Torquay United win dedicated to lifelong fan as thanks for cushion gift

Joseph Bulmer

If ever Torquay United manager Gary Johnson feels a little down - and the Gulls have had a difficult start to the season - he need only look at a surprise gift from a lifelong supporter for inspiration.

Blind mother-of-three Phyllis Edwards made Johnson a 'Torquay United' cushion, in the club's yellow-and-blue colours, and it arrived just before their first home win of the season against Southend United recently.

Johnson was visibly emotional as he dedicated the 1-0 victory to Phyllis after the game, and he said: "It's just such a fantastic thing to have done, and I absolutely love it.

"It's got 4,000 stitches in it.  I'm amazed that a blind lady could have made it, and it cheers me up every time I look at it.

"The win against Southend was for her, that's for sure.

"The cushion also helps me to remind the lads of the lengths that some people go to to support the club."

Phyllis, 68, from Hele in Torquay, said: "I've been a Torquay fan all my life, but I went blind when I was 29 so I haven't been able to see them play for a long time.

"But I enjoy listening to commentaries of their matches whenever I can.

"I've been making cushions for quite a few years - I've also done an Aston Villa one for the minister of our church, because he's a fan of theirs.

"But I decided to make up my own pattern for the Torquay one to give to Gary.  I'm glad he likes it - and I was so pleased when they beat Southend."