Friday, January 07, 2022

Ronnie Radford And The Magic Of The FA Cup

Ronnie Radford With John Motson At Edgar Street In April 2012

Hereford may be out of the FA Cup this season but that wasn't the case in 1972 when the club made history by defeating Newcastle United 2-1 at Edgar Street.

And one of Hereford's two goals, the one from thirty yards out, is still remembered by many as the highlight of the tie.

Scorer Ronnie Radford is now 78 and he still believes in the magic of the cup.

“You only have to ask those non-league clubs who are playing this weekend, or even those non-league clubs who got the first round this season, it’s just a magical time for all those teams involved,” said Radford as reported by the Independent.

“Some of those clubs will have started in the preliminary rounds – we had to play seven matches just to get to that match against Newcastle. For those people who support these clubs, it really does affect them, it’s so special, everything about it.

“It was a magical time, and it remains a magical time for whichever team is lucky enough to experience it.

“It’s not just for the players, it’s the supporters who come and watch them week-in, week-out, in the rain, in the snow, in the mud!”

Radford was back at work on the Monday after the Newcastle game.

“That was just the way it was back then. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I loved my job (he was a qualified joiner) as much as I did my football.

“But the FA Cup was always a highlight for me every season. When I was at Cheltenham, we reached the second round and had a tie against Watford but each year those FA Cup matches were always the one you looked forward to most.

“I still watch it now because I want someone to experience what I did, I’m always willing someone to get that unique feeling of being an unknown footballer who is suddenly the centre of attention.”

Surviving members of the Hereford squad will be back together next month to remember the victory. And Radford will probably be asked about that goal.

“I scored one from a similar distance against Port Vale when we got promoted to the Football League. That went in the top corner from roughly the same distance after a one-two with a lad called Eric Redrobe. Some go in, some go over, you just have to make a good connection.

“Mind you, the balls we played with were bricks compared to the ones that play with today. I remember picking one up in a sports shop and I couldn’t believe it. It was like lifting air.”