Hereford F.C.

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Hereford F.C.
Hereford F.C. logo.png
Full nameHereford Football Club
Nickname(s)The Bulls
The Whites
The Herefordshire Bulls
Founded22 December 2014;6 years ago (2014-12-22)
Ground Edgar Street
Capacity5,213
ChairmanJon Hale
Manager Josh Gowling
League National League North
2020–21 National League North (season curtailed)
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

Hereford Football Club ( /ˈhɛrɪfərd/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is an English association football club from the city of Hereford. They were founded in 2014 as a phoenix club for Hereford United, and inherited their Edgar Street stadium. They are nicknamed 'The Whites' after their predominantly white kit, or 'The Bulls' after the Hereford cattle breed, and their motto is 'Our greatest glory lies not in never having fallen, but in rising when we fall'. The club is affiliated to the Herefordshire County Football Association.

Contents

The club currently plays in the National League North, the sixth tier of the English football league system. They entered the football pyramid before the 2015–16 season, and won the Midland Football League Premier Division followed by the Southern League South & West and the Southern League Premier.

History

Foundation

Following the winding up of Hereford United on 19 December 2014, the Hereford United Supporters Trust (HUST) vowed to start a new phoenix club. [1] Three days later, local businessman Jon Hale, who had earlier been chairman of HUST, registered the name Hereford Football Club with the Herefordshire County Football Association, in conjunction with the trust and a group of local businessmen. A press release followed on 24 December, outlining plans to let HUST members decide on the club's kits and crest. It also addressed the issue of the ownership structure, with the Hereford United Supporters Trust being given the opportunity to become the largest single shareholder, with individuals and corporate benefactors being barred from owning more than 49% of the new club. The press release stated that HUST's stake would be 'much more' than this. [2]

The club's official website went live on 29 December. [3] Hale gave an interview with Trevor Owens on BBC Hereford and Worcester on 3 January 2015, citing Hereford United's untenable debts as the reason for the business group's reluctance to engage with the former club. The appointment of Hale as Hereford F.C. chairman was released in an FAQ on 13 January. [4] An open meeting two days later confirmed several appointments, including HUST chairman Chris Williams as vice chairman, Hugh Brooks as finance director, George Webb as commercial director and Phil Eynon as governance director (the latter three being part of the Hale-led group of local businessmen). [5]

On 20 and 21 January, HUST members voted in favour of the proposal from the Hale group, with 96.71% voting to accept the plans. [6] The Hereford F.C. bid had been the only approach submitted to HUST. [7] Two weeks later, Herefordshire Council confirmed that the club had secured a five-year lease for the city's Edgar Street stadium. [8]

The club opened applications for the position of club manager on 27 February and, following 42 applications, Peter Beadle was announced as the successful candidate by the board on 17 April 2015. [9] [10] Beadle, the final caretaker manager of the predecessor club, was joined by assistant manager Matt Bishop, who had served as a national coach developer with The Football Association. [11]

2015–16 season

On 14 May 2015, the FA confirmed that Hereford would compete in the Midland Football League Premier Division (9th tier) for the club's first season. [12] As a consequence, this meant that the club were entered into the FA Vase and the Midland League Cup.

The first game, a pre-season friendly, took place away at Malvern Town on 7 July 2015, a 3–2 victory for Hereford in which the winning goal was scored by Dale Hodge, in front of a record crowd for the hosts. [13] Four days later, Hereford hosted their first match, a friendly against FC United of Manchester at Edgar Street, with Nathan Hughes scoring the only goal in a victory watched by around 4,250 spectators. [14] They won 4–1 against Dunkirk in their first league match on 8 August, in front of a crowd of 4,062; this broke the league record attendance of 1,280, and was higher than four attendances that day in Football League One. [15]

On 10 December 2015, while in first place in the league, the club announced that they had applied for promotion to the Southern Football League for the 2016–17 season. [16] The league campaign had started with a shaky start, but they managed to put together a long winning run, which eventually came to an end after 27 wins in a row, in a 1–1 draw at home to Alvechurch on 23 January 2016, [17] and the unbeaten run of 34 games came to an end on 23 February, following a 2–0 loss at home to Highgate United. [18]

Hereford broke their attendance record again in the FA Vase semi-final first leg against Salisbury on 12 March. Hereford won 1–0 in front of a record crowd of 4,683. [19] On 25 April, Hereford clinched the league title following a 4–0 away win at Coventry Sphinx and were subsequently promoted to the Southern League South and West Division. [20] A week later, the club picked up their second trophy, the Herefordshire County Cup, following a 5–1 win over Westfields. [21] Hereford secured their third trophy of the season, the Midland Football League Cup, on 10 May, following a 3–1 win over Walsall Wood at Solihull Moors' Damson Park. [22] On 22 May, Hereford lost 4–1 in the FA Vase Final to Morpeth Town at Wembley Stadium. [23]

