Hereford United: Wikis


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Hereford United
Hereford United
Full name Hereford United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Whites, The Bulls, The Lilywhites
Founded 1924
Ground Edgar Street, Hereford
(Capacity: 5,300[1] (2,761 seated))
Chairman Graham Turner
Manager Graham Turner[2]
League League Two
2008–09 League One, 24th
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Hereford United Football Club are an English professional football club based in the city of Hereford. Founded in 1924, they are competing in League One in the 2008-09 season. Hereford have played at Edgar Street for their entire history and are nicknamed 'The Whites' or 'The Lilywhites', after their predominantly white kit, and the 'The Bulls' after the local breed of cattle. The club's motto is "Our greatest glory lies not in never having fallen, but in rising when we fall".

Hereford shot to national prominence in 1972 when, as a Southern League team, they knocked top-flight Newcastle United out of the FA Cup.[3] In the same season they were elected to the Football League, and reached the old Second Division by 1976. But after a rapid decline into the Fourth Division, where they spent nineteen seasons, they were eventually relegated on the final day of the 1996-97 season with serious financial troubles.[4]

Graham Turner purchased the majority shareholding in 1998 saving the club from probable extinction[5][6] and, after nine seasons in the Conference, Hereford returned to the Football League by winning the 2006 Conference Playoff Final.[7]

Turner purchased just two players between 1997 and 2008 for a combined total of £40,000.[8] At the end of the 2007-08 season Hereford were promoted to League One, despite being tipped to struggle,[9] by finishing third in League Two. 2008-09 saw the club play in the third tier of English football for the first time since 1978, but a season of struggle saw them relegated back to the fourth tier on 18 April 2009. Turner subsequently stepped down as manager, paving the way for John Trewick to become manager. However, Trewick did not last a full season after a disappointing campaign and was dismissed on 8th March 2010; and Turner once again took over first team duties until a long term replacement is found.[10]



Hereford United Football Club was founded in 1924 with the merger of two local clubs St Martins and RAOC (Rotherwas), with the intention of sustaining a higher class of football in the city of Hereford. Hereford joined the Birmingham Combination and lost its first match 2-3 to Atherstone United. The club's second ever match was an FA Cup Preliminary Round tie against future rivals Kidderminster Harriers which they lost 2-7.

Hereford progressed to the Birmingham & District League in 1928 where the club was to spend 11 seasons, during which they managed a best position of 4th. By the late 1930s the number of clubs in the league had decreased and Hereford successfully applied to join the Southern League. At the same time the club became a limited company but only played a few games in their new league before the outbreak of the Second World War.

When football resumed United finished 1st in their first full season in the league only to be demoted to 2nd behind Chelmsford City, who were awarded points for unplayed matches.[11] In 27 seasons in the Southern League, Hereford finished as runners-up three times, and also lifted the Southern League Cup three times. When the league was regionalised for one season in 1958-59, Hereford also won their regional division to add to their third League Cup win.

In 1966 Hereford signed John Charles, the former Leeds United, Juventus and Welsh international, boosting the support of the club.[12] He became manager a year later and set about building a team to challenge at the top of the Southern League and gain election to the Football League. With the club becoming one of the best-supported non-league outfits in the country Charles used his standing within the game to canvass votes from member clubs for election to the Football League.

The 1971-72 season was a watershed as it saw the club finish second in the Southern League and gain national prominence due to its exploits in the FA Cup. Charles had departed the club in October 1971 and his successor Colin Addison inherited a side that went on to defeat top-flight Newcastle United in the FA Cup of which the star player was Dudley Tyler. Ronnie Radford and Ricky George's famous goals earned the club a Fourth Round tie against West Ham United where they were defeated in a replay at Upton Park. The success of this Cup run played a part in the club's successful election to the Fourth Division at the expense of Barrow although Hereford were, at the time, more supported than most of the clubs in that division.

The club embarked on a meteoric rise to the Second Division after finishing runners-up in their debut season in the Fourth Division and winning the Third Division title in 1976. Dixie McNeil was the leading goalscorer in the top four divisions of English football in the same season, but Hereford would only spend one season in the second tier before quickly dropping back into the Fourth Division. The club's highest peak was in October 1976 when they were in 6th position before they played Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, losing 3-4 at the City Ground.

