In 1983 my parents and my younger brother settled in Hereford on my Dad’s retirement.
There, brother Chris (note small ‘b’, he’s not a priest) started supporting Hereford United. Being in a rural and beautiful region in the Welsh Marches just inside England and away from the bigger traditional football centres, Hereford was never going to be a big club. It did, however, once reach the old second division which is now branded as the ‘Championship’ by the money moguls’ PR denizens who have arguably ruined English football over the last 25 years.
Don’t believe me? Just look at the national side’s pathetic performances, the fans go for club before country.
Alas, little Hereford United is no more, a victim of a small financial greedy-guts. Its ground will probably be swallowed up by the new retail centre which has taken the place of the old city market.
But there is one thing about Hereford United that will live forever. In 1972 Hereford United hosted Newcastle United in a FA Cup round. Back then, Hereford United’s player-manager was the ONLY FULL-TIME professional in the club.
What happened on that overcast, cold and muddy January afternoon lives on. Those who may say that ‘THAT’ goal is not comparable with today’s overpaid players, just look at the state of the pitch.
My family and I moved to Hereford in 1994 and a few of my friends are among the young lads who ran onto the pitch. In those days, soccer violence and football hooliganism was still rampant. Backing up the local police as crowd stewards were off-duty SAS guys.
Read, view and enjoy, and check out the players’ hairstyles, not to mention those broad sideburns (I had a pair then, much to the embarrassment of my now adult offspring when they see family photos of that time).
Football fanatics: this match was the BBC’s John Motson’s first ever live broadcast.