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Iron memories: Steve Torpey

30 March 2020

As featured in a past issue of our matchday magazine THE IRON, we caught up with former striker Steve Torpey.

The targetman spent seven years at Scunthorpe and played a part in two promotions. 

Here are his Iron and career memories:

I was playing for Bristol City at the time and I received a phone call from someone at the club saying that Scunthorpe were interested in signing me and I was asked if I would like to go and speak to them. That was how the ball started rolling and things just went on from then really so it was quite straight forward. I enjoyed my time at Bristol and I was delighted to have gained promotion in my first season with the club but we got relegated straight back down in our first season in what is now the Championship and then the new manager came in and I just felt that it was time to go. I signed a four-and-a-half year contract at Scunthorpe and it proved to be a good decision in the end because I eventually stayed at the club for seven years and I really did love every single minute of it.

My first game for the club was against Cardiff at home just a few days after I’d signed. I know that we were struggling at the wrong end of the table at the time but to be honest the game itself is all a bit of a blur to be honest because when you’ve played for as many clubs as I have it’s hard to piece all of the memories together! But I was glad to have signed for the club and I remember that I scored my first goal against Reading at home a couple of weeks later. Myself and Brian Quailey scored to put us 2-0 up but we were pegged back and drew the game 2-2 which was disappointing but obviously I was thrilled to have opened my goalscoring account for the club. Making your debut for whatever team you sign for is always a special occasion and scoring your first goal as a forward is always a memory that you look back on and remember.

I’d say the game at Shrewsbury on the final day of the 2004-2005 season with Scunthorpe when we just needed a point to get promoted. It wasn’t a particularly good game and the final score was actually 0-0 but promotions are the highlight of any professional footballer’s career and to have done that with Scunthorpe was brilliant, especially when nobody really would have backed us to do it at the start of the campaign. Brian Laws had a very small budget to work with but he coped with it superbly, especially considering the fact that we finished in the bottom part of League Two the season before. To turn it around in such a short space of time and get promoted was great to be a part of and it’s something that everyone who was involved will look back on at the end of their careers and remember fondly. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a long career on the playing front and I achieved four promotions overall which is good going by anyone’s standard and to have gained promotion with a nice family orientated club like Scunthorpe was extra special.

I think I’ll have to say the Shrewsbury game again just because of how much it meant to everyone involved with the club. The build-up to the game was brilliant and to have gone on and achieved promotion automatically was exactly what we wanted because the Play-Offs are a complete lottery. I won promotion with Bristol City a few years earlier but the expectation levels were much higher there and they’d spent a lot of money on new players which wasn’t the case at all with Scunthorpe so that game has to be the highlight of my seven years at the club.

Nigel Adkins was in charge of the club at the time and he decided not to offer me a new contract at the end of the 2006-2007 season. Obviously we’d just been promoted so Nigel wanted to bring in a few fresh faces in order to help the club adapt to life in a higher division which was understandable and even though I was 37, I still felt fit enough to continue playing the game at some sort of level. I was originally thinking about playing part time but Lincoln came in for me completely out of the blue and asked me to go down for a chat. I didn’t have the greatest of times there and signed for Farsley Celtic around Christmas time in 2007 and then played for a couple more clubs after that before I started to concentrate on the coaching side of the game.

I really enjoyed my time at the club and experienced a lot of good memories that I will cherish for as long as I live. The town was great, the supporters were great, the board and management teams were absolutely spot on and I spent some of the best times of my playing career at the club. I came back and played in Cliff Byrne’s benefit match and also Matty Sparrow’s testimonial and it’s always nice to come back and see a few familiar faces.

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