After this period of success the club spent 19 years in the bottom division, suffering financial problems in the early 1980s which resurfaced in the mid 1990s. The club enjoyed brief glimpses of their past success in the Cup competitions, holding Arsenal to a 1-1 draw in the League Cup of 1985 and narrowly losing 1-0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup of 1990. The first silverware for 14 years was achieved when the club lifted the Welsh Cup in the same season. In the league the club usually finished in the bottom half as it went through a succession of managers, finishing 17th in 5 consecutive seasons.

Graham Turner was appointed manager for the beginning of the 1995-96 season and managed to lead the team to 6th place and the play-offs, despite the club being in 17th position two months previously. This resurgence was in part thanks to the goals of Steve White who emulated Dixie McNeil by being the leading goalscorer in the top four divisions. Hereford lost to Darlington in the play-offs and, with financial problems worsening, the club lost key players for the following 1996-97 season. After a terrible run of form the club were ultimately relegated after a relegation-decider at Edgar Street with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Having initially offered his resignation Graham Turner went on to purchase the majority shareholding in the club in 1998 from the previous regime of Peter Hill and Robin Fry who left the club with debts of £1 million owed to a developing company which also controlled the leases on the stadium. The club's first five seasons in the Conference saw little success on the pitch, with the club being forced to sell many of its key players and the future of Edgar Street in serious doubt. The 2001-02 FA Cup saw the club receive a financial bonus when the BBC televised the First Round match against Wrexham live. Turner stated that the money was critical to the club's survival and therefore Gavin Williams's goal against Dover Athletic in the previous round is seen as the goal that saved the club.[13]

Having reached a 40 year low of 17th in the Conference, the summer of 2002 proved a turning point as almost the entire squad was changed. The majority of new signings having been released from Football League clubs as a result of the ITV Digital collapse. This all-new squad evolved the club into genuine title contenders which, after a record-breaking season in the 2003-04 season, finished as runners up in the Conference only to fail in the play-offs. 2004-05 saw an identical outcome but the 2005-06 season saw Hereford finally secure promotion after defeating Halifax Town in the play-off final.

The club returned to the Football League with a vastly improved financial situation. Under Turner the club was now strictly living within its financial means, having turned a sizeable profit in the latter Conference seasons whilst spending just £20,000 on transfers. In addition the team was playing attractive football which had earned them the mantle of "the best footballing side in the Conference".[14][15]

In 2006-07 Hereford achieved victories over five of the top eight finishing clubs, but a poor run of form in the last part of the season dropped the club into 16th position. In the following season the club were never out of the top five from November onwards and consistently placed in the automatic promotion places. Despite being pushed all the way by Stockport County, Hereford secured third place and promotion with a match to spare by defeating Brentford 3-0 at Griffin Park.

Hereford largely struggled during the 2008-09 season in League One, with just 17 points on the board at the halfway point of the season. They rarely placed outside the relegation zone throughout the season with the highest position being 18th after the first match of the season. A 5-0 home win over Oldham Athletic was a rare good result, with top scorer Steve Guinan scoring a hat-trick. Hereford's relegation was confirmed on 18 April 2009, after they recorded 1 win and 11 defeats in a 12 match spell.

Colours and badge

Hereford players sporting the away kit at Notts County

Hereford originally played in an all-white strip, but their traditional colours are white shirts and black shorts. This dates back to the end of the Second World War when they used material from blackout curtains to make shorts when they ran out of white material.[16] However they have occasionally reverted to an all-white strip, most recently in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. Their away colours have varied over the years, with predominantly yellow colours being used in recent years.

Prior to 1971 the club played in plain shirts with no crest. A depiction of a Herefordshire Bull was introduced for the 1971-72 season with H.U.F.C. lettering underneath. A supporter's club crest was also used during the 1970s. The shirt crest design has changed several times over the years, with the full club name being added above and below the Bull, which has remained largely untouched. The current crest was introduced in the early 1990s but was not featured on the shirts until 2003.