2016–17 season

On 12 May 2016, it was confirmed that Hereford would compete in the Southern League South and West, following their promotion from the Midland Football League Premier. [24] The season saw the club make their first appearance in both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy. It was announced on 24 May, that assistant manager Matt Bishop would be leaving the club, [25] and he was replaced by Steve Jenkins on 30 May. [26] The club decided to withdraw from the Southern League Cup in an attempt to focus on the league. The club went out of the FA Cup at the third qualifying round at Tonbridge Angels and exited the FA Trophy in the preliminary round at Salisbury. On 12 October, the club announced that manager Peter Beadle had signed his first contract with the club, on a rolling 12-month deal. [27] On 19 October, it was announced that Chairman Jon Hale had stepped down and was to be replaced in the interim by Chris Williams, who was replaced by Ken Kinnersley on 3 January 2017. [28]

On 4 March 2017, their away match against Didcot Town was abandoned due to crowd disturbances after a few Hereford fans went on to the pitch in celebration of the team taking the lead in the dying minutes of the game. Two men from Hereford were later arrested. After reviewing reports and video footage of the incidents, the FA decided to take no further action against either club, [29] rather highlighting how sensationalised and ill-informed some of the news reporting, at the time, had been. [30] [31] Disciplinary action, however, was taken against three Hereford supporters, [32] one of the Didcot players and the Didcot team coach. [33] The Southern League also ordered the game to be replayed – which was subsequently played behind closed doors on 11 April 2017, with Hereford winning 2–1.

2017–18 season

Following their promotion the past season it was announced Hereford would play in the Southern Premier League. It was also announced that captain Joel Edwards had been released meaning Jimmy Oates was the new captain of Hereford FC.

Hereford notably had runs in the FA Cup and FA Trophy. In the FA Cup Hereford after beating Godalming Town, Kempston Rovers and Hornchurch, Hereford were drawn a game away to Eastleigh where goals from Mike McGrath and Garyn Preen (who was later knocked unconscious by Gavin Hoyte that game) took Hereford into the first round for the first time in their history. In the first round, a John Mills goal against AFC Telford United put them in the second round where they were drawn against Fleetwood Town. A goal from Calvin Dinsley earned Hereford a replay which was televised on BT Sport and got an attendance of 4,235 which Hereford ended up losing. Fleetwood then went on to play Leicester City in the third round. In the FA Trophy, Hereford beat Weymouth, Potters Bar Town and Oxford City to make the first round. Hereford beat National League side Dagenham & Redbridge 3–2 to set up a tie against Wealdstone. In the Wealdstone game there was a moment of controversy after Dara O'Shea seemed to bring down a player when he was through on goal which resulted in him getting sent off. Footage later on showed O'Shea should not have been given a red card so the FA reversed the decision. Hereford ended up losing that game 1–0.

In the Southern Premier League, in January, Hereford came back from 2–0 down in injury time to salvage a 2–2 draw with promotion chasing Slough Town after goals from Jimmy Oates and Keyon Reffell. Hereford's away unbeaten run in the league came to an end in January 2018 after defeat to King's Lynn. This unbeaten run stretched back to August 2015. In February 2018, Hereford fans got in trouble after multiple flares were thrown onto the pitch against Farnborough. Farnborough player Lewis Ferrell then retaliated and threw the flare back at Hereford fans, which resulted in him being shown a straight red card. On Tuesday 17 April Hereford travelled to Biggleswade Town where a 0–1 away victory saw them become league champions for a record third consecutive season. They lifted the Southern Football League shield following a 4–1 win against Kettering Town F.C.. They finished the season with a 6–0 home win over Hereford Lads Club to win the Herefordshire County Cup for a third successive time.

2018–19 season

On 13 September 2018, after three league titles in a row, Peter Beadle was sacked as manager of Hereford, a month into the new season with Hereford in 12th place in the National League North. [34] Assistant manager Steve Jenkins also departed, leaving Ryan Green as interim player-manager. On 19 September 2018, Tim Harris was appointed Head of Football, [35] with his son-in-law Marc Richards subsequently taking the Head Coach role on 3 October 2018. [36] They finished the season in 17th after poor performances against teams low-down in the table, including 0 wins from 6 against the three relegated sides.

