formed following a meeting of former Torbay
Public College students at the Tor Abbey Hotel in
Belgrave Road. Home games played at Teignmouth
|16 September 1899
||First game against
Upton Cricket Club ends in a 5-0 victory.
||Enter the East Devon
League. Play home games at the Recreation Ground.
||Play home games at
amalgamate with Ellacombe and become Torquay Town.
Home games played at the current stadium,
amalgamate with Babbacombe, and revert to Torquay
United. Torquay United join the Western League
and turn professional..
||Torquay United join
the Southern League, and finish sixth.
Application to join the Football League results
in no votes.
||Winter storms blow
away the grandstand roof. Donations from the
local public, and games against Plymouth Argyle
and Exeter City provide the club with enough
money to avoid bankruptcy.
became Champions of the Southern League, after
declining entry into the FA Cup to concentrate
all their efforts on winning League status..
|30 May 1927
||For the first time
in League history, the ballot for League
membership results in a tie, with Torquay and
Aberdare tying with 21 votes each. A new ballot
sees Torquay defeat Aberdare by 26 votes to 19
and gain entry into the Football League.
|27 August 1927
League game played at Plainmoor against Exeter
City. A crowd of 10,749 sees the game end in a 1-1
first season sees them concede 103 goals and
finish bottom of the League. Fortunately they
successfully apply for re-election.
||A bizarre season
sees Torquay United lose 10-2 at Fulham; 7-0 at
Crystal Palace; 6-3 at Watford; and 6-1 at Luton
- yet beat Bristol Rovers 8-1 at Plainmoor.
repeat their record defeat losing 10-2 at Luton.
||Ralph Birkett (following
his transfer to Arsenal and then Middlesborough)
becomes the first Torquay-produced player to play
||Dennis Lewis starts
his Torquay career which sees him make a record
433 appearances for the club.
||Don Mills is signed
on loan from Queens Park Rangers. Although he
departed at the end of the season, he returned to
Plainmoor two years later. Don Mills was recently
voted as the "Greatest Player ever to play
for Torquay United" in the Football League
Hall of Fame.
|7 October 1950
attendance at Plainmoor - 16,388 - sees Torquay
United defeat Plymouth Argyle 3-2.
appointed as player-manager, and destined to
become Torquay United longest serving manager,
signals an upturn in Torquay United's fortunes.
||A record attendance
at Plainmoor - 21,908 - sees Huddersfield Town
win 1-0 in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. This
followed Torquay's 4-0 victory over Leeds United
in the previous round.
||Sammy Collins scores
40 League goals in one season. His 204 goals for
Torquay United makes him the clubs leading goal
||Torquay United miss
promotion to Division Two by 0.48 of a goal. Goal
difference leaves Torquay United in second place
in Division Three (South) just behind Alf
Ramsey's Ipswich Town.
||After the removal of
regional football, Torquay United become founder
members of Division Four.
||Torquay United win
promotion for the first time in their League
history after finishing Third in Division Four.
relegated after finishing 21st in Division Three.
||Robin Stubbs scores
twice to see Torquay draw 3-3 against Tottenham
Hotspur in the Third Round of the FA Cup at
Plainmoor (unfortunately they lost the replay 5-1
at White Hart Lane with Jimmy Greaves scoring a
appointed as manager. Torquay United finish Third
in Division Four and are promoted.
|16 March 1968
featured for the first time on BBC TV's Match
of the Day. Torquay United beat Bury 3-0 at
||A poor finish to the
season, sees Torquay United finish fourth in
Division Three (their highest position since the
four divisions were introduced).
|17 March 1971
||For the first time,
a league match had to be abandoned after 63
minutes after heavy rain caused the Plainmoor
pitch to become waterlogged.
finish 23rd in Division Three and are relegated.
||Pat Kruse, centre-half
for Torquay, creates a world record by scoring an
own goal after just six seconds in the league
match against Cambridge United at Plainmoor.
||Torquay United beat
Hartlepool United 3-2 in Plainmoor in a match
which will be remembered because Hartlepool
finished the match with just 8 players. Two
Hartlepool players were sent-off for throwing
lumps of mud at each other !
||The Dark Years begin.
