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Sunday, February 12, 2017

After Shrewsbury It's Back To Hereford For Purdie


Continuing BN's look at Rob Purdie time with Hereford it's the 2013/14 season.

After being released by Shrewsbury, it was announced on July 2nd that Purdie was back at Edgar Street. As well as playing, manager Martin Foyle gave him 'the added responsibility of a fitness and coaching position.'

So why did Purdie return to Hereford?

"I had some interest from a couple of League clubs but this fitness role is right for me.

"I look at Hereford now and I'll probably stay here after my career.

"I'm looking for the next four or five years, my football, my personnel training to build up and then I can move into another career probably here in Hereford."

The first League game was a 1-1 draw against Braintree and Purdie started. Next up was a 2-0 win at Chester and Purdie was back in mid-field and had an assist.

'A Rob Purdie pinpoint corner from the left was guided to the far corner of the six-yard box and Luke Graham rose majestically to power home a header.'

After starting on the bench for a couple of games, Purdie was man of the match against against Welling on August 31st. 

The following Saturday at Gateshead Purdie made his 300th appearance for Hereford United but was on the losing side. 
 

On October 6th Purdie came on for Kingsley James in a game at Cambridge after missing several games.

"The gaffer has to pick 16 players and I wasn't in that 16, that's up to him, that's his decision. Everyone has got a reason for being in or out of the squad."

Results were poor at this time and the finances of the club desperate. Purdie wasn't playing often either. Soon Hereford were out of both the FA Cup and Trophy.

It was January 9th before Purdie returned to the match day squad and then only on the bench for a televised game at Forest Green.

Purdie At Luton
It got worse. A 7-0 defeat at Luton on February 15th. Still only substitute roles or no roles for Purdie until Dartford on February 22 when he made his first start for weeks.

 

But defeats kept coming for Hereford. For the game against Wrexham Purdie was given a role behind striker Chris Sharp this afternoon.

"It was giving him a free role as I'm trying to find a role for him," said manager Martin Foyle.

Foyle dropped Purdie to the bench for the next few games.

On March 19 Foyle was sacked after a defeat the night before at Wrexham. Youth manager Peter Beadle was apppointed care-taker manager.

Problems on the pitch and problems off the pitch. Chairman David Keyte and the board had, in effect, run out of money.
 

Purdie spoke on behalf of the players at a supporters meeting.

'We'll all in this together'.

Praise for Purdie came from supporter Mike Langford.

"When Rob Purdie addressed the meeting and mentioned his links to the City I thought he would make a great player/manager and show that the Club has the ambition to go forward again on a strong financial footing."

Although the team kept losing Purdie was given more game-time by Beadle. Then, at last, three points at Welling which coinsided with Purdie playing the whole game.

In late April Hereford United defeated Aldershot to stay, as it appears at the time, in the Conference.

"To hear the fans today, it just shows this club can not go," said Purdie afterwards.

"It's massive for the town and it's so big for these supporters. There's so many hard-core supporters here.

"It's been a very bad season both on the pitch and off the pitch but hopefully, at least for 24 hours, we've got something to celebrate.

"This will be the greatest moment of my career because of the circumstances."

But he was still owed outstanding wages. And on June 5th, the deadline imposed by the Conference to pay players, still nothing.

"The club have never informed us about anything unless we pushed and probed! Total silence today."

A few days later Purdie spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I'm currently a football creditor but at the same time I'm a Hereford fan.

"I want the football club to be there.

"Not one of the player's animousity is towards the club or the fans, it is towards another part of it.

"It's disappointing to see because you look where Hereford were five or six years ago and where Hereford deserve to be, a League Two football club.

"Then all of a sudden there might not be a football club."

Purdie was asked how it had gone wrong.

"There were too many contracts given in League Two which were for too much money.

"Even if Hereford had stayed in League Two those type of contracts couldn't have continued.

"And then when they gave out two year contracts with no relegation clauses, then we had a season in the Conference with people on good League Two wages. Very very good League Two wages for some of them.

"It wasn't just going down, it was the contracts.

"It was a very different senario when I was here with Graham Turner in League Two.

"The wages were probably half what they were under David Keyte. 

"That was the start of it all."

Purdie joined HUST. 

"With the state of the club in such decline, joining HUST  is a way I can maybe help out. I would like to have been doing it on the pitch and getting Hereford back on track but as that won’t be the case now my support might be able to substitute that.  

"The HUST were there for the players last season and offered us things to help out including wages which we respectfully declined at the time and that type of supporter base is what will get the club going forward again. 

"Living in Hereford I may be able to be an active member but anything I can do to help I will as I am also a HUFC fan and Hereford resident. I know what this club means to people and it needs everybody pilling together now to save it."

Wanting to continue playing football Purdie had trials at Worcester and also was appointed UITC's Youth Team Manager.
 

He had played his last game for Hereford United.

But, thankfully, not in a Hereford shirt