2019–20 season

Three games into the campaign, and with four points from a possible nine, Marc Richards was sacked as head coach on 12 August, with his assistant Will Morford also leaving. [37] The club announced that Head of Football Tim Harris would take interim charge of the side while searching for a new head coach. On 29 August, Russell Slade was announced as the club's new Manager. [38] Andy Whing joined as his assistant on 13 September. [39]

Hereford invested in a new digital scoreboard to improve commercial advertising opportunities in September 2019. Its first game in use on 8 October 2019 [40] coincided with the club crashing out of the FA Cup at the 3rd Qualifying Round stage in a replay against Tamworth F.C. losing 3–1 on penalties having drawn both 90 minute games 0-0. This result was Russell Slade's first home defeat.

Tim Harris resigned as Head of Football on 27 November 2019, [41] with the position of 'Head of Football' subsequently being dissolved.

On 14 January Assistant Coach Andy Whing left the club with no reason being given for his departure. [42] Just 6 days later on 20 January, Manager Russell Slade left the club after a run of just one win in 18 games. [43] Josh Gowling was named the club's interim manager on 21 January, he appointed Steve Burr as his assistant 3 days later.

The season was eventually abandoned with seven games still to go due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Hereford finishing in 16th place.

Season-by-season

SeasonLeague Level PldWDLFAGDPtsPosManager
2015–16 Midland League Premier Division 9423534138331051081/22 Peter Beadle
2016–17 Southern League Division One South & West842338110832761071/22 Peter Beadle
2017–18 Southern League Premier Division 746365511133781131/24 Peter Beadle
2018–19 National League North 6421116154758-114917/22 Peter Beadle/Marc Richards
2019–20 [lower-alpha 1] National League North 635912143956-173916/22Marc Richards/Russell Slade/Josh Gowling
Source: FCHD

Crest and colours

Crest

It was announced on 1 March 2015, that 89% of the 900+ HUST members that voted, chose a badge designed by Huw Marriott and his sons Max and Louis. [44]

Colours

On 5 May 2015, it was announced that the club had signed a two-year kit deal with Italian manufacturer Macron. [45] A vote was cast for the away colours, with a red and black striped kit being chosen by HUST members. On 25 March 2016, Hereford announced that their deal with Macron had been extended by 2 years, with a new home kit in 2016–17 alternating seasonally with the away kit. [46] Prior to the 2020-21 Season, the club announced a new three-year deal with Adidas [47]

Support

Hereford's fanzine is called Talking Bull. [48]

During Hereford's inaugural season they averaged a league attendance of 2,836, a figure higher than six Football League Two sides. [49]

Rivalries

Hereford United's used to have a fierce rivalry with Shrewsbury Town; the derby, known as the A49 derby after the road separating the two towns, was listed nineteenth in The Daily Telegraph's twenty fiercest rivalries in English football. [50] However, since Hereford's resurrection the two sides have never met.

Smaller rivalries also used to exist with Cheltenham Town, Yeovil Town and Newport County. [51] The rivalry with Kidderminster Harriers [52] was resumed in 2020. [53]

Players and staff

Current squad

As of 2 July 2021

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
2 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jared Hodgkiss (captain)
3 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Luke Haines
5 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG George Forsyth
8 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Joey Butlin
9 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Ryan McLean
10 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Tom Owen-Evans
15 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Toby Raison
No.Pos.NationPlayer
17 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Ryan Lloyd
18 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Yan Klukowski
20 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Brandon Hall
-- DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Mitch Hancox
-- MF Flag of England.svg  ENG James Vincent
-- FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Miles Storey

Players loaned out

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer


Current management and staff

NameRole
Flag of England.svg Josh Gowling Manager
Flag of Scotland.svg Steve Burr Assistant Manager
Flag of England.svg Yan Klukowski Player/Coach
Flag of England.svg Nathan VaughanGoalkeeping Coach
Flag of England.svg Danny Carey-BertramStrength & Conditioning Coach
Flag of Scotland.svg John Snape Sports Therapist
Flag of England.svg Malcolm CowellKitman

Managers

NameFromUntil
Flag of England.svg Peter Beadle 17 April 201513 September 2018
Flag of England.svg Marc Richards3 October 201812 August 2019
Flag of England.svg Russell Slade 29 August 201920 January 2020
Flag of England.svg Josh Gowling (Interim Manager)21 January 202012 June 2020
Flag of England.svg Josh Gowling 12 June 2020

Honours

Notable players

A number of full internationals have played for Hereford during the club's history and have either been capped before, during or after their career with the club.

Notes

  1. The season was terminated before previsioned date, because of impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

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