Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How Torquay United persuaded Neil Warnock out of retirement

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Weeks later Warnock has been unveiled alongside Torquay’s new manager Paul Wotton as the men to bring the good times back to Plainmoor.

Having been a fixture in the lower two levels of the EFL since 1927 the club were relegated in 2014.

Various financial issues followed and the club have twice dropped to the sixth tier, where they remain today.

“It’s a long way off, but I always thought when I was here when we avoided relegation to non-league from Division Four in those days, I always thought this club could be a Division Three side, or League One as it is now,” says Warnock.

“The club crowd-wise could hold it and fill the ground every week.

“So there’s no reason why it can’t going forward, but you don’t start saying silly things like that, I think the first thing is get back up another league and try their best.

“I know Paul will be trying to do that this year and I’ll be trying to help him, but there’s no divine right in football.”

But those at Torquay will hope Warnock’s influence can help the Gulls bounce back as he supports Wotton for the new season under new owners.

While Wotton will be in charge of team affairs, Warnock will be there to lend a helping hand, offer some sage advice, and no doubt persuade people that the seaside Devon town is best for their footballing career.

“He’s someone who’s always been there for me throughout my whole career,” says Wotton, who after a successful time as a player captaining Plymouth Argyle, as well as spells at Southampton and Yeovil Town, has left Torquay’s sixth-tier rivals Truro City to join the club.

“I was a young player at Plymouth Argyle and he was the manager and I played under him a good few times, which was great.

“Throughout my career, even as a player and then when I got into management, he’s always been on the end of the phone.

“If I’ve been having a not great spell he’s always been there for advice, and also if I’ve been on a good spell he’s always sent a message saying, ‘Keep it going’.

“His experience and knowledge is unquestionable, and it’d be foolish for me not to tap into that.”

So for the time being Warnock’s ‘retirement’ to his home in the Cornish countryside has been put on hold once again, and perhaps there will be one or two more promotions to add to his resumé before he finally retires.

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