A Review OF The Official Hereford United Quiz Book
PUBLISHED: 15:36 26 November 2010 | UPDATED: 15:49 20 February 2013
Lifelong Bulls supporter Matthew Hancock reviews a new book that brings back happy and not-so-happy memories.
The Official Hereford United Quiz Book
Chris Cowlin and Kevin Snelgrove
Apex Publishing, hardback
Not so long ago Hereford United skulked about with teams you had never really heard of, such as Welling and Hednesford, while millions of miles away on Planet Premiership the likes of Leeds United and Leicester City puffed up their feathers live on Sky Sports. It says all you need to know about the extraordinary progress made by the club in recent years that they now meet Leeds and Leicester in league matches and have quiz books produced about them with a cover showing players swigging champagne and bobbing about with silverware.
There are 800 questions about Hereford United in this book, which is a rather startling amount given the source material. Perhaps the secret is to leave one finger marking the answer pages so you can harvest the true trivia gems: I didn't know, for instance, that the BBC's first ever live FA Cup match was Hereford v Leyton in 1952, that Bobby Moore's final game for West Ham was against the Bulls and that Ronnie Radford only scored six league goals for the club. Or indeed that Paul Parry, now with Cardiff City, has a fear of flying. Other snippets gleaned beg for more information than the printed answers supply: why on earth did Don Revie and his entire England squad watch the Bulls' 2-0 defeat at Luton in 1976?
Serial quizbook writers Chris Cowlin and Kevin Snelgrove have produced an impressively exhaustive volume, which even includes some questions about the current League One season (in the autumn I watched Bradley Hudson-Odoi equalise against Swindon Town; by winter it had become the answer to question 76). But as the club's fitness coach Tony Ford is quoted as saying on the back cover: "Anyone who can answer this lot probably needs locking up!" He may be referring to sections such as "Match the attendance with the home match" (remember the attendance in a 1-0 defeat to Hayes in April 2002 anybody?)
However, every page is a reminder of those who have pulled on a black and white shirt: John Charles, Bobby Gould, Kevin Sheedy, Terry Paine, Darren Peacock, Steve Bull... Some handy players have passed through our little corner of the football world over the years.
The reason why United have, in 2008-09, a league status that is halfway between the Conference and the Premier League is a man who is the answer to five of the book's questions: the chairman-manager Graham Turner. His is the short and sweet foreword that talks of the book bringing back plenty of memories.
The book does the club a favour in this respect: there is no place here for most of drudgery that went with supporting the team from 1976-2003: it dwells largely on the happy times - lifting the Welsh Cup, winning 9-0 at Dagenham on live television, taking 10,000 to Leicester for an extra-time thriller in the Conference final against Halifax and, of course, a 2-1 victory over a Newcastle team in muddied red jerseys that would begin the club's journey in earnest on February 5 1972. Happy memories indeed.
The retail price is 8.99 in hardback. Herefordshire Life readers can purchase the book directly from Apex Publishing Ltd at a discounted price of 7 including postage and packing. Call Apex Publishing on: 01255 428500.