Dom Roman – @DomRoman
The Ed blogs about the players involved in this week’s online event
What more can you say about Kevin Hill?! Record appearance holder, energizer bunny, leaping hero, scorer of one of the cheekiest goals you’ll ever see at Plainmoor etc etc. Still able to put his boots on at Exmouth Town if required, Hilly is a nailed on Gulls legend and someone who just loved playing for Torquay United. Kevin wasn’t always in favour with various managers, but always ready for action when required. A player capable of spectacular goals and someone who did a job in midfield in League 1, showing that he was more than just an enthusiastic left winger. Hilly sweated everything for the United cause again and again, and we loved him for it…actually we still do love him! A guy who’s welcome back at Plainmoor anytime and guaranteed a fantastic reception.
I have two abiding memories of Martin Gritton in a Gulls shirt. Firstly a goal to win the home Grecian derby in 2003, as Grits sprang the offside trap to finish a perfect Alex Russell through ball. Secondly a winner at Hull away in 2004, which made the long journey up a whole lot sweeter and had the home fans seething. Much like Kevin Hill, Martin was always full of commitment for United, a player who ran the channels and harried defenders for the good of the team, whilst also notching a decent tally of goals. An unselfish striker who helped Davie Graham (and the rest of the team) have a very special season in 03-04.
I think Jo Kuffour’s time at Plainmoor is often a little overlooked. Sure he didn’t have the same impact and goals of a David Graham, or as much influence on the team as Craig Taylor or Alex Russell, but on his day the ex-Arsenal youngster was electric. Able to play in attack or on the wing, Jo had a smart turn of pace, some tricks to make fools out of defenders and the ability to find a subtle or powerful finish in front of goal. A sweet back heel to finish off Yeovil in 2003 comes to mind, so does a long range scorcher at home to Sheffield Wednesday. Perhaps his most important strike was away to Carlisle in 2006, a player who helped United to promotion success and then stuck around long enough to be part of a classic great escape.
One of my favourite Gulls of over 30 years at Plainmoor, Alex Russell oozed quality in the middle of the park. It’s hard to pinpoint my favourite moments for the midfielder, because he was just so integral to what we achieved in that period. Encouraging team mates to trust him with the ball in tight spaces and orchestrating attacks, providing through balls, scoring some delightful goals and also working bloody hard for the team. Nobody played better for United in the League 1 2004-05 season, and nobody tried harder to keep us up. His efforts deserved more and it was with some sadness that he departed soon after. His influence could not be replaced, a lovely player.