Dave Webb (the former Chelsea player) becomes
|2 May 1984
||Only 967 spectators
watch the 1-0 victory over Chester at Plainmoor.
finish bottom of Division Four and have to apply
|17 May 1985
fire destroys half of the grandstand. This
together with the away end being turned into a
used car lot slashes the capacity of Plainmoor to
||For the second
successive year Torquay United apply for re-election.
At least Stuart Morgan had now been appointed
||Riot police assigned
for the first time in Torquay following the visit
of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
|9 May 1987
ESCAPE (Part I).
This season introduced automatic relegation into
the Conference League. With the final game of the
season to go, Torquay were second from bottom on
47 points, below them was Burnley on 46 points.
Lincoln City had 48 points and seemed in least
The final game was against Crewe Alexandra (featuring
David Platt) at Plainmoor. At half-time Crewe
were leading 2-0 ! Two minutes into the second-half
Torquay's centre-half, Jim McNichol, scores from
a free kick. Despite an all-out attack, Torquay
seem unable to get the equaliser - even hitting
Seven minutes from time a piece of football
folklore is created. A Police dog by the name of
Bryn believes that Jim McNichol is running to
attack his handler, and sinks his teeth into the
centre-half's thigh. It was from the resultant
four minutes of injury time that Paul Dobson
scored possibly the most important goal in the
clubs history, and kept them in the Football
League. As history shows it was unfortunate
Lincoln City that was sent into the Conference
||The dawn of a new
era. Cyril Knowles (of 'Nice One Cyril' fame)
becomes manager, and so begins one of the most
successful periods in the Club's history. The
season started with a 6-1 victory over Wrexham at
Plainmoor, and ended with Torquay just missing
out on automatic promotion but earning a Play-Off
place - losing in the Play-Off Final to Swansea (over
In between, Torquay United beat Tottenham Hotspur
1-0 at Plainmoor - Derek 'The Dude' Dawkins
scoring the important goal - in the first leg of
a League Cup game.; and reached the southern semi-final
of the Freight Rover Trophy.
||Lee Sharpe (a former
YTS apprentice) transferred to Manchester United
|28 May 1989
||Torquay United make
their first appearance at Wembley in the Final of
the Sherpa Van Trophy. A crowd of 46,513 sees
Dean Edwards put Torquay 1-0 against Bolton
Wanderers - unfortunately Bolton won 4-1.
|30 December 1989
||John Barlett, a
former Town Crier, is banned from the ground -
and almost incites a riot - for ringing his bell.
||Mike Bateson becomes
the owner, and Chairman, of Torquay United. He
has been responsible for much needed ground
improvements and putting Torquay United on a very
sound financial footing.
|31 May 1991
||Torquay United make
their second appearance at Wembley. After
finishing seventh in Division Three the Gulls win
through to the promotion Play-Off Final against
Blackpool. Goals from Wes Saunders and Dean
Edwards earns Torquay a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes.
No further goals in extra time results in a
penalty shoot-out. Successful penalties by Mick
Holmes, Wes Saunders, Paul Holmes, Chris Myers
and Gareth Howells (the goalkeeper) make Torquay
winners 5-4 on penalties. The Gulls are promoted
to Division 3.
||The Gulls finish 23rd
in Division 3 and are relegated. Following the
creation of the Premier League and the
restructuring of the Football League, Torquay are
relegated from the Third Division to the 'new'
finish sixth and are again in the Play-Offs. They
miss out on another trip to Wembley after an ill-tempered
Play-Off semi-final against Preston North End. 2-0
up after the First Leg, Torquay United lose 4-1
at Deepdale in the final match played on their
GREAT ESCAPE (Part II) Torquay United
finish bottom of Division Three. They are saved
from automatic relegation from the Football
League when Stevenage's ground was deemed unfit
for League Football.
fifth, Torquay United are once again in the
promotion Play-Offs. An emphatic 7-2 (on
aggregate) victory over Scarborough in the semi-final
results in Torquay United's third appearance at
Wembley. A 1-0 defeat against Colchester United
means that the Gulls miss out on promotion.
||Rodney Jack is
transferred to Crewe Alexandra for £650,000 - a
club record. Wes Saunders becomes the clubs
||Eifion Williams is
bought from Barry Town for a club record fee of
celebrate their first 100 years.
|28 August 2000
sighting of a (male) streaker at Plainmoor.
