Torquay is full of the retired through age Londoners seeing out their twilight years on the Devon Riviera; the retired through laziness scallies from Liverpool passing over their giros at the boarding houses; and holiday makers who retired from the drive to Cornwall when they found it further than expected.

Top-Tip :

Try out your Basil Fawlty impressions - we're sure the residents of Torquay have never heard them before : What did you expect to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically............

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Torquay United : Local Amenities
Local Guesthouses and Hotels

Go to A1 Tourism's Online Guide to find Guest Houses/Hotels in the town and surrounding areas.

Other Points Of Interest

This is part of the English 'Riviera', which attracts a million visitors a year - or so says Torbay Council - so it must have something. Check out Torquay harbour on this live webcam if watching paint dry is a little too racy for you. Interestingly there's also a link to something called Badgercam on the same page - the mind truly boggles.... Don't waste your time looking for Fawlty Towers in Torquay though. The building used was actually Wooburn Grange Country Club in Buckinghamshire, and it was demolished after a fire.

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Last Updated : 15th October 2012
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