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Hereford Hero: Chris Price

Hereford Hero: Chris Price
Chris Price was born in Hereford on 30th March 1960 and became an apprentice with the Bulls before signing as a full professional in January 1978.

Whilst Hereford United were romping to the Third Division Championship in the 1975/76 season, Chris was a member of the youth team which won the Midland Intermediate League under the coaching of Tony Ford.

Other members of that side who went on to play in the Football League were Kevin Sheedy, Brian Preece, Shane Walker, Julian Marshall, Stuart Cornes and Jimmy McCafferty - a youth policy to be proud of.

Chris made his league debut in a 2nd Division fixture away at Notts County in a 3-2 defeat just two days after his 17th birthday on Friday 1st April 1977, having earlier made his first senior appearance against Stoke City in a 1-0 victory in the Herefordshire Senior Cup the previous week.

Between 1979 and 1986 he made the Bulls' No.2 shirt his own. However, because of his exceptional pace Chris was initially brought into the first team as a right-sided midfielder, but made a name for himself as an overlapping full-back. Chris was often a match winner due to his surging runs down the flank which led to a number of goals. His unstoppable forays often ended with a penalty being awarded as he was sent crashing to the ground in the box.

Price developed an understanding with Jimmy Harvey which almost became telepathic as the midfield general would spray the ball into a wide position for Price to appear from nowhere to mount an attack on the opposition.

He was regularly selected as a member of the PFA's Fourth Division XI, and he was voted 'Player of the Year' for United in 1981/82 and 1985/86. His most important goal for the club was the famous equaliser against Arsenal in the FA Cup Third Round tie at Edgar Street on the 5th January 1985, which set up a lucrative replay at Highbury.

His 330 Football League appearances for Hereford United set a club record, which was finally broken by Mel Pejic in 1990.

A cash crisis hit the club and Chris was transferred to Blackburn Rovers for a woefully meagre fee of 20,000 in 1986 - the bargain of the decade. Chris (pictured in a Rovers' shirt) spent two seasons at Ewood Park, and in both years Blackburn featured prominently in the promotion race, but narrowly missed out on securing a First Division place. Chris made 83 league appearances for Rovers, scoring 11 times, and also played for them in the Full Members Cup Final at Wembley in the 1986/87 season as Blackburn beat Charlton Athletic 1-0 to earn Chris a winners medal.

In 1988 Graham Taylor paid 150,000 to secure Chris' signature for Aston Villa, and he became an integral part of their line up. He experienced European competition in the UEFA Cup, and in all played 111 league matches for Villa.

Chris only found the net twice for Villa, but they were both winning goals; at Arsenal and at home to Sheffield United. He rejoined Blackburn where he made a further 19 appearances, including a place in the starting line up against Leicester City on 25th May 1992 in a play-off final.

A move then followed to Portsmouth where Chris made just 18 further appearances as injuries cruelly ended his playing career. His last game was on the 2nd October 1993 in a 1-1 draw at the City Ground against Nottingham Forest.

An achilles tendon injury forced his retirement from the professional game, but Chris stayed in the news assisting Cinderford Town through an excellent FA Cup run. Next up was his first steps into coaching with an assistant management role at Cheltenham Town, and a spell as the Newport County boss.

But above all the best image Hereford United fans will probably retain of Chris Price in their minds is of him sprinting down the right hand touchline, racing towards the opposition goal before the inevitable trip.

That's a penalty, surely!

Do you have any memories of Chris Price?

Drop us a line here at Vital Hereford United, it would be great to hear from you.

Email: hereford@vitalfootball.co.uk


Writer:Colin Green
Date:Friday May 30 2008
Time: 1:17PM

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