During the League game against Blackpool, an away
supporter anticipating a victory over Torquay
United, streaked across the Plainmor pitch.
During the 4 minutes of extra time added on as a
result of the disturbance, the Gulls scored twice
to beat Blackpool 3-2.
unsuccessful season, Colin Lee (former Torquay
United player) is brought in as a consultant for
Wes Saunders. Weeks later, Wes Saunders is sacked
and Colin Lee becomes caretaker manager.
|5 May 2001
||THE GREAT ESCAPE (Part
III) - The final game of the 2000/2001 season was
Torquay United away at Barnet. Before the start
of the game Barnet wre bottom of the Third
Division, and one point ahead of them was Torquay
United. The Gulls needed to avoid defeat to keep
their League status, Barnet needed to win. The
day before the game, Barnet had celebrated 10
years since winning promotion to the Football
League, and it was to be the last ever game at
their Underhill stadium - famous for its sloping
Playing down the slope, and with a strong wind
behind them, goals from Jason Rees, Kevin Hill
and David Graham gave the Gulls a 3-0 half-time
and goalkeeper Stuart Jones has saved a penalty.
Despite a fierce second-half comeback the Gulls
won 3-2 and ensure League football for another
season. The attendance (5,523) contained over 2,000
Gulls fans, with a further 350 locked outside
unable to watch the match.
||Roy McFarland, the former Derby
County player, appointed manager of
|23 April 2002
||After finishing 19th in Division 3, Roy
McFarland becomes the first victim of cost-cutting as a result
of the collapse of the ITV Digital contract with the Football
became the head coach (the post formerly known as manager) of
|7 May 2004
||On the last day of
the season Torquay United finish third in Division 3 and gain
automatic promotion. A 2-1 victory away at Southend United
enables the Gulls to gain promotion on goal difference over
Huddersfield Town (who were only able to draw 1-1 away at
|15 November 2005
Marriott makes FA Cup history as he becomes the first
goalkeeper to score the winning goal in a FA Cup tie. In the
First Round of the FA Cup the Gulls were held 1-1 at home to
non-league Harrogate Town. The replay finished 0-0 after extra
time, but in the penalty shootout, Andy Marriott saves two
penalties and then scores the winning penalty himself as the
penalties become "sudden-death".
|25 January 2006
leaves Torquay United by mutual consent following 1-3 home
defeat against Rochdale. A result which put the Gulls into a
relegation place. 18 games left in the season to save
themselves from relegation to non-league football.
|3 February 2006
appointed manager of Torquay United
|4 Februay 2006
||Torquay United v.
Leyton Orient (Football League 2). With Gulls leading 2-0 and
only 7 minutes left to play the floodlights fail at Plainmoor.
The game is delayed for 40 minutes as the club electrician
fixes the problem. Despite Leyton Orients protests for the
game to be abandoned, the game eventually restarts and the
final 7 minutes played. Torquay United continued to hold their
lead and won 2-0.
|13 April 2006
||Ian Atkins, brought
in to be an advisor to John Cornforth, appointed Manager with
just six games of the season left.
|6 May 2006
||THE GREATEST ESCAPE
(Part IV) When Ian Atkins took over as Manger the Gulls were 5
points adrift at the foot of League 2.
Following four consecutive victories, the Gulls went
into the final day of the season as one of 7 clubs facing
possible relegation out of the Football League. The Gulls
needed one point to ensure safety, which was achieved
following a goalless draw at home to Boston United. In the end
Oxford United and Rushden & Diamonds were relegated.
|12 October 2006
||After 16 years as
Chairman of Torquay United, Mike Bateson sold his controlling
interest to new owner Chris Roberts and his company Torquay
owner Chris Roberts announces plans to relocate Torquay United
away from their Plainmoor ground to a new stadium at the
Recreation Ground on the seafront.
not previously having a reputation for cheating, new owner
Chris Roberts launches the "Torquay Initiative".
Under the initiative, if
a Torquay United player is judged (by the Board of
Torquay United) to have feigned injury, or attempted to have
‘Conned' the Referee, then the following disciplinary action
Time Offence :
Disciplinary Letter and Caution about future
Time Offence :
Player receives a Final Warning and maximum Club Fine
Time Offence :
Player is either placed on the Transfer List or
Dismissed for gross breach of conduct.
