Tribute to former Torquay United winger Tony Scott
- Credit: Dave Thomas
There was a time, before spiralling wages and then the advent of the Premier League put them out of reach of lower division clubs, when top-flight players were happy to join teams like Torquay United, certainly in the later years of their careers.
United always had good contacts, particularly in the mid-1960s when Frank O'Farrell became manager, and he used his connections with West Ham United to sign a stream of former Hammers.
John Bond, Ken Brown, John Smith and Bill Kitchener all became influential and popular regulars as Torquay, promoted in 1966, pushed again for the old Third Division (League One) title and gates regularly topped 10,000.
Tony Scott, who has died at the age of 80, had left West Ham for Aston Villa before he followed his former Upton Park teammates to Plainmoor in 1967.
He was an 'old fashioned' left winger, slight but quick and clever, and with an ability to cross the ball with the outside of his right foot as well as his left. It was a trademark move, and it confounded many a full-back.
Forwards like Robin Stubbs, Alan Welsh and later John Rudge all learned to make early runs to get on the end of those defence-beating deliveries.
Defenders did their best to kick Scott into submission, but he played 96 games in three seasons here before following Bond, along with several other United players, to Bournemouth where Bond had become manager in 1970.
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At Dean Court prolific goalscorer Ted MacDougall credited Scott with helping to launch what became his own hugely successful career.
Scott later played for Exeter City before injuries forced his retirement, but he later coached under Bond at Manchester City, also in the Middle East, before emigrating to Australia where he lived for more than 30 years until his death last Friday.
He will be remembered as one of the best wingers ever to play for Torquay, and in one of the club's best-ever teams.