Hereford United F.C.

Hereford United F.C.

Infobox Football club
clubname = Hereford United
current =

fullname = Hereford United Football Club
nickname = The Whites, The Bulls
shortname =
founded = 1924
dissolved =
ground = Edgar Street, Hereford
capacity = 8,843 (2,761 seated)
chairman = flagicon|England Graham Turner
mgrtitle = Manager
manager = flagicon|England Graham Turner
league = League One
season = 2007-08
position = League Two, 3rd

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', 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. [ [ Ronnie Radford Rocket Stunned Newcastle Utd] Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2008. Retrieved on 11 February 2008.] 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. [ [ Financial crisis threatens Hereford] The Independent, 17 October 1997. Retrieved on 8 May 2008.]

Graham Turner purchased the majority shareholding in 1998 saving the club from probable extinction [ [ Turner ready for final push] BBC Hereford and Worcester. Retrieved on 27 February 2007.] [ [ Hereford mourn loss of a legend] The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on 20 March 2007.] and, after nine seasons in the Conference, Hereford returned to the Football League by winning the 2006 Conference Playoff Final. [ [,,1779955,00.html Green finds the extra edge to put Hereford on cloud nine] Guardian Unlimited, 21 May 2006. Retrieved on 27 February 2007.]

Turner, now the second longest-serving manager in the top four divisions of English football, [ [ Longest Serving Managers] League Managers Association. Retrieved on 27 February 2007.] purchased just two players between 1997 and 2008 for a combined total of £40,000. [ [,,10794~1191113,00.html Turner's Bulls on a League Charge] The Football League Official Website, 14 December 2007. Retrieved on 14 December 2007.] At the end of the 2007-08 season Hereford were promoted to League One, despite being tipped to struggle, [ [ League Two form guide] BBC Sport, 6 August 2007. Retrieved on 8 May 2008.] and in 2008-09 the club will play in the third tier of English football for the first time since 1978.


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. [ [ Hereford United - 1924–1949] Hereford United Official Website. Retrieved on 6 March 2008.] 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. [ [ Hereford United - 1960–1970] Hereford United Official Website. Retrieved on 6 March 2008.] 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. 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. [ [ Back In The Big Time!] BBC Hereford and Worcester, 2 August 2006. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.]

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". [ [ Warburton Leads Aldershot Through] The Independent, 4 May 2004. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.] [ [ Turner Bullish About A Hereford Comeback] The Daily Telegraph, 8 May 2004. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.]

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.

Colours and badge

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. [Parrott, Ron (1998), p.10] 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 have been "Sun Valley Poultry" (now Cargill) since 1991, the biggest employer in Hereford. The Sun Valley logo remains on the shirt presently despite the change of company name. 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. [ [ Sun Valley deal is one of longest in history] Hereford Times, 3 May 2007. Accessed on 4 October 2007.] Hereford's shirt & kit wear suppliers are M and M Direct, another large employer in Herefordshire who have supported the club for many years.


Hereford United have played their home matches at Edgar Street since their formation in 1924. 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 to whom they owed a large debt. During the club's time in the Conference there were real doubts over the future of the ground, and the club could have been forced to relocate. However an arrangement was made between the club and the developers, and the ground is now part of a substantial redevelopment plan in Hereford, known as the Edgar Street Grid. [ [ Edgar Street plans made public] BBC Hereford & Worcester, 19 June 2003. Accessed on 19 July 2007.]

The ground itself has changed little since the mid 1970s, and is largely outdated and in need of urgent redevelopment. In particular the Blackfriars Street End has fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years which, along with health and safety considerations, has reduced the capacity from nearly 9,000 to reportedly 7,100, although the capacity was officially confirmed as 7,700 earlier in the season. [ [ Leeds FA Cup Tie Brings Financial Boost For Bulls] Hereford Times, 1 November 2007. Retrieved on 11 February 2008.] 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 has also been completely relaid for the new season. [ [ Pitch work completed] Hereford United Official Website, 22 May 2007. Accessed on 19 July 2007.] The club are looking to submit the redevelopment plans to the council by the end of the year, with the developers absorbing the £1 million debt into the development costs. [ [ Edgar Street Development Update], 13 July 2007. Accessed on 19 July 2007.]