Either way the player
will not play for Torquay United again.
leading the Gulls successful fight against relegation the
previous season, Ian Atkins is replaced as manager by Lubos
Kubik - a former international with the Czech Republic who
appeared in the 1990 World Cup and 1996 European Championship.
failing to secure a league win under Lubos Kubik, Colin Lee is
once again brought in as a "consultant" to assist
Gulls 4-0 victory at home to Grimsby Town ends a club record
of 19 consecutive league games without a victory.
just two months, 15 games in charge, Lubos Kubik leaves
the departure of Lubos Kubik, Colin Lee is appointed
"Director of Football Development", charged with the
radical restructuring of the footballing side of the club.
Lee's first appoint as Director of Football Development is new
Head Coach, Keith Curle. Keith Curle was a former player for
Torquay United (1983/84), who appeared three times for England
and was previously manager at Mansfield Town.
Roberts resigns as Chairman of Torquay United after his
position at the club became untenable. Following his departure
details on his Business Plan were revealed which included:
- reducing the squad wage bill
by one third in 8 month by replacing players on an average
salary of £850 per week - and the highest-paid player on
£1,100 a week - with young foreign players 'on low
salaries averaging around £500 a week';
- increase ticket prices by
- replacing the 'unattractive'
club colours with a new football kit 'more akin to the
azure blue and antique gold of the 2006 Italy home shirt
which they wore at the World Cup finals'.
Richardson, the owner of the Grand Hotel in Torquay- as well
as six other hotels - agrees to become the new Chairman of
Torquay United for a two year period.
Torquay United Holdings fail to maintain their payments for
the purchase of the club, ownership of Torquay United reverts
to Mike Bateson. Keith Richardson is fired as chairman of the
club and replaced by Mr Bateson.
OF LEAGUE FOOTBALL - Despite there being three matches left in
the season, the Gulls are relegated from the Football League
following a 1-1 draw at home to Peterborough United. After a
tumultuous season which saw four different managers; five
changes of Chairmanship; 44 different players appearing in the
first team; and the aborted sale (and associated broken
promises) of the club; the Gulls face life as a non-league
Gulls "ANNUS HORRIBILUS". Torquay United play their
last league game (a 0-0 draw at home to Hereford United)
following a season which saw no less than four managers; five
changes of Chairman; 19 consecutive games without a win; 44
different players appearing in first team matches; and yet the
club was unable to field a full complement of substitutes for
a number of matches. It saw the brief disastrous sale of the
club to Chris Roberts who promised a new stadium and yet
brought in a manager who was unable to communicate with the
players; and intended to reduce the wage bill by replacing the
"high earning" players with cheaper Easter European
players (whilst the star players were allowed to leave they
were never replaced).
Bateson, the club owner, announces that he is no longer going
to be involved in the day to day running of the club and
appoints Mervyn Benney as club chairman. Within 10 minutes of
his appointment, Benney announces that Colin Lee (Director of
Football) is to leave the club due to financial constraints.
announced that Keith Curle (manager) will not have his
contract renewed at the end of the month.
press conference, former manager Leroy Rosenior is introduced
as the new manager of Torquay United. Within 10 minutes,
Rosenior receives a phone call from Mike Bateson informing him
that Mr Bateson has accepted an offer to sell the club and
that Rosenior is to be sacked as manager. Leroy Rosenior had
been manager for 10 minutes ! Officially the shortest
managerial reign in football history.
start of a new era. A consortium of local businessmen lead by
Chris and Mark Boyce (sons of a former Torquay United
chairman, Tony Boyce) are the new owners of Torquay United.
Alex Rowe is to be the new club Chairman. The first
appointment of the new owners is to reinstate Colin Lee
(sacked 11 days earlier) as the Chief Executive of the club.
Gulls midfield player Paul Buckle is announced as the new
manager of Torquay United.
United begin the new season in the Blue Square Premier League
(named after the new sponsors of the old Conference League).
Their first match (home to Grays Athletic) is shown live on
Setanta Sports (a satellite TV channel) but ends in a 0-0
Gulls First Round FA Cup tie at home to Yeovil Town is shown
live on Match of the Day on BBC1. Yeovil Town hold the record
as the non-league team to have completed most giant-killings
in the FA Cup, however it is the Gulls that upset the form
books and beat Yeovil 4-1.