Hereford's shirt sponsors were Sun Valley Poultry between 1991 and 2009, the biggest employer in Hereford. A new three year sponsorship deal was agreed in May 2007 which will extend the sponsorship to 19 years, one of the longest in British football history.[17] It was announced that the logo of Cargill, their parent company, would appear on the shirts from the 2009-10 season onwards. Hereford's shirt & kit wear suppliers are M and M Direct, another large employer in Herefordshire who have supported the club for many years. For the 2009-10 season, the kit will be manufactured by Admiral.


The Meadow End, February 2007
The Meadow End, November 2007

Hereford United have played their home matches at Edgar Street since their formation in 1924, the ground was previously used by the amateur club Hereford City as well as for athletics. In far more recent years the ground has been central to Hereford's financial troubles, with the previous owners of the club handing the leases over to a development company; from whom they had borrowed £1 million.[18] During the club's early years in the Conference the future of the ground was in doubt, and relocation was considered to the point that plans for a new 10,100 seater stadium were drawn up.[18] A joint venture agreement was made between the club and the developers to redevelop both ends of the ground to include leisure facilities that would enable the debt to be settled. The area around the ground is subject to a substantial redevelopment plan, known as the Edgar Street Grid.[19] The club and the developers were originally looking to submit redevelopment plans to the council by the end of 2007.[20] Although the ground redevelopment is independent of the ESG, plans for the building of a cinema at the Blackfriars End drawn up by the club and developers were not supported by ESG and Herefordshire Council[18]. Several months later, plans for the ESG itself were published which included a cinema.

The ground itself has changed little since the mid 1970s and is largely outdated and in need of urgent redevelopment; with the Blackfriars End failing a safety inspection in July 2009.[21] The terraced end had fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years which steadily reduced the stadium capacity from nearly 9,000 to reportedly 7,100, although the capacity was officially confirmed as 7,700 in November 2007.[22] Improvements have been made in recent years to ensure the ground met Football League standards; including new floodlights, dressing rooms and barriers on the terraces. The pitch itself was also completely relaid for the 2007-08 season,[23] with a new sprinkler system installed for the 2008-09 season.[24]


Hereford United was historically one of the best-supported clubs in non-league football, particularly in the last two seasons before their election to the Football League.[25] Indeed in their campaign for election they produced a newsletter which highlighted the fact that their average attendance (5,224) was higher than those of eight Third Division clubs, and fifteen Fourth Division clubs.[26]

The club is known to have a floating support who only turn out for the bigger games. This was apparent in the 2007-08 season when the club enjoyed capacity home support in FA Cup matches.[27][28] Approximately 10,000 Hereford supporters attended the Conference Playoff Final.[29]

The club's official programme is Bullseye and there was also a fanzine called Talking Bull until the 2008-09 season, which has now been changed to an online format.


Home attendances

Average attendances

Between 1972 and 1977, during the club's rise to the Second Division, home attendances averaged almost 8,000 per game. The support fell during the 1980s with the average home attendance under 3,000, the exception being the 1984-85 season when the club finished fifth.

It was not until the latter Conference years that attendances improved, with the 2003-04 season seeing the average home attendance rise to 3,704. The following season saw the figure drop to just over 3,000 while in the 2005-06 season, despite the club successfully gaining promotion, the figure was 2,791. For the 2006-07 season the club had an average home league attendance of 3,327. With the exception of 2003-04, this is the highest average attendance since the 1984-85 season (3,881).

The club has rarely enjoyed capacity crowds at Edgar Street in recent years, having last seen a five-figure home attendance in 1990.[citation needed] Since the reduction of the Edgar Street capacity in line with the Taylor Report the highest home attendance has been 8,953 in 1994 - a Coca Cola Cup Second Round match against Nottingham Forest. The highest league home attendance was 8,532, which was the relegation decider against Brighton & Hove Albion in 1997.

Club anthem

The club's official anthem is Hereford United (We All Love You) which was written and performed by the late Danny Lee, a notable supporter of the club.[30] Originally recorded and released in 1972, the same year as the famous FA Cup run, a rendition is usually sung at every Hereford match both home and away. The song has been remixed three times: in 1979, 2002 and 2006.


Hereford have had a number of rivalries with other clubs throughout their history. In the club's Southern League era Worcester City were considered their fiercest rivals. Both Cardiff City and Newport County were considered rivals in the 1970s and 1980s. In the recent Conference era the club's rivals included Kidderminster Harriers, Cheltenham Town and Shrewsbury Town; the latter being considered the club's biggest rivals at present.


