FA Cup 1972. Third round replay at Edgar Street. After taking a late lead through Malcolm McDonald, Newcastle United looked destined to go into the fourth round. Then, with only eight minutes left on the clock, Ronnie Radford unleashes a cracking shot from 35-yards to beat the keeper and put the game into extra time. Substitute Ricky George then scored the winner and Newcastle United are eliminated. Every Hereford fan dreams of a repeat of 1972.
The result was a far cry from Hereford United ‘s very first FA Cup match, when they played neighbours Kidderminster Harriers on 7 September 1924, losing 2-7. Hereford United had played their first competitive fixture a week earlier, when they played Atherstone Town in the Birmingham Combination League, losing 2 – 3.
Due to the geographical location of Hereford and a lack of local interest meant a senior football team was formed comparatively late when Hereford United were founded in 1924. An amalgamation of two local clubs – St. Martins and RAOC – became the first semi-professional football side in the county. Edgar Street became their home. It originally belonged to the town’s older club, Hereford City.
At the time, the club’s nickname was already ‘The Bulls’, inspired by the world-famous Herefordshire breed of cattle. These are brown and white in colour, in contrast to the club colours. The black and white have remained almost the same for nearly eighty years, as have the design of the kits. Only small changes have occurred to fit in with the fashions of the day. In 1924 the club started out wearing white shirts, black shorts and black socks, a basic design that remains essentially unchanged to this day. Of course, early shirts included only the embroidered club logo and were exempt from sponsors. After the war, a new, all-white kit was discussed in a wish to represent peace, as Hereford was then an important military area. However, they ran out of white material so the shorts were made from old blackout curtains from the war.
A small change took place in the 1960’s with the socks becoming all white, but the design remained fairly constant until the Seventies. By the time Newcastle were victims of the giant killing act in 1972, black trim had been added to the collars and cuffs, and white stripes added to on the shorts. This led the way for some experiments to take place, the most illustrious of which was introduced in the late 1970’s. Taping was added down the arms of the sleeves, and also at the collar with a red and black striped design. Where the red came from is unsure, but it didn’t last long. For a spell in the 1980s the club wore white shirts with black pin stripes, a design that was very fashionable at the time]
A number of variations were seen throughout the 1990’s. Since relegation to the Conference a new design was seen in 1998/99 – a black and white quartered design. The new Millennium has seen yet another new design, going back to the traditional white but with various trimmings.
The football club’s badge similarly has had a single-minded theme. It has encompassed the bull throughout the years – in early days without the club’s name, but then in the Seventies placed on a shield with a banner, reading the club’s name. Today the bull can be seen, again with the club’s name, but this time encircling the club’s icon.