FC Halifax Town welcome Torquay United to the MBi Shay Stadium this Saturday. Here are 10 facts about the former Football League side:
The Torquay United we know today were formed in 1921, when Ellacombe, Babbacombe and Torquay Town all merged to form the new football club, replacing the original Torquay United founded in 1899.
The club is based in the seaside resort of Torquay in Devon. It is a town that is famous for being the birthplace of author Agatha Christie.
The club has changed their colours three times. They first wore a light and dark blue strip, before changing to a black and white outfit not dissimilar to Newcastle United’s, even being referred to as ‘The Magpies’ during this time. However, from 1954 onwards they have proudly worn the yellow and blue they still don today.
Since the change, they have been nicknamed ‘The Gulls’, with their current emblem, sported from 1986, symbolising gull’s wings.
Plainmoor has been the team’s home since its current formation. It predated the club as it was formerly used to facilitate rugby and athletics. While the main pitch was spared, the second pitch was turned into allotments during the First World War.
Their record attendance for a game at the stadium was set in the 1954-55 season in a FA Cup fourth round match against Huddersfield Town. 21,908 fans came to watch Torquay lose 4-0 to the Terriers.
Their record top goal scorer is Sammy Collins, who scored 219 goals in 379 games for United between 1948 and 1958. After retiring, the club hero reportedly ran a newsagent near the stadium.
Gull’s legend Kevin Hill holds the honour of being the club’s record appearance maker and longest serving player. Between 1997 to 2008, the midfielder by trade, racked up 474 games, playing upfront or even between the sticks in a couple of them.
The club enjoyed status as a Football League team for 80 years before they were relegated to the Conference in 2008. They found their way back into League 2 after a couple of seasons before again dropping down to non-league football following the 2014/15 campaign.
One of their more well-known former players is Lee Sharpe. He started his career at The Gulls but played only 16 games before signing for Manchester United for £185,000 in May 1988, a record fee at the time for Torquay.
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