Joyce, Sean

Birth Date

15th February 1967


Conisborough, Yorkshire



Biographical Text

Sean Joyce made a single league appearance for Exeter City in December 1986 when on loan from Doncaster Rovers. Returning to Devon in 1988 to sign for Torquay United he went on to make over 150 league appearances for the Plainmoor club before embarking on a long career in Westcountry non-league football that included over twenty-five years as manager of Bideford. 

Starting as an apprentice at Doncaster Rovers, Sean had become a professional when he arrived on loan at St James’ Park as a nineteen-year-old in the 1986/87 season. Making his Grecians' debut against Northampton Town on 2 December 1986, he did not appear again before returning to South Yorkshire. 

Eventually playing 41 league games for his local club (scoring twice), Sean left Belle Vue to
move to Torquay United in August 1988 where he played 158 league matches (15 goals) during which time he played in the side that reached Wembley in the Sherpa Van Trophy against Bolton Wanderers in 1989 and again for the 1991 play off final win over Blackpool.

Remaining in the Torbay area after finishing his professional career at the age of twenty-six in May 1993, Sean played for Elmore and Taunton before becoming player-manager at Bideford in November 1998. Suffering a knee injury, he soon concentrated on management and Western League titles followed in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 along with a run to the semi-finals of the FA Vase.

After two more FA Vase quarter-final appearances and the Western League championship in 2010, Bideford accepted promotion to the Southern League and won promotion to the league's premier division in 2012. With an 8th place finish in 2014, the club remained at step 3 of non-league football for four seasons. and - by the end of 2018/18 alone - Sean
already had a
round 1,050 competitive matches under his belt as a manager.

Remaining at the helm - and with a 2022 Devon St Luke’s Cup success at the expense of Exeter City - Sean had been manager for twenty-five years as the club entered the 2023/24 season. 





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