10 November 2022
Match of the Day

It's not often you get to see Hereford FC on Match of the Day! So after that breathless game on Friday night, it was great to sit back and watch the edited highlights, with the whole thing -- all 149 minutes of coverage of it -- online for a month as well.

The BBC was on its game too, with a lovely tribute to Ronnie Radford at the start. We saw the man himself in grainy black and white, his young boys being interviewed about the goal ("very good"), the wonder goal zooming in like a thunderbolt on the cloggiest, quaggiest pitch imaginable, Mottie's breathless commentary, the pitch invasion, and finally a close-up of Radford's number 11 shirt hanging on the crossbar where the ball went in. Brilliant, and beautifully done.

But as Ronnie Radford said, it was the team that made the difference. It was thanks to Ricky George's goal in extra time that Hereford ran out the winners 2 - 1 against Newcastle. And after a wonderful, coolly taken goal by Miles Storey early in the game last Friday evening, I like everyone else there felt a surge of hope that that extraordinary win of 1972 would be repeated.

It was not to be, though the Bulls did us proud against Portsmouth, in front of almost 5,000 fans. But it set me thinking.

For a county with a very small population Herefordshire has a vibrant sports scene. Hundreds of kids train every week in our rowing and rugby clubs.  The skate parks, the schools and clubs and much else are thriving. In football alone, we have teams at every level right up to the magnificent Westfields and Hereford FC.

So why not look at ways to rebuild the stadium on Edgar Street? It is now eight years since Hereford United were brought down by people desperate to exploit the site for outside commercial gain. The then Council took the correct decision to offer a relatively short lease on the ground to the new club, to stabilise a very difficult situation.

Now, it is fair to say, matters are very different. We have a stable club, a thriving Old Market, a university taking shape a few hundred yards away. The sporting, social and economic potential here is vast. Is it not time for all interested parties to come together and see if this Hereford landmark can be rebuilt and renewed, for the benefit of the community?