TUFC Dream Team No.14 – Rachel Malloch

“A match winner when he wanted to be, good with both feet and in the air, I loved him!” (Rachel on Rene Howe)

TT contributor Rachel Malloch selects a TUFC Dream Team from her time supporting the Gulls:


Rachel Malloch – @RachelVillavox

“One minute I’m spending my life roaring on the mighty Aston Villa in the illustrious surroundings of Villa Park B6, the next I’m standing on the terraces of the Popside Plainmoor TQ1 in the mid 1990s watching a drab 0-1 loss to Walsall on a mild December day. The day I embraced a deep affection for Torquay United. I’ve watched plenty of games for both teams since, more so the Gulls of late, but the bittersweet of football has taken me to many games wearing the yellow and blue colours of Torquay and I have had the privilege to survey some fantastic footballers over those years”.


Leroy Rosenior

Gary Johnson has given the bay and all Torquay United supporters not only belief that the good times are here again and have every reason to continue, belief and hope has been lost on us for too many seasons, but also has produced exciting front foot high energy attacking football. In his own words “football is about entertainment and that’s what we always aim to do”.

But Leroy Rosenior, that squad, the promotion to the 1st Division, his eloquence, affable personality, intelligence, his all round reverence! Those years and the football under Leroy were beautiful to behold.

Leroy R
Photo Courtesy of the Herald Express

And to those players who have impressed and forged many great moments and memories for me, here’s my Torquay United XI.


Neville Southall

Over the years Torquay have produced some fine top drawer keepers but for those one and a half seasons back in the late 90s, the opportunity to see a world class goalkeeper of the calibre of Big Nev was quite an honour on the Plainmoor terraces. He was brilliant and it was a measure of his excellence when doubtless by his own admission his prime years were the halcyon Everton days. A career already lengthy and distinguished, there aren’t too many players out there who get voted player of the season after only playing one half of it! Sheer class.

Right Back:

Steve Tully

Another player who was decent on the attack, had a good cross and a quick turn of pace. A solid full back who had a great rapport with the supporters. I can’t remember a player who smiled as much as Steve Tully.

Left Back:

Kevin Nicholson

Not only was Kevin Nicholson a great defender, he could pop up with some quality set pieces. There was always an air of expectation around the ground when a free kick was awarded, the wall was being lined up and Nicho was standing over the ball. A great player, coach and an all round decent man. Legend is bandied about maybe too often in football, but for me Nicho is one.


Centre Backs:

Aaron Downes

A solid defender and one who often caused problems for opponents on set pieces and corners. Terrific at dealing with the high long ball style, rarely missed much in the air! A cracking central defender.

Kyle Cameron

What hasn’t been said about our captain marvel in defence this season? He has been almost faultless, leading the team and the club to their first ever champions title a superb defender and a player who much like Downes will deal with the long ball merchants effortlessly. A leader.


Alex Russell

Such skill and assurance on the ball in the middle of the park, one of the most accomplished and stylish midfielders I have had the pleasure to watch. Oozed quality.

Kevin Hill

A one man pogo stick! Zebedee had coiled springs for knees; he could leap higher than most, a class act and always battling for everything. Looked ungainly on the ball at times, no doubt to deceive the opponents! A great player.

Luke Young

I always thought I’d see Luke playing at a higher level, certainly in the championship one day and but for his dreadful luck with injuries I’m confident he would have. Consistently hard working, comfortable on the ball, scored spectacular goals, a quite terrific player.


Tony Bedeau

Another player who was a stalwart of the days I first began supporting Torquay in earnest, I often think of him in comparison to Jamie Reid who is a similar style of player and commands a wave of affection for these burgeoning days of my Gulls support. Not the most prolific of centre forwards but always admired his style, whether he was being played wide or central. Tony, Tony Bedeau!

Rene Howe

Super Rene Howe, perhaps not the most consistent of strikers, but on his day unplayable. His hold up and lay-off play was sublime. A match winner when he wanted to be, good with both feet and in the air, I loved him!

