Legendary football commentator retires

He’s earned near-legendary status during his long years as a football commentator, but the recent announced retirement of John Motson was felt keenly by many Hereford FC fans. Motson cut his professional teeth in the early 1970s when he provided the TV match commentary for what began as a run-of-the-mill FA Cup third-round replay between Hereford Utd and Newcastle Utd. Hereford’s victory over Newcastle still sends shock waves over forty years later. The 35-yard shot from Ronnie Radford that turned the match on its head, became an iconic moment in televised sport.

Speaking to the BBC in the run up to his retirement he said: “The FA Cup as a tournament was very good to me. I’d like to think I can still have some association with that because it was the Ronnie Radford goal for Hereford against Newcastle which really put me on the map in 1972.”

We managed to get a quick interview with John at Wembley last year after the Vase Cup game.

Former manager and player, local legend, Colin Addison remembers the momentous match with great fondness and pride. He said: ‘We got through to the third round and drew Newcastle Utd away at St James’ Park so it was an excellent draw for us. To Newcastle I think we took four or five thousand people and that was a Monday night. So, it just showed the interest in the club and in that wonderful tie, great tie against Newcastle.’

Hereford drew that night, against all expectations, and went into their home match, second leg match, hopeful. Before that, celebrations of their first leg victory. Colin said: ‘after the game the team stayed the night. The supporters, four or five thousand came back on the train and arrived back I’m Hereford about four in the morning. Nights like that don’t come very often you know, to non-league clubs.’

That home, second round match, Hereford Utd vs the mighty Newcastle Utd, on home turf at Edgar Street, is well documented on film. But what of the first leg, the away match at Newcastle? Is there any film out there documenting this historic match? DJ Matt Healey is on a mission to find it. The life-long Hereford FC football fan, Sunshine Radio morning show host, and Edgar Street match announcer, has been trawling through hundreds of VHS videos, creating an archive of every Hereford FC match. Appeals in newspapers have proved fruitful, with some unexpected results. In one video Matt came across a 10 second interview with the great man himself, Derek Evans, talking about his beloved Hereford Utd. So often behind the camera, for once Derek was centre stage.

Derek is featured at the 2 minute & 20 second point of this video

We thank Matt for finding this little gem. There are, however, still gaps in the HUFC match record and he is keen to fill them. If you think you can help, then contact Matt: at: matthewhealey@hotmail.com

Image CC BY 2.0 gordonfloodMan United V Man City