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Fan Zone 05/07/2024

FAN ZONE


TUST's Chair, Nick Brodrick's column in this week's Herald Express - updated for the latest news.


******************************************************

YELLOW  ARMY  RINGS  OUT  AS  UNITED FANS  TAKE  OVER

CHARLIE  NEIL  AND  HELEN  SET  FANS  UP  FOR  NEW  SEASON

HEY  JUDE’S  PELE  MOMENT  LEADS  ENGLAND  TO  AN  ESCAPE  TO  VICTORY


Someone - Jimmy Greaves - once said ‘football’s a funny old game’. And how right he was. What a weekend we have just experienced, highs and lows and highs, from Torquay United and England.


Torquay was really united on Friday night as over 1,000 fans were inside the Princess Theatre for the Neil Warnock show but it was more than just Warnock.  Comedian, TalkSport presenter and more importantly life long Torquay fan Charlie Baker had the audience in fits of laughter leaving no-one in doubt about his love for the club. And that was the theme of the evening, an outpouring of love for the football club.


Anyone walking past the theatre could have been forgiven thinking there was a match in progress as chants of ‘Yellow Army’ filled the air, more than once.


Few were spared Baker’s slick routine, even the entire Bryn Consortium, altogether in public for the first time, were on the receiving end as they sat near the front. It was, of course, all good fun and taken in the right spirit.


*****


The Babbacombe Model Village came under attack as one audience member, who admitted he worked there, was admonished for having ‘Wombley Stadium’ instead of Plainmoor as one of their attractions. By Sunday the Model Village, in reply on X (formerly Twitter), posted ‘watch this space’. What could they mean?


Baker was also in charge of announcing two more signings - Dan Hayfield and Jordan Dyer both from Bath City - but each time he was about to say a name, shouts of ‘Deano’ broke out and the fans’ wish for Dean Moxey to sign up was granted as the third reveal. And each player was featured in their own CutLeaf video which have now become a firm favourite with clever use of local attractions and special music to accompany the film.


*****


The evening’s feel good factor continued as the audience settled down to a visual and revealing journey through Neil Warnock’s career including eight promotions. Surely a record that will stand for ever.


His recollection of players, a certain referee (Graham Poll), chairmen and rival managers was a highlight showing his standing in the game. You don’t manage the number of clubs (16) he has done without knowing what you are doing, clocking up a total of 1,626 matches.


His man management skills might not be in any manual but he knows how to get the best out of individuals. His umbrella over his favourites or taking his players into night clubs, well certainly his group of Torquay players back in 1993 were given this treatment - and it worked as United avoided relegation.


Before the event fans had been able to send in questions and who best to ask them than none other than United celebrity fan Helen Chamberlain who gave Torquay national promotion every Saturday as she hosted Soccer AM on Sky.


*****


On a personal note it was great to catch up with Helen who I used to meet at away grounds. At one after a match I was able to give her a lift home while in February 1999 along with my son Tim we met up with Helen and Tim Lovejoy to watch the Gulls lose a Division 3 fixture 3-2 at Brentford, Griffin Park being close to the Sky studios.


*****


At Friday’s event the TUST board were out in numbers to welcome supporters into the theatre, reminiscent of the Matchday Ambassadors, handing out joint TUST and club flyers “Your Chance To Own Community Shares And Support Your Club’. This gives a flavour of the Community Share Issue and Crowdfunder being launched later this month..


For those not at the Princess Theatre you can view the Yellow Army Share Issue online tust.co.uk 


*****


So whilst Friday was a high, whetting the appetite for the new season, although Warnock wisely counselled all of us not to expect too much too soon as 16+ new players will take time to gel, with a minute left of added time on Sunday early evening it was definitely an England low.


WhatsApp messages were flying, ‘there goes Southgate’s knighthood’, ‘England are still shocking’ then in the space of a blink of an eye, a long throw-in and hey Jude was in the right place, right time with an overhead kick not unlike that one Pele scored in ‘Escape To Victory’, both goals coming at crucial times which helped change the course of the games.


What manager throws on a sub with a minute to go? Ivan Toney must have wondered what was the point but his headed pass to Kane was on the money and ‘H’ did what he can do. So, now it’s bring on the Swiss on Saturday. ‘H’ also standing for a high.


*****


Meanwhile, at the latest count 1,250 season tickets have been sold and many of them to returning supporters. I met a couple in the week who were lapsed season ticket holders having not attended for a couple of seasons but were now back all because of the Bryn Consortium.


Those who watched the Chairmen’s Chat cannot have failed to be blown away with their enthusiasm which is becoming infectious.

Everyone I bump into can’t wait for the season to start. We have, though, the release of the fixtures to come and a chance to see the new home shirt. The club shop is currently closed but is due to re-open on July 8 with new stock.


Thanks to those sending messages which you can to: fanszone.tu@gmail.com.

COYY







 


SUPPORT TUST - SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY


 





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