Sunday, December 21, 2014

Agombar Back At Swindon

Harry Agombar, son of former Hereford United owner Tommy Agombar, has returned to Swindon according to Vital Swindon.

Agombar signed for Town when former Swindon owner Jed McCrory was in charge and brought in Tommy Agombar's son, the man who took over Hereford United in the Summer and subsequently left after failing the fit and proper persons test.

Since the club was liquidated all of Hereford's results will be expunged and players will be free to find new clubs or return to their parent clubs.

Harry Agombar has yet to make a first team appearance for Town and is unlikely to do so.

Agombar's contract runs out in the Summer.

A Film In The Making?

Rumours that a film, entitled End Game, of the last twelve months at Hereford United might be made are doing the rounds.

Already a poster has been 'released'.

An Ex-Player Writes

One of this season's players has sent the following to Bulls News, asking to remain anonymous:

"It's a shame what has happened to Hereford United. Its such a big club and its a shame to see any team fold but specially Hereford. Would just like to say thanks to the fans who kept on supporting us through the rough patches. I know Hereford will always be in their hearts. 

"As a players its always sad  to see such a big club go down but it is history now hope the fans can get what they want now. Having the badge on my shirt was an honour would just like to wish my now old team mates all the best - all have bright futures - and also Jon and Neil for giving me the opportunity to play for HUFC. It was good to work with you all." 

From the Archives - Southern League Statement

Just under five months ago the Southern League released a statement which, in effect,  has back-fired on them.

Hereford United – Statement by Southern League Chairman 28 July 2014

After a very difficult few weeks for both League and club officials, I am pleased to confirm that Hereford United Football Club has transferred appropriate funds to all known Football Creditors apart from a few who have not, as yet, notified officials of their required details. However, the amount covering these outstanding payments has been deposited in the account of a third party. Consequently, subject to receiving confirmation of receipt of all the amounts transferred and also subject to any actions taken by other authorities outside the control of the League, Hereford United (1939) Ltd will remain in membership of the Southern League and the Registrations Embargo placed on the club on 30 June will be lifted.
While fully appreciating the feelings of the club’s supporters, I have been extremely disappointed at the content of some of the emails which have been, to say the least, not only ill informed but abusive with a number bordering on libellous. Despite opinions to the contrary, the League has held the upper hand throughout and, operating within the Rules of the Competition, has been fully in control of the situation which has seen it achieve one of its main objectives to ensure that those Football Creditors owed money by the previous regime at the club received what was due to them. Expulsion of the club at any time during the process would have undoubtedly led to its liquidation and, with it, any chance of these debts ever being settled. That said, the same supporters who criticised the non-payment of creditors seemed quite comfortable with the prospect of rekindling a debt free club from the embers without giving a second thought to the same creditors who would have remained unpaid!
I would like to express the thanks of the Board to League Secretary, Jason Mills, who, together with officials of the Club, worked tirelessly to achieve a satisfactory outcome to a situation which was not of any of their making.
Ken Turner
28 July 2014

Football Will Continue In The City Says Watson

Martin Watson, vice-chairman of the Hereford United Supporters Trust, was interviewed by Adrian Goldberg on his BBC Five Live programme just before noon.

Goldberg started by reminding listeners that last Friday the club was ordered to be wound up for unpaid debts. His programme had previously questioned the effectiveness of FA control over club directors. 

He then suggested there was no future for Hereford United.

"No future for Hereford United but football will continue in the city," said  Watson.

"We will rebuild it from scratch.

"We've got a supporters trust ready, we've got local business men eager to help

"We'll build a community club and run it on a sustainable basis."

Goldberg then asked Watson about the FA's role and in particular allowing Tommy Agombar to take over the club. Agombar had promised to wipe out the debts. 

"Only after he became the owner was he banned from the club," said Goldberg

"He should have been," replied Watson.

"Do you think he still had some influence at the club?" said Goldberg.

"Players have admitted it," said Watson.

Goldberg finished by "wishing good luck to you in your ongoing battle to keep football alive in Hereford."

The FA gave Five Live a statement.

'It is sad news for the community of Hereford.

'We will do everything they can to assist in the return of senior football to Hereford as soon as possible.'

Merthyr Free Entry On Boxing Day To HUST Members

This from HUST:

Merthyr Town have kindly offered HUST members free entry to their Boxing Day game with Cinderford Town at Penydarren Park.

The game kicks off at 1pm with former Bulls coach Steve Jenkins managing the likes of Gavin Williams, Ryan Green, and Guillem Bauza in the Martyrs’ side. For Cinderford, John Brough will be in charge.
You can get free entry into the game on production of your HUST membership card.

Meanwhile, Cinderford have also offered free entry to HUST Members and any 2014/15 season ticket holders for the remainder of the season.

Business Group's Plans For Football At Edgar Street

Last July the business group hoping to work with HUST to launch a new football club at Edgar Street issued a statement, which outlined their plans, after a meeting with Herefordshire Council.

Given Hereford United (1939) Ltd has gone into liquidation, here's a look at what they have outlined.

"Our proposals would see the creation of a new football club to play at Edgar Street - a club that is sustainable and community run, but with a number of local investors in the background to ensure it is built from a solid financial base. In our business plan the Chairman of HUST would take a prominent position on the club’s board, while we would also invite other HUST Board members to become Directors.

