Another great programme! I had not realised that Frank Womack (“News and Views” section) had been player/manager at Torquay. I had come across his career as Worcester City’s first professional manager. After 20 years at Birmingham City he was surprisingly released and got a chance as player/manager at Worcester. In season 1928/29 he assembled a team almost from scratch and won the Birmingham League title and got the club to the First Round of the FA Cup. He played 43 games (2 goals). Those goals might be the only ones he scored in his whole professional career as at Birmingham City he set a record for an outfield player making the most appearances without ever scoring a goal. Torquay must of heard about his success as a manager and made him a better offer. He took Fred Corbett, John Burn and Jack Byers with him to Plainmoor. What is the story on his appointment?
Womack would go on to achieve great success in managing Grimsby and then Leicester.
Grimsby didn't have to poach him off us. We had already offloaded him as we could not afford his wages, deciding to make do with trainer Frank Brown (mentioned recently presenting a clock to Percy Mackrill in 1929).
Adverts always of interest and the one that catches my eye is for Devon Laundry and Dye Works Ltd under J.H. Chipman manager.
Looking back they also advertise in the programmes posted from 1924, 1929 and 1930 - with Chipman already manager back in 1924.
Chipman was one of Plainmoor's early football heroes (funny shaped balls unfortunately) back in the 1890s with Torquay Juniors, Torquay Athletic and Devon.
He later had a spell as secretary of Torquay United that lasted just three weeks in the summer of 1922.
The Devon Laundry and Dye Works Ltd was formed the same month as Torquay United - May 1899. The famous old name did not last as long as Torquay United as the company changed its name to Combined Linen Service Ltd in January 1989.
I believe the name change was due to a merger with or takeover by a Cornish laundry company which led to a young Cornishman named Alex Rowe moving North to Torquay. The name sounds familiar.
I don’t really trust them not to build more houses and then not deliver the stadium and just sod off
Thanks for the information on Frank Womak, Jon. I will certainly have a look at his career. The Worcester City history says that he said in a newspaper report that he had not given any thought as to what to do when his playing career finished. It appears that when he was released by Birmingham City - and although clubs were looking to sign him as a player - he decided to try his hand as player/manager in non-league football but on a full-time basis. Looks like a good decision when you look at his managerial career.
I'm sure we've been here before but I'm always struck by how quickly life in the League became something of a struggle for Torquay United. Here we are, just five years after our election, and a key figure is being "let go". The board have made economies and now they're desperate for season ticket revenue. Good grief, can't somebody sort things out?
And if Percy Mackrill had disappeared in the direction of Rotherham - perhaps as an early incursion into the licensed trade (did Torquay United drive him to drink? Hopefully not) - Frank Brown was a native of that very town. He'd also played at Rotherham County and Pontypridd but, it appears, preceding Percy all along the line. Now he was set to manage Torquay United for most of the period until the war. Unfortunately, in the Southern section of the Third Division, there wouldn't have been the opportunity to pop into Percy's Halifax boozer to reminisce. Halifax would have been a distant football land of which we knew little. Yet there's probably a wall not too far from the Shay that awaits a yellow plaque in Percy's memory.
Old Frank, meanwhile, was destined to have a war-interrupted spell as manager of Chester. That would have allowed him to share a pint or two with Percy right up to our old favourite's all too early death.