Players come and go at Plainmoor, many stay for a while, but many stay for only a short time (especially during 2022-23). Using the alphabet and Torquay Fan Stats as my guide, I take a look at some ‘Forgotten Gulls’ who have represented Torquay United, and see what they’ve been up to since.
G – RYAN GILLIGAN
UNITED CAREER: Swindon-born Ryan Gilligan came through Northampton’s youth system, and joined Torquay United on a months loan in February 2011. With Paul Buckle’s Gulls team chasing a League Two play-off spot, he made his first appearance as a sub for Jake Robinson against Barnet, United winning 3-0 with the midfielder grabbing an assist for Billy Kee’s second half strike. Gilligan played 4 more games for Torquay, all substitute appearances, before returning to Cobblers at the end of the month’s loan.
AFTER UNITED: His contract at Northampton expired in 2012, and he ended up moving to Sweden and playing under Graham Potter at Ostersunds FK. Ryan then jumped around other Scandinavian teams such as Brage, Dalkurd, Umea, PS Kemi and TP-47 (a spell that included coaching), before retiring in early 2019. Since then (as per Linkedin) Ryan has worked as an HGV driver, export packer, team leader, project manager and is now new business development and branch manager at Cadogan Tate Fine Art.
FAMILY: Football is in the family for Ryan as his dad Jimmy was a pro for various teams in the 1980/90s such as Watford, Swindon, Cardiff, Portsmouth and Swansea. After that he has fulfilled coaching and scouting roles for the likes of Watford, Nike Football Academy, Notts Forest and the National Football Association.
OTHER INFO: Soon after returning to Northampton from Devon, Gary Johnson was appointed manager and the midfielder remained out of favour. Johnson only lasting until November 2011 at the Cobblers.
GILLIGAN STATS: AGE: 36, BIRTH PLACE: SWINDON, HEIGHT: 1.78M, POSITION: MIDFIELDER
TUFC STATS: SIGNED BY PAUL BUCKLE FEB 2011, APPEARANCES 5, GOALS 0
H – ANDY HAWORTH
UNITED CAREER: Ex-Blackburn youngster Andy Haworth yoyoed around a number of clubs before finding his way to Torquay in August 2017 on a short term deal. He made his debut one day later in a defeat by Gateshead, then after another loss against Boreham, manager Kevin Nicholson departed. The winger played 5 more games for the Gulls under caretaker manager Robbie Herrera, before being made surplus to requirements when Gary Owers and Martin Kuhl arrived.
AFTER UNITED: Haworth’s next stop on his football journey was Guiseley in October 2017, he then played for Halesowen, Glossop North, Bamber Bridge, Stafford, Ashton and Squire’s Gate, who he last played for in 2021. There are no records showing what Andy has been up to since then (get in touch if you know!).
OTHER: In proper winger journeyman style Lancaster-born Andy had 20 different clubs over the course of a 13 year career, peaking early with two Cup appearances for then Premier League team Blackburn Rovers in 2008-09 (both against Sunderland).
HAWORTH STATS: AGE: 34, BIRTH PLACE: LANCASTER, HEIGHT: 1.80M, POSITION: WINGER
TUFC STATS: SIGNED BY KEVIN NICHOLSON AUG 2017, APPEARANCES 6, GOALS 0
H – MARTIN HORSELL (DUE TO THE LACK OF I’S!
UNITED CAREER: Paignton-born Martin Horsell spent time in the Plymouth youth system, before being picked up by Bristol Rovers boss Ian Atkins in 2004. After two years at Rovers without an appearance, he moved back down to Devon in 2006, joining Ian Atkins again at Plainmoor as an understudy to Nathan Abbey. He had to wait until Boxing Day for his EFL debut, arriving as a late sub for Abbey as the Gulls played MK Dons. Martin then started the next game at home versus Macclesfield, winning the MOTM award. He played a few more times for United, before being replaced by on loan Kevin Miller. Horsell never regained the goalkeeper spot, and with the Gulls relegated, left in the summer of 2007 for pastures new (despite being apparently offered a new deal).
AFTER UNITED: Horsell never made it back to the Football League. Since the Gulls he has played for Yate Town, Salisbury, Dorchester, Tiverton, R.R.F.C. Montegnée (Belgium!), Weymouth, Hereford, Swindon Supermarine and in 2022, returned to Yate Town. Outside of Football he has become a Personal Trainer at ‘Lunchtime Fitness’ – “We here at Lunchtime Fitness provide 40 minute group classes of fun, interactive and intensive fitness activity during your lunch break, leaving you enough time to eat and shower”. He’s also a part time FE Sports Tutor in Chippenham.
OTHER: Unfortunately last season ‘The Bluebells’ of Yate Town were relegated to the Southern League Division One South, no word on whether Martin will remain at Lodge Road.
One thought on “FORGOTTEN GULLS (G-I) by Dom Roman”
Well done for getting Ryan Gilligan and Andy Haworth but I well remember that controversial substitution when he came on for Nathan Abbey
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