“Our ownership model would be similar to the one being run so successfully for Swansea City and no single investor would be able to secure a significant share holding. We would also always be open to like minded investors approaching us to help support the club and sustain a successful, long-term future.

“On the subject of investment, we have today been able to reassure the council that we already have a sum of £150,000 underwritten to see the club through the initial formation stages and also to assist with cash flow until the club is fully operational.

“We have explained to the officers at the meeting that because of the huge debts it carries, sadly our group feel that Hereford United 1939 Limited now has no long-term future and is simply not a viable business. This is not a situation that gives any of us any pleasure but using our pooled business experience we are united in our belief that this is now the case.

“One of the main points we made to the council today is the precarious situation Edgar Street now finds itself in. We believe there is a real danger there may be no football played at the stadium this coming season and that is something that worries us greatly. Beyond that, it would also be fair to say we have grave concerns about the future of Edgar Street full stop.

“With the council’s support relating to the existing leases, or at least to agree an initial licence to use the stadium secured to an agreement to grant new leases, we believe we could make our business plan operational almost immediately and, with the initial financial guarantors we already have, form a club and recruit players to compete in 2014/15. It would not be straightforward, but we would be committed to making this happen if there is any way it is possible.

“Clearly, at this point we cannot be sure what level a new club would be able to reform at, but we do believe the potential supporter base we have would make us an attractive proposition for a number of leagues.

“It is very pleasing that Hereford United Supporters Trust Chairman Chris Williams attended the meeting with us this afternoon and we hope this demonstrated to the council that our group is committed to working in partnership with the community.

“Chris has advised us that the Trust Board feel that any phoenix club would need professional business expertise to guide it and that is why we feel our group, working alongside supporters, could provide a bright future for football at Edgar Street.

“Out of respect for the council, at this stage I do not feel it would be right to go into any more detail about our meeting but I can guarantee that if there are any developments they will be made public at the earliest opportunity to ensure openness and transparency – something our group feels very strongly about.”

Hereford On Five Live This Morning

There will be an item about Hereford United during the Adrian Goldberg programme on BBC Five Live.

The programme starts at 11am.

HUST vice-chairman Martin Watson is expected to be interviewed sometime after 11.30am.

Ronnie Radford Signed Print Up For Auction

This from Steve Niblett.

When Ronnie Radford came down to Edgar Street in March of this year, most of us had a feeling HUFC 1939 may not survive much longer hence the outstanding fundraising efforts by so many.

Unfortunately that has now come to fruition and as a one off at the time I asked Ronnie to dedicate a picture of him in the dressing room in 2014 to the memory of HUFC 1939 which he subsequently did.

Now the landscape has changed the photo has taken on greater significence.

This is the only A4 print that exists and contains a genuine signature.

I am auctioning it for last years youth team who are still owed money.

Bidding will finish on Friday December 26th at 8pm.

Please e-mail bids to me: 

UPDATE 1pm: Bidding stands at £200  

The Healey Diaries

PA announcer Matt Healey has released this extract detailing his time at the club this season. 

Friends turning on each other, supporters boycotting the team they support, others staying till the bitter end, I want to shed some light on what occurred during the 2014-2015 season 

I had contact on a Wednesday in early July. One of the stewards had been asked by Joel Nathan to message me on Facebook with his number to see if I would work the Help for Heroes game,. I texted Joel that night and called him the next day and it was arranged I would go down on the Saturday to check everything all worked in the PA box. Plus I had left some CD’s in there from the Alfreton game and wanted to get them back. After a quick test it was all working fine and I was able to take my CD’s home. 

The Help for Heroes game never happened due to safety issues, and we never played a home pre season friendly, I was still unsure what to do and I must admit I rode the fence as best I could as didn’t want to decide either way and was busy with work and going on holiday so waited to see what would happen. 

I really thought the FA or Southern League would have expelled the club in the summer. Anyhow I got back from holiday three days before the season started and was starting to receive social networking messages asking what my stance was. I was still undecided but two days before the "big kick off" I decided I just couldn't turn my back on the club. I didn't have any other football team to follow. Plus im not a rugby or cricket fan so had no other sporting options & against the advice of a lot people I went back to Edgar Street. 

The first game was home to St Neots on August 9. I got to the ground at midday and noticed a fire drill taking place with the stewards. I introduced myself to Andy Lonsdale who seemed very jolly, but did ask me to play the infamous “im a football man song” over the PA which I didn’t have (and if I did wouldn’t have played it I must add). Tommy Agombar then emerged later in the day, he parked his car in the blackfriars end and I had a brief chat with the man, he was approachable and confident. Later in the season after a 2-1 win over Biggleswade he was absolutely beaming after his son Harry had debuted and had a decent game, Tommy definitely enjoyed his football.

Anyhow due to the lack of staff we didn’t get teamsheets till 3.20pm (one hour later than the conference), previously we had staff who arranged that, but a lot of people were doing new roles or multiple roles and it was a total mess, anyhow the game had a pre-season feel to it, we looked quite disjointed but with a new team that had hardly had any competitive action was to be expected. St Neots were an experienced side and deserved the 2-0 win. 

