Tributes to Gulls' 'real hero' Alan Slough

Alan Slough, middle row far right, in his days at Torquay United.

Alan Slough, middle row far right, in his days at Torquay United. - Credit: Submitted

Alan Slough was Torquay United's assistant manager for only two years, but his death at the age of 73 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease has been felt by many more people around South Devon than just older Gulls fans.

For after Slough left Plainmoor in 1984, he spent the next 30 years enriching the lives of countless young people through his many soccer schools and coaching camps.

Alan Slough, who has died aged 73.

Alan Slough, who has died aged 73. - Credit: Submitted

He also founded and captained the Christians In Sport team in the SDL.

Slough had been a classy midfield player, scoring 61 goals in a 600-game career with his hometown club Luton, Fulham, Peterborough United and Millwall, before his boyhood friend Bruce Rioch persuaded him to become his number two at Plainmoor in 1982.

He had won four promotions and was a regular in the star-studded Fulham team which reached the 1975 FA Cup final (West Ham 0-2) as a Second Division side.

Current United manager Gary Johnson said: "Alan was a real hero of mine - I grew up watching him at Fulham with Bobby Moore, George Best, Rodney Marsh and Alan Mullery, and I was at Wembley for the 1975 Final.

"We are all very sad to hear the news, especially as his grandson Louie is a young pro with us."

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Former Scotland captain Rioch, who went on to manage Middlesbrough, Bolton and Arsenal, said: "Alan and I go back to our school days together and then as players at Luton Town.

"He was talented at several sports, he was also a very good person and his passing is a sad loss."

When he joined United, Slough could probably have carried on playing and, even after he left at 36, he proved it by signing for Minehead, Yeovil Town and Weymouth.

He then played for and coached Christians In Sport, including sons Andy and Chris, while also running his coaching school and a Torbay cleaning business.

Alan's wife Anne cared for him during his long illness. He leaves a large extended family, many of them talented at sports as he was - his grandson Louie is now a promising young centre-half with the Gulls.