Non-League Notebook: 'John Who' aims for more Cup glory: Former Plymouth manager hopes to revive the spirit of his 1984 FA Cup success

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The Independent Online
TOMORROW, John Hore will be one of 144 managers attempting to guide teams through the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, writes Rupert Metcalf. Wembley, a distant dream, is a mere 10 wins away, but a more realistic ambition is to claim another couple of scalps and reach the first round proper.

A decade ago, Hore nearly became one of the most unlikely FA Cup final managers in the history of the tournament. A tough Cornishman, his Football League playing career came to an end in 1980 after almost 600 appearances as a half-back with Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City. He became player-manager of Bideford, and took them to two Western League titles. Since August 1985, he has been in charge of another club in the Great Mills (Western) League: Torrington.

In between, for just 13 months, Hore was manager of Plymouth. They were struggling to stay in the Third Division, yet he steered them to the semi-final of the FA Cup in 1984, when they were beaten 1-0 by Graham Taylor's Watford.

'John Who', as he was dubbed by the tabloids, enjoyed his brief spell in the spotlight, but a return to the shadows was not far away - he was sacked by Argyle six months after they fell one step short of Wembley.

Tomorrow, Torrington entertain Hore's former club, Bideford, at Vicarage Field, to contest the prize of a third qualifying round home tie against Tiverton, the Great Mills League champions, or Weston-super-Mare. 'It's a derby, and the FA Cup has always been special to me,' Hore said yesterday.

The Cup has given Torrington their only taste of success this term. They beat Weymouth in the last round - a result which cost the Dorset club's manager, Bill Coldwell, his job - but all seven League games to date have ended in defeat.

'We lost some key players in the summer, including two to Bideford,' Hore said, 'and I'm having to start again almost from scratch. We don't have the resources to compete with our local rivals, but that's life.'