Hereford FC are a remarkable club, with a remarkable story. Some would call it a miracle but some would just call it good old fashioned English football – and they’re on their way to breaking footballing records.
Born out of the ashes of Hereford United, the new club formed when the old were wound up at the high court last December. Everything started again – staff, players, coaches, ballboys – you name it, it was changed.
The turnaround began when Hereford managed to scrape enough together to pay for the lease on their famous old stadium, Edgar Street. It is the only remaining component from the old club, which makes it a strangely nostalgic and romantic place to go.
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This weekend, The Bulls racked up their 26th win on the bounce. Yes, you read that correctly – 26 wins on the spin. And before anyone quotes me with the “they are a football league club still with a budget”, that is absolute nonsense.
They are on a very strict budget that monitors everything, whilst the majority of those employed by the club are volunteers – fans who give up their own time to help their team off the pitch.
Hereford managed to rack up their 26th win with a hard-fought win over AFC Wulfrunians. It may surprise people, but the Bulls are only four victories away from setting a new footballing record for most wins in a row. The last team to do so were European giants Benfica, led by household hero Eusebio in the early 70’s.
In some statistics that were published last week, Hereford have scored 91 goals in their jaw-dropping run whilst 20 scorers have been on the scoresheet. Sixteen clean sheets have been kept and striking hotshot John Mills has scored 33, including four hat-tricks.
These are eye-watering statistics which would struggle to be beaten anywhere in World Football. Attendances have consistently broken both Midland Premier League and Non-League records and sometimes people have to remind themselves that Hereford are playing in the ninth tier of English Football. Truly astonishing stuff.
They have been roared on by over 4,000 home fans at least twice this season, and regularly take over fans to most away games.
They are a club that have had the roughest of times and they deserve to be back in the big time. Times are good at the moment, but I’m sure there will be tough times too, when form doesn’t come quite as easily. Their following is extraordinary considering the league they are in, and if manager Peter Beadle can build a squad that can compete at a higher level, Hereford FC will consider to rise up the leagues.
They are a phoenix club born out of the ashes of an old side. It’s a peculiar one, but it shows how powerful the beautiful game can be when people believe.
They have a fourth round tie against Leicester Nirvana in the FA Vase coming up, and there is no reason why they cannot go all the way to Wembley.
I’ve spoken to hundreds of Bulls fans over the last year and I’m sure many would be able to imagine a more perfect season than ending it with a trip to Wembley.
But Hereford FC are no normal club. A phoenix club born out of the ashes of an old side. But there is nothing old about the way they play, structure and pride themselves on, and off the pitch.