United win the two-leg semi final of the FA Trophy (2-1 on
aggregate against York City) to confirm their place in the FA
Trophy final at Wembley against Ebbsfleet United.
end their first season in non-league football in third place
and hence qualify for the play-offs. Considering how they
ended the previous season, it has been a remarkable turn
around in the fortunes of the club.
Gulls face local rivals Exeter City in a two legged semi final
for the promotion play-offs. The Gulls won the first leg 2-1
away at St James Park. In the second leg at Plainmoor, after 1
hour the Gulls score to make it 3-1 on aggregate. However
Exeter City stage a remarkable fightback and score 4 goals in
the final 20 minutes to win 5-3 on aggregate.
days after the disappointment of losing out in the play-off
semi final, the Gulls appear at the new Wembley Stadium in the
final of the FA Trophy against Ebbsfleet United (the team that
had been taken-over by 30,000 internet subscribers earlier in
the season. Despite saving a penalty, the Gulls lose 1-0.
Hill, midfield player that had been with Torquay United since
1997 enters the record books after playing as a substitute in
the FA Trophy Final. It is his 474th appearance as a Torquay
finished 7th in the league, Torquay United qualified for the
play-off final after defeating Histon Town in the semi-finals.
on by 10,000 Gulls fans in an attendance of over 35,000,
Torquay United beat Cambridge United 2-0. The goals were
scorded by club captain Chris Hargreaves (35 minute) and
leading scorer Tim Sills (75 minute).
two seasons in non-league football the Gulls had returned to
the Football League.
(4-4-2): Poke; Mansell, Robertson, Todd, Nicholson; Stevens
(Hodges 84), Hargreaves, Wroe, Carlisle (Carlisle 90+3);
Sills, Benyon (Thompson 86). Subs not used: Green, Rice
United first game back in the Football League was a 2-0
victory at home to Chesterfield.
United win 2-1 away at Port Vale and set a new club record. It
is the first goal conceded by the Gulls in 998 minutes of
league football - 11 games.
United deducted 1 point and fined £10,000 for fielding an
unregistered player in the home match against Hereford United
on 1 February 2011. The previous day (31 January) had seen the
closing of the mid-season transfer window. Jake Robinson had
been signed on loan until the end of the season from
Shrewsbury Town. However the registration paperwork was not
logged with the Football League by the required deadline.
By strange coincidence Hereford United had similarly played an
unregistered player in the same match that Hereford had won
2-1 (Jake Robinson having scored the Torquay United goal).
finishing the 2010/11 season in 7th place, Torquay United
qualified for the League 2 Promotion Play-offs. An aggregate
2-0 victory over 4th placed Shrewsbury Town, saw the Gulls in
the Play-off final.
The final was held at Old Trafford, Manchester but Torquay
United lost 0-1 to Stevenage and missed out on promotion.
days after leading his Torquay United team out at Old Trafford
in the League 2 Play-off Final, manager Paul Buckle leaves
Torquay United to manage Bristol Rovers (just relegated to
In four seasons as manager, Paul Buckle guided the Gulls to
the final of the FA Trophy, promotion back into the Football
League; and into the League 2 Play-off Final.
Ling is appointed manager of Torquay United. Previously
manager at Cambridge United and Leyton Orient. A former player
at Exeter City, Swindon Town, Southend United, Leyton Orient
end of his first season in charge, Torquay United finish in
5th place and qualify for the end of season promotion
play-offs. The Gulls lost 1-4 on aggregate in the two-legged
semi-final against Cheltenham Town
Howe equals a club record after scoring in each of seven
Ling goes on sick-leave from the club with a stress related
Knill appointed interim manager for the remainder of the
FINAL DAY DECIDER - Torquay United go into the final game of
the season, needing to avoid defeat to ensure league football
for another season. A 3-3 draw at home to Bristol Rovers meant
the Gulls finished the season in 19th place
Ling is relieved of his duties as manager of Torquay United. A
club statement said "The decision is based purely on
footballing grounds, after falling from play-off contenders
last season to just escaping relegation this time around, and
early exits in all three cup competitions"
successfully guided the Gulls to league survival, Alan Knill
is appointed as the new manager of Torquay United
Chapell scores the fastest recorded league goal for Torquay
United - after just 17 seconds - at home to Portsmouth. The
match ultimately ended as a 1-1 draw.