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. [Williamson, John (1974), pp 121, 133] 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. [Powell, Denise and Edge, David (2003). "Hereford United." Tempus Publishing, p.18]

The club is known to have a floating support who only turn out for the bigger games. This became apparent in the current season when the club enjoyed capacity home support in the FA Cup matches. [ [ Chance To Reflect On A Remarkable Cup Run] Graham Turner column, Hereford Times, 31 January 2008. Retrieved on 11 February 2008.] [ [ Very Good Start But Attendances Are Still A Concern] Graham Turner column, Hereford Times, 27 September 2007. Retrieved on 11 February 2008.] Approximately 10,000 Hereford supporters attended the Conference Playoff Final. [ [ Early Day Motion] UK Parliament, 22 May 2006. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.]

The club's official programme is "Bullseye" and there is also a fanzine called "Talking Bull".

Home 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.Fact|date=January 2008 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. [ [ Danny Has Booked His Place In Heaven For All The Things He's Done] Hereford Times, 16 August 2007. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.] 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 25 September 2008."cite web
title = First Team
url =
publisher = Hereford United FC
accessdate = 2008-07-26

First team squad

Reserves & 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.

Club staff

*Chairman / Director of Football / Manager: Graham Turner
*Company Secretary / Director: Joan Fennessy
*First Team Coach: John Trewick
*Fitness Coach: Tony Ford
*Physiotherapist: Jamie Pitman
*Youth Team Coach: Gary Stevens
*Youth Team Coach: Colin Williams


:"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 13 seasons at the club. Statistics shown below are for league matches only from the 1972-73 season onwards. Correct as of 11 February 2008.

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.
* Kentoine Jennings
* Meashach Wade
* Mike Bailey
* Ken Brown
* Steve Bull
* Edwin Holliday
* Joe Johnson
* Eric Keen
* Terry Paine
* Bill Perry
* Mika Kottila
* Bruno N'Gotty
* Stephen Gleeson
* Jimmy Higgins
* Kevin Sheedy
* Trevor Benjamin
* Wayne Dyer
* Ade Akinbiyi
* Tony Capaldi
* Robbie Dennison
* Michael Ingham
* Adam Musiał
* Jonathan Gould
* Jim Blyth
* Bryn Allen
* John Charles
* Ray Daniel
* Nick Deacy
* Brian Evans
* Roy Evans
* Roger Freestone
* Ryan Green
* Ron Hewitt
* Billy Hughes
* Steve Lowndes
* Paul Parry
* Derek Showers
* Derek Sullivan
* Dai Thomas
* Nigel Vaughan
* Gavin Williams


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. [ [ Lionels Transfer Fee Could Set New Bulls Record] Graham Turner column, Hereford Times, 29 November 2007. Retrieved on 11 February 2008.]


*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

*cite book
author=Parrott, Ron
title=Hereford United: The League Era
id=ISBN 187428718X
publisher=Desert Island Books

*cite book
author=Parrott, Prime and Williamson
title=Hereford United: The Wilderness Years
id=ISBN 1-905328-22-2
publisher=Desert Island Books

*cite book
author=Rowland, George
title=The Ultimate Drop
id=ISBN 0-7524-2217-0
publisher=Tempus Publishing

*cite book
author=Williamson, John
title=The Hereford United Story: 50 Years At Edgar Street
publisher= Hereford Printing Co. Ltd

*cite book
author=Powell, Denise and Edge, David
title=Hereford United
id=ISBN 0-7524-3155-2
publisher=Tempus Publishing

*cite book
author=Charles, John
title=King John
id=ISBN 0-7553-1208-2
publisher=Headline Book Publishing

*cite book
author=Stansbury, Mitch
title=A Corner Kick from the Middle of Nowhere
id=ISBN 978-0-9557351-0-3
publisher=Offside Publishing


External links

* [ Hereford United Official Website]
* [ Graham Turner Column (Hereford Times)]

* [ Bulls News]
* [ Hereford Times]
* [ Bulls Banter - Independent Bulls Forum]
* [ Independent Hereford United Online Archive]
* [ HUFC In Action - Match Photos]
* [ BOLSA]

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