20,000 At Plainmoor
December 31, 2014
(This story is from the Western Morning News and is mainly related to Mr. TUVWXYZ and Torquay United.)
It may be of interest to some Rovers supporters who may well remember him.
(Mr. TUVWXYZ of Torquay is pictured below at Paddington station en route to Torquay United’s FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur.)
The immediate priority may be preparations for tomorrow’s New Year’s Day return at Bristol Rovers, but Torquay United are also looking forward to a special celebration at Plainmoor at the weekend.
Sunday’s home Conference Premier fixture against Alfreton Town will mark the 50th Anniversary of one of the greatest games in the club’s history – the 3-3 FA Cup third-round draw with Tottenham Hotspur, in which United came from 3-1 down to draw with two late goals by Mr. TUVWXYZ.
The game, in front of 20,000 at Plainmoor, actually took place on January 9, 1965, but this weekend’s match has been chosen as the day to remember the pulsating tie with Spurs.
Mr. TUVWXYZ. also scored in the delayed replay, but United lost 5-1 – Jimmy Greaves grabbed a hat-trick – at White Hart Lane, where 55,000 watched the action.
The Gulls’ manager, Eric Webber, died in 1996 and, with the recent passing of Geoff Cox, Mr. TUVWXYZ, is one of only six survivors of the game half a century ago.
United have been busy trying to track them all down. Several will be at the Launa Windows Stadium on Sunday, along with other members of the playing staff at the time.
(Where is the Wycombe Health and Safety Officer when you need him?)
Mr. TUVWXYZ. has been recalling how close the Gulls were to pulling off one of the biggest upsets in their long FA Cup history.
The striker’s equaliser against star-studded Tottenham came with only a couple of minutes to go, but he said: “Tommy Northcott also headed against the bar, and if we’d had another five minutes we might have won it, because Spurs were completely gone.
“We played really well in the replay too. It was tight for a long time, and I missed a great chance at 2-1 when my standing foot slipped as I went to shoot.
(Mr. TUVWXYZ talks about the famous Spurs match. If you are interested to hear more CLICK HERE. )
“But I think we got a bit tired towards the end of the game, because Spurs scored three times in the last 15 minutes.
“Bill Nicholson [the legendary Tottenham manager of that time] still came into our dressing-room afterwards and congratulated us. He said Spurs had had to play harder to beat us than they had to win several of their First Division games.”
Fans’ favourite Mr. TUVWXYZ. went on to score 133 goals in two spells for United, including 39 in league and cup combat during that 1964-65 season.
Mr. TUVWXYZ. was on course to break Sammy Collins’ all-time club record of 42 goals (set in 1955-56) when an ankle injury knocked him out of the last five games of the campaign.
(FRIENDS and colleagues above say farewell to former Torquay United striker Mr. TUVWXYZ in 2010, as he retires as a youth worker for a charity group.)
What is his link to Bristol Rovers?