MEMORY LANE – The 2007-08 Record Breakers by Steve Harris


Steve Harris


15 years on Steve looks back at the record breaking 07-08 squad


In the 2007-08 season, Torquay United set a club record of 26 league wins – the 21st of which was a 2-0 away win at Stafford Rangers that occurred on the 22nd March 2008, with Tim Sills and Roscoe D’Sane finding the back of the net.

I will now look back at the 14 players who featured on that occasion.

Simon Rayner GK

The big Canadian goalkeeper had been recalled to the Gulls’ side after losing his place to Martin Rice and loan signings Michael Poke and Mikkel Andersen. He remained a regular until the end of the season when he left Plainmoor to join Crawley Town.

Lee Mansell – RB

Then in his second of eight seasons at Plainmoor, Lee Mansell would go to be voted as the club’s player of the year twice and earn a place in the League Two team of the season for the 2011-12 campaign. Since leaving Plainmoor, Mansell joined Bristol Rovers, for whom he won two promotions and later an academy coach with the club also went on to manage his home town club Gloucester City.

Mark Ellis CB

Mark Ellis had joined the Gulls on loan from then Premier League side Bolton Wanderers, a move that he would make permanent in the summer of 2008. Ellis remained at Plainmoor until 2012 when he joined Crewe Alexandra for £80,000. He spent the vast majority of his career in the north with likes of Shrewsbury Town, Carlisle United and Tranmere Rovers amongst others before re-joined United on loan earlier this season from Barrow and made 12 appearances and scored twice.

Chris Todd CB

One of three players who followed manager Paul Buckle to United from Exeter City in the wake of the Gulls’ relegation from the Football League in 2007, Chris Todd famously recovered from being diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia to help United to win promotion in 2009.

After leaving the Gulls in 2010, Todd had playing spells with Newport County, Forest Green Rovers and Eastleigh and he also had a stint as manager of the latter. Todd also managed Gloucester City and served as assistant manager at Truro City and coached United’s Under-18 side.

He is currently assistant manager at Yeovil Town.

Kevin Nicholson LB

A stalwart of the Gulls under Paul Buckle and Martin Ling, Kevin Nicholson made over 300 appearances for United until his departure in 2014.

Spells with Kidderminster Harriers and Bath City followed before Nicholson returned to Plainmoor as player-manager in 2015, a role which he held until 2017.

He went on to manage Cornish side Mousehole and is currently assistant manager at Exeter City after previously serving the Grecians as director of coaching.

Jody Banim RW

Jody Banim joined United on loan from Droylsden in what was considered a surprise move at the time.

Banim then had spells with Burton Albion, Altrincham before returning to Droylsden. He later managed Ashton United and Warrington Rylands in the North West.

Chris Hargreaves MF

The Gulls’ skipper would spearhead the club’s return to the Football League and opened the scoring in their 2-0 Blue Square Premier play-off final victory over Cambridge United in 2009.

A brief return to his former club Oxford United followed for Hargreaves midway through the 2009-10 season before he became first team coach at AFC Bournemouth.

Hargreaves then went on to have spells as manager of the Gulls and Yeovil Town and also worked at Bristol Rovers as academy manager and assistant manager.

He is currently working as a pundit for BT Sport’s coverage of the National League.

Steve Adams MF

One of several players who won promotions with Plymouth Argyle under Paul Sturrock in the 2001-02 and 2003-04 campaigns before going on to appear for the Gulls later in their careers, Steve Adams arrived at Plainmoor from Swindon Town midway through the 2007-08 season.

He remained with United as they returned to the Football League and joined Truro City on loan in the 2009-10 campaign, a move that he would make on a permanent basis in the summer of 2010.

Chris Zebroski LW

Former Plymouth Argyle forward Chris Zebroski spent the 2007-08 season on loan from Millwall. He would return to Plainmoor on a permanent basis in January 2010 when the Gulls paid £25,000 Wycombe Wanderers for his services. Zebroski would finish the 2010-11 campaign as United’s leading scorer with 16 goals before following Paul Buckle to Bristol Rovers.

He then went on to have spells with Cheltenham Town and Newport County before dropping into non-league football with Eastleigh, Chippenham Town, Melksham Town and Fleet Town.

Tim Sills ST

Tim Sills scored the Gulls’ opening goal of this match in the 48th minute and would finish the 2007-08 campaign with 21 goals in all competitions, becoming the first United player to score 20 or more in a season since David Graham in 2003-04.

He would go on to score one of the most iconic goals in the club’s history when he headed home Wayne Carlisle’s cross to double United’s lead in their 2-0 Blue Square Premier play-off final victory over Cambridge United.

Sills would also leave the Gulls during the 2009-10 season when he moved to Stevenage and he later appeared for Weymouth and Gosport Borough.

He is currently managing Wimborne Town in the Southern League Division One South after a successful spell in charge of Hamworthy United.

Lee Phillips ST           

Another player who followed Paul Buckle from Exeter City in the 2007 close season, Lee Phillips only spent one season at Plainmoor before moving on to Rushden and Diamonds, Weymouth and Cambridge United.

Phillips also had stints at Bath City, Eastleigh, Chippenham Town, Exmouth Town and Saltash United before he retired from playing in 2019.


Matt Hockley:

In the final of his eight year spell at Plainmoor, local boy made good Matt Hockley was released at the end of the 2007-08 season and later joined Truro City. He also had two spells with Bideford either side of a stint with Norfolk side Dereham Town.

Kaid Mohammed:

Kaid Mohammed joined the Gulls on loan from Swindon Town and went on to appear for a whole host of clubs including Forest Green Rovers, Cheltenham Town, Port Vale and Accrington Stanley.

He is currently appearing for Carmarthen Town in the JD Cymru South.

Roscoe D’Sane:                                            

Another player who was on target that evening, Roscoe Dsane was a former teammate of Paul Buckle from his time with Aldershot Town, where he also appeared alongside Tim Sills. He joined the Gulls from Accrington Stanley for an undisclosed fee in January 2008.

He left the Gulls at the end of the 2008-09 season and spent a year out of the game before joining AFC Wimbledon in 2011 and he last played for Walton Casuals in Isthmian League Division One South in 2016.


Photo courtesy of Herald Express






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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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