As of 23 October 2009.[31]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Adam Bartlett
2 Wales DF Ryan Green
3 Wales DF Ryan Valentine
4 England DF Richard Rose
5 England DF Keith Lowe
6 England MF Kenny Lunt
7 England MF Marc Pugh
9 England FW Lee Morris
10 England FW Leon Constantine
11 Wales MF Jamie Tolley
12 The Gambia MF Edrissa Sonko
14 Northern Ireland MF James McQuilkin
No. Position Player
15 England MF Sam Gwynne
16 England DF Paul Downing (on loan from West Bromwich Albion)
17 England DF Dan Preston (on loan from Birmingham City)
18 England DF Joel Edwards
19 Wales MF Craig Jones
20 Wales DF Darren Jones
21 England MF Tyler Weir
22 France FW Mathieu Manset
23 England MF Matt Done
26 Scotland FW Craig King (on loan from Leicester City)
30 England GK Chris Adamson (player-coach)
31 Canada FW Gavin McCallum

Reserves and youth team

Hereford United do not have a dedicated reserve team playing in a league, but several reserve matches do occur throughout the season, featuring teams with a mix of fringe players, trialists and youth players. Hereford United Youth play in the South West Conference Football League Youth Alliance, the team is run in association with the Pershore College Football Academy which is based at Holme Lacy.

Club staff


For a full list of Hereford United managers, see Hereford United managers

Graham Turner is the longest serving Hereford United manager and also second to Sir Alex Ferguson in the longest serving manager in the English football league, having completed almost 14 seasons at the club.

The statistics of Hereford United's four most successful managers from the 1972-73 season onwards are shown below. Statistics include league matches only and are correct as of 10 January 2009.

Manager Period in charge English football levels contested Record
P W D L Win % Draw % Loss %
Graham Turner 1995–2009 Level 3 (1 season)
Level 4 (4 seasons)
Level 5 (9 seasons)
606 246 159 201 40.59 26.24 33.17
John Newman 1983–1987 Level 4 (4.5 seasons) 206 77 50 79 37.38 24.27 38.35
John Sillett 1974–1978, 1991–1992 Level 2 (1 season)
Level 3 (2.5 seasons)
Level 4 (1 season)
204 67 58 79 32.84 28.43 38.73
Colin Addison (1971)–1974, 1990–1991 Level 3 (1 season)
Level 4 (1 season)
138 50 41 47 36.23 29.71 34.06

Notable players

For more information, see List of Hereford United F.C. players

A number of full internationals have played for Hereford in its 84 year history, although Brian Evans was the only player to be capped while at the club.


After their solitary season in the old Second Division in 1976-77, the club became the first old Third Division champions to finish bottom the following season. Hereford are also the last English club to have won the Welsh Cup, which they did so in 1990.

John Layton, Sr. holds the record for competitive appearances for the club, making 549 appearances between 1946 and 1964. In recent times the only player to come close to breaking this record was Mel Pejic who had made 523 appearances before his departure in 1992. Pejic made a record 412 Football League appearances for the club. Charlie Thompson holds the record for goals scored for the club, scoring 184 in all competitions between 1945 and 1958. In recent times Stewart Phillips is the only player to even approach this total with 124. His total of 95 goals in the Football League is a club record.

The sale of Lionel Ainsworth is set to break the club's transfer record of £440,000, dependent on the fortunes of Watford.[32]


  • Second Division (now Football League Championship): Best Season: 22nd position (1976-77)
  • Third Division (now Football League One): Champions (1975-76)
  • Fourth Division (now Football League Two): Runners-Up (1972-73), Third Place (2007-08), Play-offs (1995-96)
  • Conference National: Runners-Up (2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06), Playoff Winners (2005-06)
  • Southern League: Runners-Up (1945-46, 1950-51, 1971-72)
  • FA Cup: Fourth Round (1971-72, 1973-74, 1976-77, 1981-82, 1989-90, 1991-92, 2007-08)
  • Welsh Cup: Winners (1989-90), Runners-Up (1967-68, 1975-76, 1980-81)
  • Southern League Cup: Winners (1951-52, 1956-57, 1958-59)