Banbury at home two weeks later was the last time I saw John Edwards and Elke Thuerlings, they had been to all the home games previously and seemed very passionate about the club. In fact I flagged up that Sam Akinde had been sent off the previous game against Dorchester, and saw his name on the teamsheet. Not wanting the club to get a points deduction for an ineligible player as had happened four seasons before, Elke and myself checked the Southern League handbook before discovering in that league there is a two week period of grace. I never saw the pair of them again. 

After more depatures at the club mid September I found myself doing more work on matchday. I need to point out I wasn’t asked to do anymore work, but could see jobs weren’t being done so got myself stuck in to keep things ticking over, mainly to help the media guys, so I was now sorting and typing out the teamsheets and doing the matchday admin for the southern league, as well as PA, scoreboard and radio reports. 

The team didn’t seem to click until early October. The 5-2 home defeat against Burnham on our 90th birthday on August 30 was a total debacle, but on the pitch it gradually improved. Jon Taylor didn’t have much of a pre-season campaign, so the first 8-10 games there was massive squad rotation, but once the lineup was settled we started to win games. 

In fact I wanted to experience an away game at this level and ended up going on the supporters/players coach to Banbury on the 28th October. I was impressed we were using a Yeomans coach and we arrived in Oxfordshire around 6pm. Banbury had a decent clubhouse and the game was a 5-1 win for the Bulls. We didn’t leave though till 10.45pm as the players needed showers and to get changed, + they needed to eat, and with the M50 being closed and a ledbury drop off needing to be done I didn’t get home till 1.30am which was a late night, but an enjoyable one. 

Things started to step up a gear in November. I had pretty much stayed off social media with regards to the Bulls, but during the day of the Arlesey home game and with rumours of pitch issues circulating the internet and seeing a tweet saying the grass hadn’t been cut or marked, when I was literally standing on it. 

I tweeted the game was on. The reasoning behind this was on the basis of the clubs Twitter not being used and knowing their were still around 300 supporters still attending & wanted to provide the facts. 
I naively didn’t expect the tirade of abuse I received on twitter mainly from anonymous keyboard warriors. 

To save money the club were printing the programme via webpages and then stapling the pages together, in fact that lunchtime I ended up selling a few programmes to supporters from the reception desk prior to the Arlesey game and was interested to see boycotting supporters still turning up to buy a matchday programme for £2 but not watching the game. 

The Arlesey and Dorchester games we produced excellent attacking football winning 4-1 and 4-0 respectively, It was as good on the eye as the Graham Turner/Richard O'Kelly team of 2003/2004, it was a breathe of fresh air after putting up with the, Davey, Peters & Foyle style of play the previous four seasons. 

I still shudder when I think of the 0-0 home draw with Hyde. The visitors (who won one game all season) absolutely dominated us, and if it wasn’t for the brilliance of  Daniel Lloyd-Weston we could have lost 6-0. All we seemed to do was hoof the ball at every opportunity, it was embarrassing and painful to view. 

In mitigation the players & management  though weren’t being paid and I respect the fact it would have been a truly horrible experience for them and would have affected their performance. 

Anyway, back to the season in hand. Next up was the FA Trophy against Mangotsfield and this saw another win for the Bulls, but as I arrived at the office around 12.30pm Gwen Lonsdale was still working at the programme. If said it was organised chaos I don’t think it would be a fair of assumption of the situation I was witnessing, the club had the programme produced on a memory stick, but were having difficulty printing all the pages. She decided to switch computers and I tried to help by moving the computer box but only succeded in smashing it against her leg, she wasn’t impressed. 

By 2.10pm I was trying to type out the teamsheets and the programmes still weren’t all printed, there was a queue in front of reception of people wanting to buy one, and people were getting agitated. Prior to September the programmes were printed properly, but after that the club were printing the pages onto A4 paper and then stapling together no doubt to save costs,  but in turn creating a lot of hassle for themselves, & one of the programme sellers who had been doing it ages walked out in disgust. 

The final ever home game for Hereford United was an FA Trophy tie with Sutton on November 29. We witnessed the best comedy own goal by the visitors Micky Spillane, but the Bulls were defeated 2-1. A former Bull in Glen Southam scored the final ever goal in the 88th minute. We were due in court the following Monday and I was told by the regime "we've done the best we can". 

The hearing was adjourned for two more weeks, but we ended up with the farce of being suspended from the league for 24 hours and then reinstated. After the judge granted another temporary reprieve Hereford United were officially wound up on December 19. 

On the pitch I was impressed by Luke Williams, Javia Roberts, Delroy Gordon, Steve Vetier, Bilal Yafai and Serge Mor-Diop, we had a bunch of players who gave 100% commitment and effort, and some of the football end of October and mid November was very pleasing on the eye. But seeing Edgar Street with crowds of around 400 was very depressing and I just hope the new phoenix club will get everybody involved so we can shoot up the leagues, but this has to be achieved by sensible budgeting and not over spending. 

I was paid for my work at the club this season and I mentioned to Keith Hall the morning of the St Neots match that any money I did make would be saved and donated to the supporters trust if we were to be liquidated. Its a low three figure amount but a decent some of cash. Since then I've been thinking maybe some of it can be donated to a local charity too, but I would like the supporters to decide on that and will leave it up to the trust. 

