GOALS from skipper Chris Hargreaves and top scorer Tim Sills guided the Gulls back into the Football League.
Thousands of ecstatic Torquay fans saluted their heroes at the final whistle after a hard-fought Wembley play-off victory over Cambridge.
Torquay kept with the same team that finished the game at Histon for the Wembley play-off, with Elliot Benyon partnering Tim Sills up front.
Cambridge sprung a surprise by naming Adam Bartlett in goal. Regular keeper Danny Potter was injured in training and United moved to sign Kidderminster keeper Bartlett for the final.
An estimated 10,000 Gulls fans made the trip from South Devon to cheer their team, and flames and fireworks greeted the arrival of the players onto the field.
Full match report, pictures and reaction in Monday's Herald Express.
See a slideshow of your fan pictures at www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk/gulls
Torquay, playing in all white, attacked the Cambridge end in the first half.
Cambridge tested the Gulls defence in the opening minutes and Michael Poke had to be quick off his line to punch the ball clear after one mix-up.
Tim Sills, playing in a mask to protect his own fractured cheekbone, received a lecture from referee Gary Sutton after a seventh minute challenge which left Cambridge's Wayne Hatswell needing treatment.
Wayne Carlisle picked up a booking in the 10th minute for a foul on Courtney Pitt.
A flick header by Chris Todd from a Kevin Nicholson long throw brought a save from Bartlett in the 13th minute. At the other end Poke held a Jai Reason shot at the second attempt.
Sills was booked after 18 minutes for another challenge on Hatswell, and Hatswell was booked two minutes later for a revenge tackle which left Sills on the floor.
Former Torquay striker Lee Phillips shot just wide for Cambridge in the 23rd minute. Chris Robertson tried his luck from long range for the Gulls but his effort also flew wide.
Poke made a great save to deny Robbie Willmott in the 32nd minute.
CHRIS HARGREAVES put Torquay in front after 35 minutes with a right-foot shot from the edge of the box after being put in by Benyon.
Bartlett came up with a brave block to deny Danny Stevens.
A great challenge by Chris Robertson denied Scott Rendell in the 49th minute.
Phillip Bolland was booked for a foul on Benyon. Paul Carden deflected Kevin Nicholson's free kick just wide.
Nicholson blocked a Dan Gleeson shot at the near post and Poke denied Rendell with a brave save which sent the Cambridge striker sprawling. Claims for a penalty were turned down.
Cambridge went down to 10 men when Bolland received a second yellow in the 70th minute for another foul on Benyon, and from the free kick that followed, Chris Todd shot just over.
TIM SILLS made it 2-0 after 74 minutes with a powerful header from a Wayne Carlisle cross.
Lee Hodges replaced Danny Stevens with six minutes to go, and Tyrone Thompson replaced Benyon.
TEAMS: Torquay (4-4-2): Poke; Mansell, Robertson, Todd, Nicholson; Stevens (Hodges 84), Hargreaves, Wroe, Carlisle (Carlisle 90+3); Sills, Benyon (Thompson 86). Subs not used: Green, Rice.
Cambridge (4-4-2): Bartlett; Gleeson, Bolland, Hatswell, Tonkin; Willmott (Holroyd 78), Carden (Challinor 78) Reason, Pitt (Parkinson 62); Rendell, Phillips. Subs not used: McMahon, Crow. Sent off: Bolland 70m
Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire)
Weather: Overcast, showers.