THE introduction of young Daniel Sullivan for his professional debut in the dying seconds of our draw at Morecambe yesterday may have seemed like a fairly innocuous moment to many.
It was obviously a proud occasion for Danny and his family, and just reward for his terrific pre-season, but intrepid Yellow historian Jon Gibbes has spotted an even deeper significance.
Daniel Sullivan is the 999th player to make an appearance for United since we entered the Football League in 1927.
A terrific thread on one of the fans’ forums provides the full list, with Lawrie Millsom afforded the honour of being number one. The 100th Plainmoor hero was a Mr Don Welsh and other significant numbers include the legendary duo of Don Mills at 216 and Tommy Northcott at 217.
Before that is our leading ever scorer Sammy Collins on 211. Hero of the 60s, Robin Stubbs, is 308, while the privilege of being number 500 went to John Steeples in 1982. It is a sign of the changing nature of modern football that the first 500 Gulls are spread over 55 years but the next 500 will surely be completed in 31 years.
The supremely talented Mark Loram is 538, current Crystal palace manager Ian Holloway is 569, Lee Sharpe is 592 and our very own Dean Edwards clocked in at 601. Current youth coach Robbie Herrera is 644 and the speed-merchant Rodney Jack comes in at 705.
The modern heroes include Lee Mansell at 899 and Kevin Nicholson is 925 but the big question remains: who will be the 1,000th Torquay United player to appear in the Football League?