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Hereford players attempt to recreate Ronnie Radford’s wondergoal in tribute to FA Cup legend

Footage is going viral again as Hereford players attempt to recreate Ronnie Radford’s wondergoal in tribute to the FA Cup legend.

Friday night will see the Bulls pay respects to their former player who sadly died earlier this week with the club announcing his death in a statement on their website, Hereford saying they were “devastated”.

Radford, who passed away age 79 after a long illness, became a hero when producing a stunning goal which helped the non league side knock first-division Newcastle out of the FA Cup in a third-round replay in February 1972.

“Ronnie is not just a part of Hereford United folklore, he is a part of football history and has kept Hereford on the football map since 1972,” the statement said.

“His mild manner, and friendly and modest approach to life epitomised the man he was and he was always delighted to visit Edgar Street, to meet up with past team-mates and watch the present day team in action.

“We will always keep Ronnie close to our hearts at Edgar Street, not just at FA Cup moments, but forever and celebrate him and his huge role in propelling Hereford United to the forefront of the nation’s attention with that goal and being part of that team.

“We will carry your spirit onwards. Rest in peace Ronnie.”

He was in the current squad’s thoughts before news broke of his death — as they had their own attempts at producing their own Ronnie rockets into the top corner ahead of the first-round tie.

Gowling, 38, said: “Ronnie put this club on the football map. Whenever anyone thinks of Hereford, they just immediately think of Ronnie Radford.

“I’m so sad to hear about his passing. He was much loved at Edgar Street.

“All the time that I’ve been here, both as a player and now the manager, not much time passes before Ronnie’s name is brought up.

“We’re going to pay our respects before the Portsmouth game and do our best to put on a performance that Ronnie would be proud of.”

In training, their efforts to recreate Ronnie’s goal was filmed — with Gowling boasting that his attempt was the best effort of the lot.

He said: “All the lads were trying to have a go at copying it in training — but I had to end up showing them how it was properly done!”

When asked if someone was to come up with their own Ronnie Radford moment against League One outfit Portsmouth, who would Gowling put his money on?

He said: “Luke Haines has scored a couple of screamers and Tyrone Barnett too. In fact, he’s averaging a goal every two games right now.

“But, to be honest with you, any sort of goal would be nice.

“It just feels as though this is a changing of the guard moment.

“And as we remember Ronnie Radford, we also have a chance to make our own bit of history. What a fitting tribute that would be.”

Pompey are managed by brothers who have their own special memories of their Cup exploits.

Danny Cowley and his brother Nicky famously guided then-non-league Lincoln to the quarter finals five years ago.

They won against Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley —then a Premier League team — before being defeated against Arsenal at the Emirates. It was the first time that a non-league side had reached the last eight since QPR did so in 1914.

Gowling knows the Cowley brothers well from playing against their teams outside the EFL, explaining: “I first came across them when they were managing Braintree and I was playing for Grimsby.

“We knocked them out of the play-offs but then faced their Lincoln team, too.
“They are real students of the game, want to play football the right way and do everything right.”

The winners of Friday’s game between Hereford and Pompey will receive £41,000 in prize money, with £67,000 up for grabs in the second round and £105,000 in the third round.

That’s without also counting the TV revenue and extra sponsorship cash that games like these generate.

Gowling, whose side sit in 14th place in the National League North, admitted: “The FA Cup is just massive for a football club our size.

“We’re desperate to regain our EFL status one day and want to return to being a full-time team again.

“To do that, we need a bigger budget and FA Cup prize money can only help us on our way to achieving that.”

“This will be my first time at this stage of the competition as a manager,” said Josh Gowling. “It’s really pleasing to be here and it’s testament to the hard work of the players.

“Their attitude and application throughout our FA Cup run has been fantastic and we know that if we are not at our maximum on Friday, we will be found wanting.

“It’s a difficult task; Portsmouth will be meticulous in their planning and will be ready for us.

“The occasion will put the club in the spotlight and financially it will be rewarding, but as a group we are looking to keep things on an even keel by not getting too high or too low about things.

“When you win games of football it creates a healthy environment and that is what we have here now. We’ll continue to take it one game at a time and we’re raring to go now for Friday.

“As a young manager, these are the nights that I want to be involved in, our supporters deserve it.

“For me it is about learning and for the players it is about being able to deal with the pressure. A big part of my background is being able to help the players deal with these pressures, but on Friday all of the expectation is on Portsmouth to come here and win.

“It’s been such a roller-coaster and I have learned so much over a short period of time as a manager. The important thing is to keep progressing and developing.

“We know that the fans will be right behind us; we will approach the game in the same way that we always do and look to play with high tempo and intensity, whilst maintaining our focus.”

As the video of Hereford players deciding to attempt to recreate Ronnie Radford’s wondergoal in tribute to FA Cup legend, other fans showed respect with his death confirmed…

@Bennyboydaveo: Oh no! What a legacy though. Thanks Ronnie.

@DanPace86: OH NO what awful news to hear, what a player and that iconic goal will forever be remembered as one of the greatest ever FA Cup goals. Forever in our hearts, the great Ronnie Radford #RIPRonnie 😞 🙏

@MouseyRussell: Thinking of Ronnie’s family. God bless him. An absolute legend and the scorer of Hereford United’s greatest ever goal. RIP.

@AndySpurs72: Sad news. Rest In Peace Ronnie and thanks for one of THE great FA Cup memories.

@LWLS1924: Meadow End you know what to do on 11 minutes Friday evening. RIP Ronnie my friend.

@Comethlight67: Rip Ronnie 😞

@bakewelllaura1: R.I.P Mr Radford, gone but never forgotten. A name that will always live in Hereford’s football history. I call for a MASSIVE round of applause in the 11th minute at Friday’s game to show our love and appreciation for such a great man ❤💔

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