Further reading

  • Parrott, Ron (1998). Hereford United: The League Era. Desert Island Books. ISBN 187428718X. 
  • Parrott, Prime and Williamson (2006). Hereford United: The Wilderness Years. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-905328-22-2. 
  • Rowland, George (2001). The Ultimate Drop. Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2217-0. 
  • Williamson, John (1974). The Hereford United Story: 50 Years At Edgar Street. Hereford Printing Co. Ltd. 
  • Powell, Denise and Edge, David (2003). Hereford United. Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-3155-2. 
  • Charles, John (2003). King John. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0-7553-1208-2. 
  • Stansbury, Mitch (2007). A Corner Kick from the Middle of Nowhere. Offside Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9557351-0-3. 


  1. ^ Bulls face new crowd restrictions BBC Sport, 8 July 2009, retrieved 8 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Hereford United dismiss manager John Trewick". BBC Sport. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  3. ^ Ronnie Radford Rocket Stunned Newcastle Utd Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2008. Retrieved on 11 February 2008.
  4. ^ Financial crisis threatens Hereford The Independent, 17 October 1997. Retrieved on 8 May 2008.
  5. ^ Turner ready for final push BBC Hereford and Worcester. Retrieved on 27 February 2007.
  6. ^ Hereford mourn loss of a legend The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on 20 March 2007.
  7. ^ Green finds the extra edge to put Hereford on cloud nine Guardian Unlimited, 21 May 2006. Retrieved on 27 February 2007.
  8. ^ Turner's Bulls on a League Charge The Football League Official Website, 14 December 2007. Retrieved on 14 December 2007.
  9. ^ League Two form guide BBC Sport, 6 August 2007. Retrieved on 8 May 2008.
  10. ^ "Hereford United dismiss manager John Trewick". BBC Sport. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  11. ^ Hereford United - 1924–1949 Hereford United Official Website. Retrieved on 6 March 2008.
  12. ^ Hereford United - 1960–1970 Hereford United Official Website. Retrieved on 6 March 2008.
  13. ^ Back In The Big Time! BBC Hereford and Worcester, 2 August 2006. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.
  14. ^ Warburton Leads Aldershot Through The Independent, 4 May 2004. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.
  15. ^ Turner Bullish About A Hereford Comeback The Daily Telegraph, 8 May 2004. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.
  16. ^ Parrott, Ron (1998), p.10
  17. ^ Sun Valley deal is one of longest in history Hereford Times, 3 May 2007. Accessed on 4 October 2007.
  18. ^ a b c Turner Statement On Ground Development Hereford United official website, 8 July 2009, retrieved 8 July 2009.
  19. ^ Edgar Street plans made public BBC Hereford & Worcester, 19 June 2003, retrieved on 19 July 2007.
  20. ^ Edgar Street Development Update Hereford United official website, 13 July 2007, retrieved on 19 July 2007.
  21. ^ Blackfriars End To Close Hereford United official website, 3 July 2009, retrieved 8 July 2009.
  22. ^ Leeds FA Cup Tie Brings Financial Boost For Bulls Hereford Times, 1 November 2007. Retrieved on 11 February 2008.
  23. ^ Pitch work completed Hereford United Official Website, 22 May 2007. Accessed on 19 July 2007.
  24. ^ Video Interview Close Season Update Hereford United official website, 6 June 2008, retrieved 8 July 2009.
  25. ^ Williamson, John (1974), pp 121, 133
  26. ^ Powell, Denise and Edge, David (2003). Hereford United. Tempus Publishing, p.18
  27. ^ Chance To Reflect On A Remarkable Cup Run Graham Turner column, Hereford Times, 31 January 2008. Retrieved on 11 February 2008.
  28. ^ Very Good Start But Attendances Are Still A Concern Graham Turner column, Hereford Times, 27 September 2007. Retrieved on 11 February 2008.
  29. ^ Early Day Motion UK Parliament, 22 May 2006. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.
  30. ^ Danny Has Booked His Place In Heaven For All The Things He's Done Hereford Times, 16 August 2007. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.
  31. ^ "First Team". Hereford United F.C.. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  32. ^ Lionels Transfer Fee Could Set New Bulls Record Graham Turner column, Hereford Times, 29 November 2007. Retrieved on 11 February 2008.

External links



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