RIP Hereford United. 

What A Week That Was

Harwood Bull reflects on last weeks events at Hereford United.

The last week was the climax of a tumultuous year in the life and, ultimately, death of our football club. These things come to mind.

“Stuck in traffic” is up there with “the dog ate my homework” in the list of the world’s lamest excuses. If the future of a company I “owned” and had “invested” time and money in was hanging by a thread I would make damn sure I was at the court hearing on time. Did he really think he was going to leave Staines at 3.30 and get to the law courts by 4.30? My arse!

We have the result we sort of wanted, although when I saw the news on BN I felt the same sort of shock as when I saw that we had been expelled from the conference. The guy who tweeted that it was like having your favourite pet put down summed it up well. Desperately sad but it had to be done.

I feel a twinge of sympathy for of the players, not much, but a bit. They are just young hopefuls trying to get a break into the professional game, and have probably been treated as badly by Agombar and Lonsdale as last season’s squad was. However it must have been pretty clear to them early on what was going on, and they chose to keep playing. They could have walked away – it’s not as if they were tied by lucrative contracts. Or any contracts worth the name.

The role of social media in the outcome can’t be underestimated. Everything said and done by Lonsdale and Agombar, and their shady pasts was subject to detailed scrutiny, and when the court decided on Friday we knew within seconds, and minutes later supporters were being directed to get down to defend Edgar Street.
The whole experience has made me very unhappy about the lack of any kind of support or protection offered by the game’s governing bodies for small clubs and the communities they represent. The absurdity of men like Agombar and Lonsdale being able to control football clubs! BN and Save Edgar Street unearthed damming evidence of the true nature of these men – why can’t the game’s administrators get to grips with it?

Another depressing point, and this goes far wider than football, is how easy it appears to be for dishonest men to go through life leaving a trail of failed companies and ruined lives behind them, sticking two fingers up to the law and to society, and probably thinking that they deserve to get away with it. Let’s hope that they have met their match on this occasion. Like many I still fear that there could be another twist.

There may still be bitterness and animosity between the two groups of fans but we have to go forward together. I’m sure there will also be a lot of disagreement about how we go forward, but the all important thing is sustainability, and never again being in the position where one person’s whim, or incompetence, or deviousness, or greed, or ego can decide what happens to the club.

The club is dead, long live the new club.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Morrison-Derbyshire Moves On To Grays

Luis Morrison-Derbyshire, one of the 46 players used this season by Jon Taylor, has joined Grays Athletic.

The Ryman League side is his fourth of the season, having had brief stints at Maidenhead and Hampton & Richmond since departing Edgar Street in early September.

The defender has already seen a managerial change, with Jody Brown leaving Grays to become Welling's new boss. Club owner Andy Swallow, an occasional visitor to Edgar Street earlier in the season, has decided to take temporary charge of the side himself.

Our Best Memories 90 Years On

As a result of the demise of Hereford United, the Hereford Times were asking for supporters' best memories from following their team up and down the country over the years.

Matt Ehrlich: The Chris Price equaliser against Arsenal FA Cup third round 1985

Stu Cotterrell: Bury 5-3 ... Paul Maddy lob, exquisite.

Gemma Eckley: Staying up at Aldershot the last day of the season. I'll never ever forget it.

Andrew Mills: Not a favourite memory, going to York on 17-12-83. Team arrived late, lost 4-0 and i wrote my car off on the drive home!

Phillip Evans: Guy Ipoua vs Scarborough, physically dominating the centre backs for a goal right in front of us. Start of a brilliant season.

Victoria Morris: Bowen's delight at scoring, what football is all about.

But clearly it was one game that stuck in fans' minds the most.

Steve S: The Walkers was amazing. I loved going during the Greg Downes era. Chrissy Fry and Simon Brain!

Jonathan James: play off final 2006 against halifax. Best game id been to by far!

Richard Wood: Looking right down the barrel of the gun when Ryan Green hit the winning shot at the Walkers.

James Maguire:  Conference Play-Off Final in 2006. Extraordinary game. We had 12,000 fans there! #HUFC

Hereford Lives On In Spirit

In his Independent column Michael Canvin notes the liquidation of Hereford United.
The mercy killing of Hereford United is a cause for celebration, since it gives their supporters the opportunity to remind more fortunate fans of their birthright, a club whose identity is forged in the community rather than in the archives of Companies House.

A story of familiar intrigue and incompetence will have a happy ending because the phoenix club will not lack for role models or goodwill. It is now incumbent on the FA to address scandalously overlooked responsibilities and draft a credible Fit and Proper Test for prospective owners.

Hereford fans showed them the way with a formidable resistance campaign on social media. They were ignored, ridiculed and attacked, but prevailed.

Pritch Offers His Services Free To Trust Run Club

Edgar Street groundsman Ian Pritchard says he will look after the pitch for nothing next season as he wants to help the new club.

He told Bulls News: "All the money I'm owed I can say it's the best £19k I've lost to see these crooks gone from our club. 

"When we have our new team and club I will do the pitch for nothing as I want to help the new club start. Things now will get better."

The Stadium Is the Key Says HUST Chairman

Ensuring that Edgar Street remains a football stadium is the key to the future says HUST chairman Chris Williams.

Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester Williams said there was no alternative because of the cost.

"I am confident that a football club will be playing at Edgar Street next season," said Williams.

"The indications from the Council are that they want football to continue at the stadium.

"Without that resource (Edgar Street) there would be no potential for professional football in Herefordshire ever because there just isn't the finance in this county to deliver that.

"So the protection of Edgar Street and the Save Edgar Street campaign, the work that the fans have done has been phenominal in trying to bring that to a higher profile.

"The stadium is the key now to playing professional football."

Williams also revealed that he understands former chairman/manager Graham Turner is happy to help out with forming a new club.

I Mourned Death Of Club In June

Yesterday Hereford United (1939 Ltd) were wound up after owner Andy Lonsdale failed to arrive in court with the desired proof of finance that would have enabled him to pay off a long list of creditors. Apparently he was stuck in traffic. It was one final shambolic act to add to the many more that had happened during his spell as advisor, chairman, director and owner.
It was the end of a long drawn out drama that has seen The Bulls lurch from one court adjournment to another. As one Hereford fan had put it on social media, ‘it simply couldn’t go on any longer‘.
I’d already made my feelings clear about what I wanted to happen to the club, when I wrote ‘Why I’m Praying ‘My Club’ Gets Wound Up‘, but yesterday’s news still came as a shock.
Many Hereford fans have expressed mixed emotions, they’re glad that the toxic ownership has now been dealt with, but sad that the club has been put to death in it’s 90th year.
Personally, I didn’t feel much sadness yesterday, I mourned for the loss of Hereford United back in June when I walked out after realising that there was no future with the likes of Andy Lonsdale and Tommy Agombar in charge. It is them and a few accomplices who are to blame for the death of the club.
Yesterday I was pleased, angry and excited. Pleased that the judge had done the right thing. Angry that the owners had ‘got away with it’ for so long. Excited because we now have a new journey to undertake.
I have supported, volunteered and worked for Hereford United since I was a ballboy at the age of 8. As well as volunteering and working as press officer, I had also volunteered in the shop, sold programmes, cleaned, painted, picked up litter and cleared snow off the pitch, I and many other fans and staff literally shed blood, sweat and tears for the club we all loved. Hereford United was a massive part of my life, as it was many others.
Despite the death of the club, our memories will always remain, and it is those memories, both happy and sad that should be the driving force behind us all as we look to build a new club: a club with integrity, a club that has it’s roots placed firmly in the community, and a club that fans have a real sense of ownership in.
So, as they say, the club is dead, long live the club.

PA Man Healey Thanks Colleagues And Fans

Stadium Announcer Matt Healey has posted his thoughts on Facebook:

So after the sad news of yesterday, I just wish to say quite a few thanks. Firstly thank you to Keith Hall and Peter Povall for giving me the confidence to get involved with the PA side of things in September 2002 ,without the start it gave me I doubt I would have had the belief to get into the DJ/Radio industry

Thank you to Graham Turner for producing a truly brilliant era from 2003-2009, it was amazing to see us rising up the leagues playing attractive football and being in the same division as Brighton, Huddersfield, Leeds & Leicester in League One

Also to Joan Fennesey Lee Symonds, Anthony Symonds, Rachel Norledge & Shaun Rogers for sterling work in the office. Thank you to Steve Niblett for some excellent photography skills & I’ve found some retro pictures which I will upload in the coming weeks

Big up to Dave Preedy & Caroline Preedy , Man of the match was always interesting

Jamie Griffiths, Gregg Davies, & Mark Farmer deserve the plaudits for some truly brilliant work on the official website, social networking and matchday programme

Many thanks to all the stewards, turnstile operators, and programme sellers, & the staff who prepared the matchday meals and washed the kit, Well done to Ian Pritchard for his work on the pitch. Rob Honey for giving me the thumbs up so I knew when the teams were coming out. Also Dave & Nicki White from the VP club & all the other VP members, + Keith Dodd for the 50/50 draw, Richard Burkin & Dave Weaver for organising the away travel too

Special mention to Chris Powis too, when you get involved with things (and the past few months I was doing 8 jobs on matchday) you realise what people do, and the work he put in voluntarily on the canteen side of things deserves a big thumbs up

Brian Palmer I miss our chats, hope your ok buddy, & Matty Done’s dad whose name I’ve forgot you were a great laugh, and I’m glad Matty is doing the biz with Rochdale in league 1

Towards the end as well I was privileged to report on the games for BBC Hereford and Worcester, so thank you Trevor Owens for the opportunity. Also thank you to Nigel Morris, Paul Smith, John Taylor, Anna Cooperwhite, Ian Davies, & Dave Webb for letting me do reports for Sunshine and Classic Hits 

Big up Richard Prime, Laurie Teague, Barry Griffiths & Paul Rogers, who were based in the press box. Thank you to Len Dykes & Steve Thomas for their work as safety officers.

