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Hereford Hero: Colin Addison

Hereford Hero: Colin Addison
Born at Taunton in Somerset on the 18th May 1940, Colin moved to Yorkshire with his parents at the age of ten and signed for York City when just fifteen.

Addison's preference was to play as a striker but the centre-forward spot at Bootham Crescent was then occupied by Arthur Bottom, whose 31 league goals in the 1954/55 season, a feat he equalled the following term, is still a record for the club.

Such prolific scoring meant that first team opportunities for a young Addison were strictly limited, but after Arthur Bottom moved to Newcastle United in January 1958, Colin gained a regular place.

The 18 year-old took his opportunity scoring 27 goals in 87 league appearances for York, and in January 1960 he was transferred to Nottingham Forest who paid 12,000 for his signature.

In his five and a half years at the City Ground he struck 61 goals in 159 league games before joining Arsenal for 40,000 in September 1966.

Fifteen months later, having made 28 appearances, scoring nine times, he returned to Yorkshire linking up with Sheffield United for a transfer fee of 45,000.

Addison played almost 100 games for the Blades, bagging another 22 goals and helped them to promotion to the First Division in 1971.

It was a major coup therefore for Hereford who persuaded him to come to Edgar Street in October 1971 as player-manager. Indeed, the Blades assisted in his move into management by requesting a transfer fee of just 3,000.

Colin replaced John Charles at Edgar Street, and the beginning of his managerial career was akin to 'Roy of the Rovers' stuff as Southern League Hereford United knocked Newcastle United out of the FA Cup and then took the star-studded West Ham United side to a replay.

Colin played in a central midfield role for the Bulls and was always in the thick of the action, inspiring the team by example.

A number of vital goals were scored by the player-manager, none more spectacular than his stunning volley against Newcastle United at St James' Park which earned the club the now famous replay at Edgar Street.

At the end of his first season in charge the Bulls finished runners-up to Chelmsford City in the Premier Division of the Southern League and were elected to the Football League in place of Barrow.

The Bulls went on to become runners-up behind Southport in the race for the 1972/73 Fourth Division title and so United gained promotion to the third tier of English football at their very first attempt.

United achieved that primarily without the services of Colin Addison who had broken his leg against Barnsley earlier in the campaign.

The ever-popular manager left Hereford in 1974 after an unfortunate dispute over a new contract, and his next post was with Durban City in South Africa. However, he was soon back in the UK taking over in the Newport County 'hot-seat' before spells as coach at Notts County and an assistant manager role at West Bromwich Albion.

Colin's next appointment was as manager of First Division Derby County in July 1979. Derby were relegated at the end of his first season but Addison steadied the ship and County were sixth in Division Two the following year. However, he was dismissed in January 1982 with the club in a mid-table position.

Never out of work for too long, Addison quickly returned to Newport the following month, only leaving in 1986 to help the club through a difficult financial period.

He then became manager of the Spanish Second Division side Celta Vigo and in his first season steered them to promotion, before linking up with Ron Atkinson for a second spell at West Brom. A return to Spain followed as Athletico Madrid beckoned, with Addison leading them to fourth place in La Liga.

Colin was persuaded to return to Edgar Street in June 1990, just after the Bulls had won the Welsh Cup for the first time in their history.

However, his one season back at the helm was a difficult one as it proved impossible to live up to the expectancy generated by his first spell in charge.

Further successful managerial spells followed back in Spain as well as Scarborough, Yeovil and Forest Green Rovers.

In recent years Colin has become a regular radio pundit for BBC Radio Wales and the Real Radio network, but continues to live in the Tupsley area of Hereford and always keeps a close eye on the latest events at Edgar Street.

Following the Bulls promotion to League Two he paid this tribute:

'I'm absolutely delighted for Graham Turner, the staff and players, and all the supporters.

'All clubs have their ups and downs. This has been a great upper.

'For Graham to come up with two promotions in three seasons is absolutely magnificent.

'It seems a long long time ago when Hereford dropped out of the League but he has stayed with it.

'He has turned it all around, getting United back into the League, and then two years later another promotion.

'He has had his critics over the years but he has answered everybody.'

Most recently Colin Addison was once again in the dug-out managing a Hereford United XI as they took on a West Bromwich Albion side raising funds for the Mayor of Hereford's charity, the Alzheimer's Society.

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Do you have any stories or memories of Colin Addison, either at Hereford or elsewhere?

Why not drop us a line here at Vital Hereford.


Email: hereford@vitalfootball.co.uk

Writer:Colin Green
Date:Wednesday August 27 2008
Time: 11:18AM

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