No club has ever got to Wembley in their first season – it just doesn’t happen. It’s like suggesting little Dave’s FC could reach the big time in the first five years, even though the goalkeeper is eighteen stone and they play at the local park with jumpers for goalposts.
But a new record could be created this season, and it’s not the only record they’re chasing.
Hereford FC are on the cusp of a trip to Wembley after securing an emphatic 6-0 win against Leicester Nirvana in the fourth round of the FA vase last week.
They’re now 7/4 to win the whole competition- pretty impressive seeing as the club didn’t even exist last May.
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A year ago the people of Hereford watched as the once-great Hereford United began to literally crumble away before them.
Off-field troubles and an erratic chairman ultimately led to its demise, and there was little anyone could do as weeds began to break through the Edgar Street pitch.
They were wound up in the High Court on December 19, 2014 where Chairman Andy Lonsdale failed to show because he was supposedly stuck in traffic. It was a heartache that had effected the home faithful for months, and there was a sense of relief as the Hereford United express crashed into an abrupt end.
Fast forward thirteen months and Hereford have won 27 games on the spin and the team really has its mojo back. Masses of volunteers have offered their time and money to get the club back on its feet and led by Peter Beadle, the Bulls are shining once again.
They will travel to Hartley Wintney in the fifth round of The FA Vase at the end of the month, high on confidence and certain they will be cheered on by hundreds of travelling away supporters that create attendances and atmospheres akin to Football League clubs.
It would be the first time any English club has successfully reached Wembley in their first season, let alone winning the whole tournament. They have the firepower to do so – striker John Mills has scored more than 40 goals this season, while they have Mike “The Beast” Symons in their ranks too.
They sit top of the Midlands Premier League and promotion looks extremely likely this time round. They’re 12 points clear at the top and few would suggest a way it could all go pear-shaped from here.
Although they do play in the tenth tier of English Football, many would presume that it is Hereford United judging by singing that comes from the Meadow End every Saturday. After all, it’s the same terrace that erupted in 1972 when Ronnie Radford’s screamer hit the net in the famous cup win against Newcastle.
And it doesn’t feel like much has changed. Edgar Street still has its charming curved terraces and vociferous home support. The team name might have changed to “Hereford FC” but it is Hereford the people support.
Their new motto fits nicely in the whole story and a potential trip to Wembley could top the whole experience off…
‘Our greatest glory lies not in never having fallen, but in rising when we fall’.