Rodney Jack

Blistering pace, ability, leaving a trail of players in his wake, the most skilful winger I have seen at Torquay Utd. He gave so many options to the team, excited and entertained, a quite brilliant footballer; so good that during the play-off final in 1998 Colchester 2-man marked him. Another player who seemed destined to reach the heights of football greatness, however (with due respect to Crewe) it never materialised. But he left Torquay Utd supporters with tantalising memories.


The players who could easily have made the dream team but for the constraints of time and numbers!

Bobby Olejnik, Paul Gibbs, Chris Robertson, Lee Mansell, Danny Stevens, Tim ‘Zorro’ Sills, Elliot Benyon, Danny Stevens, Jamie Reid

Rachel’s Team







torquaytalk.com – @TORQUAYTALK – Away Sponsor of Kyle Cameron

5 thoughts on “TUFC Dream Team No.14 – Rachel Malloch

    1. Man goes to effort of leaving his unnecessary and unasked for opinion that football is subjective. Spectacular.


  1. I can’t believe Rachel how uncanny your story is… Because… Being born in Sutton Coldfield and living in Sutton Coldfield from 1972 – to approx 1997 when I moved to several different locations.. now settled in North Wales… from 1988 until 1991 I followed the Villa with a group of work colleagues and went to a lot of Away games along with a good few at Villa Park . From 1992 I started fully supporting Torquay United. After there win against Blackpool in the playoff Final on that Friday night match broadcast on 5live… I listened to the second half and then penalty shootout. From then on Ive seen Torquay play at several Midland clubs like Shrewsbury Walsall & Mansfield on a Tuesday night watching Garry Nelsons thunderbolt from the edge of the box hit the underside of the bar and eventually the ball nestled in the back of the Mansfield Net. I went to the Playoff Semi v Preston at Deepdale desperately going so close to winning that game. Ive seen the High flying Gulls at Wembley 3 times v Colchester. Ebbsfleet.. and then at The New Wembley v Cambridge. That must stand out as my best ever Torquay Match
    The 2018/19 season was great. Great to see the Gulls back where they belong. Your best Ever Team. I cant agree with you more. Great choice Great Minds. Up the Gulls. My next match will be when Torquay play Wrexham in the upcoming 2019/20 season. See you there.. 💛🏆


  2. Thanks Neil. It’s never the easiest task condensing a team of XI over a time span of 20 years but contrary to the earlier comment left, a dream team is obviously subjective, these are players who have evoked the memories of games and performances pertinent to our own moments, never likely to be an exact fit to everyone. your comments show that you ‘get it’. and I appreciate that. from Sutton Coldfield to Ye Olde Paignton Town, here’s to the Gulls and making more great memories and forming new heroes.


  3. Your welcome Rachel. Yes and believe you me Ive had my fair critics too over the years asking why go from supporting Villa to lowly Torquay. Ive always told people the very reason why. And eversince Ive always had a lot of respect and admiration from family and friends. I always get a responce once I tell them that very same story of how I come to support TUFC. And once I show people my Gilbert the Gull Tattoo and now recently the new club badge they are well impressed. They always lookout for there results on a Saturday afternoon too and I get a text or facebook message saying great to see The Gulls getting 3 points today. Especially the season just gone having won the league in style. Albeit the last couple of games were blips. I almost feel now that my family and friends have a real interest in knowing who I support and if they follow there own team its nice to know they always look out for Torquays result too. Its funny cuz Ive come across a couple of midlanders who have a Torquay sticker in there car or I see a gulls shirt I remember going to Evesham and going into a pub to watch a Torquay match and asking the landlord if we could watch the nonleague match on his screen. He already had it tuned in as he himself was a Torquay supporter too. How crazy is that… so random!. My love of Torquay has grown season after season. Being a big football fan I always like to see All Midlands team do well. Im glad Villa are back in the premier league they belong there. I would love to go to a Villa v Torquay match one day. Possibly in the Cup as thats more realistic as I think it will be a long long time if they meet up in the same league. I do know looking back in history Villa hasnt got a good record against Torquay The Gulls have beaten them a few times But I see Villa did give TU a good hiding at Villa Patk when they were in Div3 back in the 70s. Onwards and upwards I say.💛🏆


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