Former Gulls teammates pay tribute to Clint Boulton
- Credit: Torquay United
Former Torquay United players have paid tribute to their teammate Clint Boulton, who has died aged 72.
Clint played the last of 286 matches for Torquay United just over 40 years ago, but the reaction to his death while playing golf has been an eloquent tribute to the place he held for his fans and teammates from the 1970s and the many friends he made around South Devon since.
Dave Stocks, who played for the Gulls from 1972-77, said: “If you needed somebody in the trenches, Clint was your man. He was also the first I picked in any five-a-side, mainly because I didn’t want him kicking me. I loved him to death.”
Dick Edwards, who was in the Torquay United squad from 1970 to 1973,, added: “You couldn’t have wished for a better mate and teammate than Clint. Such sad news - I’m raising a glass to him tonight.”
Former 1970s apprentice Steve Pope said: “I’m still proud to say I made Clint his first cup of tea on the day he signed. Not all pros were good to apprentices in those days, but Clint looked out for all of us. I loved the man.”
From Australia, supporter Bill Soper said: “It’s 40 years since I left Torquay, but I still remember that, whatever knock he received, Clint was usually back at the opposition before long, often with a bandage or two – he was a true stalwart of TUFC.”
The youngest goal scorer, aged 16, and the youngest captain, at 18, in Port Vale’s history, Stoke-born Boulton had already played 267 games and won promotion there before United bought him for £10,000 in November 1971.
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Over the next eight years, he became a cornerstone of Torquay’s Fourth Division defence, and the fact that the club achieved little during that time was not down to him.
If any player deserved to win something at Plainmoor, Boulton - Player Of The Year in 1977 - did.
A place on the wing might have been beyond him, but he could and did play anywhere else.
He enjoyed effective spells at centre-forward – he scored 36 goals for the club. He also took over in goal twice, and did a damn good job there as well.
After a part-time spell with Minehead, he later ran window blinds businesses in Torbay.