Thank you to all the Hereford United supporters and players, thank you as well to the staff members I didn't mention above who worked hard for the club this season in very challenging circumstances, apologises if I have forgotten anybody

I was disappointed with some of the libellous comments made on bulls banter the past few weeks about me. I will be setting the record straight in the form of a journal which I maintained throughout the season, and once this is edited I will release it to the Hereford Times & Bulls News

Also to dispel one of the lies I read about me, I WAS paid by the club for my work this season & as I agreed with Keith Hall, on the morning of the St Neots home game that if we were liquidated during the season, any money I made from the regime will be donated to the supporters trust. Its a low 3 figure amount but will be useful 

The battle now is to make sure Edgar street is the home of the new phoenix club. Everybody needs to galvanize together. The club needs to be run sensibly , and there is to be no kamikaze spending and silly contracts dished out. On a personal note I would love to see Graham Turner involved ,in maybe some sort of club president role. The man is an absolute legend and his experience is priceless

Hereford Utd
30th August 1924 - 19th December 2014

Memories Of Games Against Wolves

One of the spin-offs of the demise of Hereford United (1939) Ltd is that articles are appearing on the net of games from the past.

One such article has appeared on a Wolves site - 

Below is a flavour of their article.

We shared in the football world’s upset at the Bulls’ winding-up by a High Court judge and delved into the record books to remind ourselves, in particular, of visits to Edgar Street.
It was there that Sammy Chung’s ‘Golden Wanderers’ recorded a spectacular 6-1 victory early in their Second Division title-winning season of 1976-77 in what was their first competitive trip to the ground.
They followed up in the mid-March by winning the return at Molineux, this time by the odd goal in three, on a day when Derek Jefferson was in the visitors’ defence.
Bobby Gould, who scored two of the six at Edgar Street, later went there as player-coach under Mike Bailey and it was more than a decade before Wolves tangled again with those particular opponents.
They were in an advanced state of decay when they next visited the border country, a 2-0 Fourth Division Boxing Day defeat in 1986-87 checking some of the early momentum of the Steve Bull-inspired revival.
Hereford inflicted further misery by coming to Molineux exactly a month later and winning 1-0 in front of a meagre 2,892 crowd in the Freight Rover Trophy – the forerunner to the competition Wolves were to win the following season.
Some revenge came in the form of a 1-0 victory secured in the League return by a Jon Purdie winner on Easter Monday, 1987, and Turner’s men were well into their high-scoring stride the year after as they pulled off a home-and-away double over Hereford.
The early-season away game brought a 2-1 victory that featured a stunning goal from the best part of 30 yards by Bully that was repeatedly shown in subsequent years on local TV. Andy Mutch netted the other at Edgar Street and it was more comfortable at Molineux on New Year’s Day when Bull netted twice without reply.
There have been only two other League or cup clashes between the clubs and, curiously, they came four months apart in the same competition the season after as Wolves mounted an impressive 1988-89 defence of the Sherpa Van Trophy.
They went to Hereford for their opening preliminary group game in November and had to come from two down with goals by Bull and Andy Thompson (penalty) to salvage a 2-2 draw.

Mike Bailey....played at centre-half in Wolves' 6-1 romp at Hereford in 1976 and moved there as player-manager two years later.
Mike Bailey….played as a centre-half in Wolves’ 6-1 romp at Hereford in 1976 and moved there as player-manager two years later.

Both sides qualified from their three-team group – at the expense of Port Vale – and the area semi-final draw paired them together again at Edgar Street.
This time, in front of more than 6,000 Wolves fans in Hereford’s biggest crowd for more than four years, the going was more comfortable, with goals by Bull and Mutch sealing a 2-0 win.
Bull later played for Hereford by linking up again with Turner, his long-time former Molineux boss.

HUST Plans For New Team

This from BBC Sport:
A football team could be playing at Hereford's Edgar Street stadium as soon as next season, Hereford United Supporters Trust has said.
The club was wound up at the High Court on Friday after failing to pay off its debts.
The petition was brought by HM Revenue and Customs, believed to be owed £116,000.
Chris Williams, chairman of the supporters trust, said a "phoenix club" could be set up in time for August.
'Community-owned club' He said the trust had been working on plans for some time, while former players and managers, including long-term boss Graham Turner, had already pledged their support.
"If it was down to us, we'd be playing in January, but it's quite complicated," Mr Williams said.
"But we think we could be holding triallist matches in the spring and be ready for next season.
"It's a real opportunity to build a club for another 90 years, that's our ambition."
Mr Williams said the plan was to create a community-owned club, similar to those playing in Wrexham, Chester and Telford.

Hereford United were relegated from the Football League in 2012, and then the club was expelled from the Football Conference in June of this year, because of its debts, and has been playing in the Southern Premier league.
Mr Williams said he expected any new club to be playing even further down the league pyramid next season, although it could provide an opportunity for current academy players to be part of the team.
Edgar Street stadium is owned by Herefordshire Council, which has already said it wanted to see the "continuation of football" there.
Rather than negotiate long-term leases, Mr Williams said it could propose licensing use of the ground from the council on a one or two-year basis.
Any club would have to choose a new name, however, with the name Hereford United banned by the Football Association, Mr Williams said.

Kenyon: Council Were On The Ball

Last night Cllr Jim Kenyon was one of the select few allowed inside Edgar Street. At 6pm he came out and addressed the fans that had congregated.

Supporters were asked to keep an eye on the ground, as previously reported on BN.
Kenyon also answered questions from supporters and told the crowd what little information he did have. 

