Anniversary is a tribute to Prince's dedication
THERE WAS a time, for those of us who were watching Torquay United back in the days when League One was called the good old Third Division, when Frank Prince was one of those opponents who we loved to hate.
In other words, we'd have loved him in our team.
For 13 years (1967-1980) and nearly 400 games in Bristol Rovers' midfield, he was to the Pirates what Nobby Stiles was to Manchester United. Only a bit better looking.
Whenever United and Rovers met, as they did regularly in those days, there were many of us who would groan 'Oh no, not Frankie Prince again'.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He could tackle – could he tackle! – he could get around the pitch and when he won the ball he nearly always found a teammate.
Where Frank was concerned, substance mattered more than style. Just a bit.
For any Torquay supporter, he then compounded the already strained relationship by signing for Exeter City.
Yet Plainmoor has not seen a more constant and admired member of staff in recent memory than the same Frank Prince and, in a summer of significant anniversaries, perhaps the most important one at United will be marked on Saturday, July 7 (6pm).
Through all the ups and downs at the club over the last two decades, the most consistently committed and popular figure at the club has undoubtedly been Prince, the Gulls' Football In The Community Officer.
It was Prince who launched the scheme at Plainmoor on May 18, 1992, just after United had been relegated after an all-too-brief season in League One.
He has since nurtured what is now the Community Trust through many difficult times.
Funding has always been an issue, but Prince's personality – his unfailingly cheerful and enthusiastic exterior always complemented his relentless hard graft – has driven the operation to a point where it has never been in better health than it is now.
Thousands of South Devon kids of all ages, and many adults too, have benefited from the scheme's programme of football, fitness, fun and its drive to promote a healthier lifestyle.
July 7 will mark the scheme's 20th Anniversary, with many of the players, managers and local contacts who have helped over the years, due to attend the reunion.
As much as the Trust's anniversary, it is Prince's 'birthday'. And, as ever with Frank, anyone is welcome to drop in
AMONG the former Plainmoor personalities who have accepted invitations to the TUFITC 20th Anniversary are ex-Wales, Everton and Gulls goalkeeper Neville Southall and promotion-winning manager Leroy Rosenior.
Many others are lined up – more details next week.