TUFC PROGRAMME: A-Z Feature (X) – Braintree 17th April 17

The A-Z of Torquay United

A reminder of the people, teams, places and animals that have had an impact and influence on Torquay United during our long history – all categorised alphabetically.


AleX Russell

Former Rochdale and Cambridge playmaker Russell joined United on a free transfer in 2001, and soon became a key man under manager Roy McFarland. McFarland left in 2002 and was replaced by Leroy Rosenior, who brought a new confidence to Plainmoor. He built his team around the talents of Russell in midfield, with the ex-Liverpool FC youngster’s clever movement and passing ability making him one of the first names on the team-sheet. Alex was voted into the PFA Team of the Year in 2003 as United narrowly missed out on the play-offs, but there would be even better to come in 2003-04. With Russell consistently excellent again United grasped promotion in last day drama at Southend, and the midfield maestro was again voted into the PFA Team of the Year. The following campaign in League One was tough for United with cruel last day relegation, but Russell’s acclimatised better than most and had another good season. His displays had quite rightly attracted other teams by then, and Alex moved on to Bristol City in the summer of 2005 having played over 160 games for United. He also went on to play for the likes of Exeter City, Yeovil and Cheltenham.

Crewe AleXandra

One of Torquay United’s most famous ever games occurred in 1987, when relegation was avoided in a 2-2 draw. Of course that only tells half the story, as Bryn the dog’s attack on Jim McNichol caused added on time and Paul Dobson did the rest. The Railwaymen had Dario Gradi in charge, a post he would hold remarkably until 2007!

EXeter City

Our local rivalry with Exeter City has ebbed and flows over the years, as the sides have moved around the lower divisions. In recent times the most memorable clashes with the Grecians came in 2007-08, when two big matches over the Xmas period produced a home win for each side. Then the teams faced each other in a crucial Play-Off Semi-Final, and City made an unbelievable comeback to stun Ex-City assistant Paul Buckle’s team. In total the teams have played 121 times (the first being 1927) in competitive fixtures, with United winning 39 and losing 46. Many players have represented both teams, including Buckle, Darren Rowbotham, Chris Todd, Alex Russell (to name just a few).


So who are the most famous Ex-Torquay United players? Many have been covered by our A-Z feature this season such as: Neville Southall (Everton and Wales), Chris Waddle (Spurs, Sheff Wed and England) and Justin Fashanu (Norwich City and Notts Forest) who came to Plainmoor at the tail-end of their careers. Moving in the opposite direction; the following used United as a springboard to bigger things: Eunan O’Kane (Bournemouth, Leeds Utd and Eire), Matt Elliott (Leicester City and Scotland), Colin Lee (Spurs and Chelsea) and probably our most famous ex-player of all Lee Sharpe (Man Utd, Leeds Utd and England),


Dominic – TT Editor

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I simply live and breathe Football and have supported Torquay United since 1989. I am a season ticket holder on Bristows and a Trust member. I set up TorquayTalk in 2017 to give true supporters a voice and honest opinions on their club.

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