This morning he tweeted - @Jimofhereford: @BullsNewsBlog @YourHereford1 fans have stayed overnight outside the ground vigilant,taxi dvrs have been checking,police patrols #safehands

"On Monday, the council are going to apply to take the leases back and the council will take the leases back from Hereford United, so they're all safe.

"We spoke about the ifs and the buts and the A and B plans and all that sort of thing, but it's all down to the council to move that along. Tonight you've seen what you've seen, the gates are going to be locked"

Later he spoke about what the council had hoped to do today:

"The council can't act until Monday to secure the ground. The council were on the ball today, they were in London and applied to get entry to the club, but they wouldn't let them do that.

"To be fair, the council have acted really well and done everything they can. They looked at other options and the only option is to wait until Monday to go to court."

Alternatively, the video can be seen here -

Messages Of Support From Football Family

Football clubs across the country have been tweeting and posting messages on Facebook of yesterday's news. Here's a brief look at some of that reaction.

Aldershot Town: @OfficialShots: No town should ever lose its Football Club. Our thoughts are with the fans of Hereford United, whose company we enjoyed on many afternoons

Aldershot Town: @OfficialShots: We hope that the town of Hereford can once more cheer its football team to victory in the near future. The spirit of 1972 will endure

Kidderminster Harriers: @khfcofficial: Thoughts with fans of our neighbours Hereford United tonight. Good to see some of you at Aggborough in October. All the best for the future.

FC Halifax Town: @FCHTOnline: Sad day as @HerefordUnited1 wound up at the High Court in London.

Worcester City: We send our thoughts to all Hereford United supporters tonight after the club were wound up in court today.
You will rise again! !

Outside Edgar Street Today

Outside Edgar Street The Morning After The Club Went Into Liquidation

Comments About Hereford's Liquidation From Supporters

Lots of supporters have spoken to BBC Hereford and Worcester following the news that Hereford United (1939) Ltd is no more.

First a few words from Jesse Norman MP for Hereford who has played a major part in helping to expose the recent owners of the club for what they were.

"We have now won through thanks to unremitting efforts of the supporters trust and the people around Hereford United.

"I think this is the best Christmas present we could have wanted and I think it's the beginning of something potentially very significent and good and long term and new for football in Herefordshire.

"My heart goes out to all the people who has been mucked around, dealt with dishonestly, had their debts that they were owed by the club fogged off, put by and never paid.

"And I just think at Christmas time we should be thinking about the football creditors and other creditors of Hereford United who has been left high and dry by Lonsdale, Agombar and their dirty promises."

Hereford United legend Ricky George was another fan who has commented.

"It's a relief, it's terribly sad and there will be lots of people very emoitional today.

"But it's a relief because there didn't appear to be any other outcome that would keep this club going in some form or another.

"The supporters, the supporters trust and everyone else have been campaigning against the people who took over in June have been proved to be absolutely right.

"Whatever the new club will be called, it will retain the history and that's most important as long as they continue to play at Edgar Street.

"Whatever level of football you play, it's the fans.

"Football clubs wouldn't exist without the fans."

HUST chairman Chris Williams said the old club had to die before the new club can be created.

"The debt that was left in this football club would always make it very difficult for anybody to want to invest in this club.

"Because of that debt around its neck, the old club had to die before the new club could be created.

"Lots of people supported the closing of this club who were owed a lot of money.

"We should remember those people who tried to do the right thing for football and also the right thing for the football club."

Other supporters were asked about how Hereford United had affected their lives. One, Terry Goodwin, said it had probably led to his career at the BBC

"I've been watching Hereford United for the best part of twenty years.

"I used to go with my dad and my brothers and that's how I got into it.

"Hereford United are probably to blame for me getting my first job at the BBC working at BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I've got lifelong friends that I've made through the football club.

"It's part of being that big community.

"This season we haven't had that community but I'm confident that will all come back in the future.

"The people are still there and that's the most important thing so the club will come back."

Supporters Asked To Keep An Eye On Edgar Street

Last night several Hereford United supporters kept an eye on Edgar Street just in case someone tried to break in.

This surveilance of the club needs to go on until at least Monday.

One supporter spoke to BN.

"I was there most of the night.

"Police went through a few times - I even made them stop for a chat once or twice :) also plenty of taxis driving through as well as other recognisable HUFC faces.

"Let's keep it up the next two nights. Hopefully by putting this message on the media it will encourage more supporters to keep an eye on the ground but also puts the word out to undesirables that it is under constant watch."

"I Told Them This Club Was Going Under Within Weeks"

Gareth Davies spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester on Friday afternoon in the wake of Hereford United's winding up.

"Absolutely devastated. As a young footballer I was lucky eought to wear that shirt as a professional footballer and it just breaks my heart to be sat here thinking where has it all gone wrong.

"The only answer I can come up with is that Governance has got a lot to answer for in their process."

Asked by Andrew Easton as to who exactly he blamed for the demise of Hereford United, Davies responded: "It's the FA. They've got processes in place. David Keyte went out there and found new owners of that club.

"I'm not a businessman - I'm a football man - I went to see Mr Lonsdale three weeks ago. I made him think I could help him. That was the only way I could get a meeting. I never told many people, two people, and I came back and told them this club is going under within weeks.

