Rachel Malloch – @RachelVillavox
Rachel discusses the departing Danny
When Daniel Paul Wright signed for Torquay he rekindled his acquaintance with Gary Johnson from the success of the Cheltenham days. 2020, when the country descended into the bleak mid covid-era of austerity, hysteria, panic, bog roll, masks, hand gel and one walk a day – unless of course you were a member of the governing party or indeed the Prime Minister.
Football was curtailed then revisited behind closed turnstiles and we entered the world of an enforced armchair support, via the medium of official club streams. Some good, some ruddy awful, but with the world going cabin crazy, we still had our football. Of all the seasons to find our form and slick passing football, it would have to be the covid hit 2020/21 wouldn’t it!
This was the season that brought us Danny Wright. The blond bombshell, marauding the front line, terrorising NL centre halves, rolling up the socks and reeling in the years, a 36 year old journeyman brought into put some muscle to the attack and for long periods of the season this paid dividends.
This was a season where for much of it Torquay United were in the ascendancy, 10 points clear at Christmas and a campaign where Wrighty was imperious, from the perfect hat-trick away to Hartlepool in the 5 goal drubbing, a peach against Yeovil and another big win this time at Plainmoor, the centre forward masterclass in the play off semi final against Notts County, Danny Wright played a massive part in our so near and yet……season that ended so frustratingly at the hands of an inept Simon Mather that afternoon at Ashton Gate.
It was no coincidence that his spell out with injuries saw Torquay’s form dip and his commanding presence as our target man sorely missed. For all of Danny’s aerial strength, he had a deft touch and an eye for the pass, a watch and learn talent for hold up play, that age shall not wither an instinctive goal-scorer.
That Danny Wright gave it another go this season and still maintained a high standard of play, that he could bully the best of defenders and work like a trojan whenever he wore the Torquay shirt, is a credit to the man. With recruitment unable to find proper reinforcements, he remained our only recognised threat in an attacking centre forward position, playing games that were pushing his own ageing limits and perhaps we didn’t quite see the player of yore, but in his two seasons with the Gulls, he has given everything, played his heart out and provided some thrills along the way.
We still wish he could have given it another season, his charisma and character alongside that boyish cheeky grin, his sheer determination that will forever endear this traditional warhorse no.9 in the hearts of all Torquay United supporters. Old school centre forwards don’t come much more rugged, tough and sturdy than Wrighty.