Whatever happened to those heroes?
Leominster's Rankin Club recently hosted a Sports Evening with John Motson and Ricky George. These two Barnet boys go back a long way and proved to be a witty, engaging and entertaining double act.
Despite their North London roots both are inextricably linked with Hereford United and some of Ricky's old colleagues came along to give moral support and to make the occasional interjection.
So, once again we got a chance to meet Colin Addison, Dudley Tyler, Peter Isaac and, from a slightly later vintage, Steve Emery all of whom still live locally. The presence of Billy Meadows and the scorer of THAT goal Ronnie Radford, both of whom had travelled a considerable distance was a most welcome bonus and a tribute to the enduring spirit of the '72 side.
The two main men gave a superb display, full of humour and interest. The talk was centred on that famous day in 1972 but also encompassed the modern day game; changes in broadcasting technology; the horse race loving duo's tips for Cheltenham and even Motty's attempts at commentary on Greco Roman wrestling at the 1972 Olympics.
Afterwards they all mingled with the audience signing books, programmes, tickets etc.
I'd never met Ron Radford before. What a genuinely nice bloke he proved to be. Billy Meadows too. In fact you could say that about all of them, refreshingly down to earth chaps who had achieved something very special.
It was perhaps appropriate that the evening took place just after the shocks of the FA Cup quarter final weekend. The sheer predictability of the cup in recent years has added to the '72 myth. As a lad of fourteen I certainly didn't appreciate the enormity of it at the time, or realise what the long term significance would be for so many that were involved.
The 'Fashion Icon'
PS. The Rankin Club has been running these popular and affordable sports evenings for over 25 years, and speakers have included some of the biggest names in sport. Try Bobby Charlton, Ian Botham and Gareth Edwards for starters. Not bad for a small market town in Herefordshire.
Contact organiser John Beaman on 01568 613613 for details of future events.