"The problem, right from the start, was that David Keyte was allowed to still be chairman on the paperwork and, for that reason, the FA had to go with it.

"By the time Tommy then Lonsdale had to go through the Fit & Proper test it was too late. It was never going to work. The FA couldn't do anything about it."

Further asked, Davies added: "The biggest mistake David Keyte made is that he didn't use good people that support this club - and there is an number of people I could name that could help keep that club running without getting - so called - football businessmen.

"They're not "football businessmen". All they wanted to do was make money- and ruin the club."

"The saddest thing for me is that my two boys are part of the youth programme with UITC."

I wanted them to play with that Hereford United badge on their chest. Today is a sad day, but they might have an opportunity to still to do that because - while they were in charge - the new regime - I would never - ever - have let my children play for them. 

"That club gave me my career and I wouldn't be doing the job today if it wasn't for Hereford United and the supporters that have backed me 100%. 

So, hopefully, as the one supporter has said, it's a ten year plan now but it's got to be the right people in charge. It's got to be good business people that love Hereford United just as much."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Support Local Football On Saturday

With no game at Edgar Street, it is an ideal time to support local football in Herefordshire.

Both Pegasus Juniors and Wellington have home matches in the West Midlands Regional League on Saturday afternoon. Pegasus Juniors take on AFC Bridgnorth at Old School Lane, while Wellington take on Shrewsbury side Haughmond at their Playing Field ground with both clubs charging £5 or less for entry.

Both sides are run by volunteers, and would welcome the additional support with both games kicking off at 3pm.

Old School Lane is on the northern edge of Hereford, just off Roman Road - postcode HR1 1EZ - with parking onsite and refreshments and a licenced bar in their clubhouse.

Wellington Playing Fields is in the village of Wellington just off the A49 - postcode HR4 8AZ - with parking onsite and refreshments available on site, and a licenced bar available pre- and post-match in the clubhouse further into the village.

Westfields are away to Lye Town in the Midland Football League.

Pictures From Inside Edgar Street

Rubbish strewn around and fixtures damaged

The television gone, and optics stripped from the back wall

Kit strewn across the floor and  the internal doors damaged

Lonsdale Says He Will Appeal Court Decision

Lonsdale Leaving the Court Last Monday
Andy Lonsdale has told the Guardian that he will appeal against the decision of the High Court this afternoon to put Hereford United into liquidation.

He said he will appeal against the high court decision, but acknowledged that some fans are “ecstatic” his ownership is over.

“Maybe it’s fate,” he said.

“I’m gutted, not just about the money, but because it is six months’ hard work gone.”

Report From The Guardian

Here's a report from the Guardian on today's news that Hereford United (1939) Ltd is no more.

Hereford United, the club formed in 1924 who have played continuously in the Football League lower divisions or in the senior semi-professional game for 90 years, has been put into liquidation. The club company, Hereford United 1939 Ltd, was wound up at the high court in London, which refused to accept the club lawyer’s argument that its owner, Andy Lonsdale, had proof of £1m funding to pay the club’s creditors, but was stuck in traffic.
Hereford will now cease playing in the Southern League, the results of their fixtures this season will be expunged, and a group of fans gathered at the Edgar Street ground to protect any remaining assets from being carried away by people owed money. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, seeking unpaid tax reported by the Hereford Times to be £100,000, was the lead creditor on the winding-up petition.
United, the first senior football club to be wound up since Scarborough went into liquidation in 2007, have been in financial difficulties since being relegated from the Football League in 2012. They were expelled from the Conference into the Southern League last summer after new owners declined to put up a £350,000 bond.
Londsale and his business associates have been met with severe mistrust by many supporters, after the group’s original owner, Tommy Agombar, was found to have a previous conviction for lorry theft and was barred under the Football Association’s owners and directors test. Lonsdale also has a spent conviction for dumping waste illegally, and was allowed to take over recently.
He told the Guardian he was “gutted” the club has been wound up, saying that they inherited a club in crisis, have put in £600,000 and worked hard to put a team on the pitch. Lonsdale added that he did have a bank statement showing £1m in the bank and was genuinely stuck in traffic, having left his base in Staines for London at 3:30pm. He said he will appeal against the high court decision, but acknowledged that some fans are “ecstatic” his ownership is over. “Maybe it’s fate,” he said. “I’m gutted, not just about the money, but because it is six months’ hard work gone.”

Herefordshire council said it will immediately seek possession of the club’s Edgar Street ground, whose freehold it owns. “Once the ground has been secured, the council will consider the appropriate process for procuring a new tenant to ensure the continuation of football,” it said in a statement.
Hereford United Supporters Trust has already developed plans to form a fan-owned club and work with the council to enable them to play at Edgar Street and start again at whatever level they can. Martin Watson, the trust’s vice-chair, said that many fans had not been prepared to trust Lonsdale and his partners, and had considered the club already dead last summer. At a trust meeting on Thursday, Watson said the vast majority of supporters had not wanted to be part of the current club and he is relieved the crisis has ended.
“The council has indicated they want a community football club and we believe we are at the head of people wanting to start again,” Watson said. “This is not the end; we will rebuild it.”