It is widely regarded as the biggest FA Cup giantkilling of all time and is still proving to be an inspiration over four decades later.




A historic cup tie between a non-league club and one of English football’s giants.

A game that launched the career of legendary Match of the Day commentator John Motson no less.

A bog of a pitch, a boistourous home crowd and a whole host of pitch invaders, decked out in parka jackets, with black and white scraves tied tightly around their wrists, all provided the backdrop to one of the most memorable upsets in the competition’s proud history.

Motson’s famous commentary begins with “Tudor’s gone down for Newcastle….”

A line that has left generations of Geordies with an uncomfortable sense of dejavu. What followed has been shown year after year, used as a source of inspiration for non-league clubs looking to write their names into FA Cup history.Motson

‘Motty’ continues “Radford again…..oh what a goal….WHAT A GOAL!

Radford the scorer, Ronnie Radford!”

Ronnie Radford hit a twenty five yard rocket that flew past Newcastle United goalkeeper Willie McFaul and put non-league Hereford United on even terms with their First Division opponents Newcastle United, after the Magpies took the lead through one of the iconic figures of football in the 1970s, Malcolm MacDonald.

Pandomonium followed and soon, it was to be replicated.

Two minutes before half time in extra time, Bulls substitute Ricky George fired an angled drive past McFaul to send his side into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The Bulls player-manager that day was Colin Addison (pictured left) and on the forty fourth anniversary of the win he recalls what he called “special times”

He said “I have just come back from Edgar Street and it has been an emotional day, just as it was back then.

Everyone, no matter if it is in Hereford or at West Brom, where I still go, they always talk about that game if you bring up the name Hereford. They were special times and we had a great bunch of lads, we really did.  

Some aren’t around any more but we still keep in touch and that means alot because what we did that day, it was brilliant for everyone involved” 

AddisonCurrent Bulls chairman Jon Hale revealed that the upset is being used as a source of inspiration with the club looking to reach Wembley in the FA Vase.

Hereford United may be no more, but now Hereford FC are a phoenix on their way back and Wembley is in their sights.

On Saturday they face the first match of a two leg semi final against Salisbury, looking to seal safe passage through to the final of the competition and Hale admitted that the current Edgar Street heroes can find inspiration in having the chance to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Radford (pictured below right) and George.

“It is forty four years since that day but it is a massive part of our club and it will always be that way. We still find inspiration in it and in all honesty, we always will.

We may have a slightly different name now but in essence, this club is still Hereford United. That game, those goals, that euphoria put us on the map and we built ourselves a good reputation in league and cup football.

We had other upsets and it set the footprint for the club to go forward.

What that team did was huge and they will always be welcome at Edgar Street. We have a great affinity with that team, with those people involved and I hope they will inspire us to Wembley and to make the first step to get this club back up the Football pyramid” 

Now technically a phoenix club, Hereford FC were reborn in January 2015, with Hale named as the club’s first chairman.

A lifelong Hereford United fan, Hale revealed the significance of the win over Joe Harvey’s Magpies for, not only the football club, but for Hereford as a town.
Radford

“I started going to games in the early 1980s and by then we were a decade on from the Newcastle game but it was still the talk of the town.

My Dad is no longer with us but he loved talking about the game, his eyes would light up at its mention and I loved listening to him telling me about it. I am sure I am not the only supporter who had that experience growing up.

It had put the club on the football map and had helped us get into the Football League. It was a huge event for the football club, for the supporters and for the town”

The final word goes to Addison, still a regular visitor to Edgar Street, as he left the modern day Bulls with one message as they look to make a historic trip to Wembley in the Vase.

He said “Just keep doing what they are doing because they are doing some fantastic things for this club.  At any level twenty five games won in a row is brilliant, absolutely brilliant and I know they can get to Wembley and carry on doing this club proud, just like we did in ’72”

Interview: Mark Carruthers
Images: Colin Addison / www.actionimages.com


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