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Fan Zone 22/12/2022



On the day England manager Gareth Southgate announced he would remain in his role to take the Three Lions into Euro 2024, Sunday’s World Cup final lived up to all expectations and more.

Billed as the contest between Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe it didn’t disappoint, as the match erupted into a great finale just when the French seemed out on their feet after a virus had gone through their squad.

Messi’s brilliance and Mbappe’s power were a joy to watch and it seemed such a pity the result had to be decided by penalties. It was certainly a great battle between the two number tens, it was as if they said to each other ‘you score one, I’ll score one.’ The Frenchman ended up with a terrific hat-trick, the first in a final since Sir Geoff Hurst who tweeted that ‘I’ve had a good run!’…..56 years.

All the pundits agreed as surely did everyone else watching that this was the most exciting World Cup final of all time and congratulations to Argentina.

Spare a thought for France’s Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris who in tournament football has failed to save a single penalty, that’s 0 out of 9.

Last word on the final must surely go to the match referee, Poland’s Szymon Marciniak whose handling of the contest, particularly of Argentina, was immaculate. Wish there are more like him.


Saturday’s seemingly meaningless game for bronze was also a refreshing change from many of the previous matches in this year’s World Cup as so many national coaches appear besotted with endless possession football inside their own half.

Both Croatia and Morocco gave it a right go with the former deserving their third place but full credit to Morocco the first African nation to reach this stage.

Southgate, if he’s staying on, should take a leaf out of the current tactics of England’s cricket set-up. Under New Zealand coach Brendon McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes their players have been given the freedom to play for joy and entertainment. This lifting of restrictions gave England a great summer of successful cricket which has been followed up by an historic series win in Pakistan.

Now, if only England, and dare we add, Torquay United go with this kind of spirit; take the shackles off and allow individual creativity with attacking football.


The World Cup weekend made up for United’s match being postponed due to a frozen pitch - can anyone remember when the last fixture at Plainmoor was called off?

United’s Boxing Day opponents Yeovil Town managed to play their FA Trophy match going out on penalties to Dorking Wanderers. Yeovil’s defence has tightened up since manager Mark Cooper took over but scoring goals they find a little harder so maybe not a big scoring game this time around.


With United winning - just - against a spirited Chippenham Town in Tuesday’s FA Trophy, it now sets up an intriguing 4th Round tie with Somerset rivals Taunton Town on January 14.

National South Taunton Town earlier this season knocked Yeovil out of the FA Cup.


Next, news about the futures of two clubs: York City and West Bromwich Albion. At York, the takeover of the club six months ago when new owner Glen Henderson took over has not gone to plan.

Henderson has failed to gain supporters’ trust especially after he controversially sacked popular manager John Asked last month. He has now decided to sell his 51% shareholding offering it to the York City Supporters’ Trust who hold the other 49%. They are now looking into how they could raise the funds, assuming they want full ownership.

Meanwhile, in the Midlands fans at the Hawthorns, despite West Brom clocking up their fifth successive victory on Saturday, 3-0 over ex-Exeter City manager Matt Taylor’s Rotherham, have growing concerns over the club’s owner Guochuan Lai.

Lai took over in September 2016 paying around £200m but has only been seen at one game in the past four years. With £10million in loans, cash running out and no sign of investment, fans are becoming concerned. Action for Albion has been set up to highlight concerns and there have been demonstrations at some home games.



July to December

7. Will Goodwin joined in July on loan from which EFL club?

8. Which ex-Gull returned to Plainmoor to be Head of Youth?

9. 87,192 were at Wembley in August to witness what in the Women’s Euro Final?

10. Which ex-Gull favourite re-joined the club on loan from Barrow?

11. Who scored these United goals a) the late goal in the 4-4 TV draw against Altrincham b) the winning goal at Hampton and c) the equalising goal against Derby County at Plainmoor in the FA Cup?

12. What did the club launch with TUST support for local children in November?

Send your answers, together with your name and address to: or Twitter: @FanszoneT.

Closing date is 12 noon Saturday December 31 2022. £10 Torquay United club shop gift voucher for winner for Part One and another for winner of Part Two. Good luck! Question setter’s decision is final.


For those who can’t make Plainmoor on Boxing Day, check out National League TV, for £9.50 you can watch the match on your phone/laptop.

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers of this column; thank you for your support.





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