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How big are Hereford United?

How big are Hereford United?
It's a question that has been discussed many times, but highlighted by the attendance figures at Edgar Street so far this season.

Here we are, playing at a level last touched more than a generation ago, this after two promotions in three years, and the Street on a Saturday afternoon is almost a ghost town.

Less than 2,500 Bulls fans bothered to watch what was a more than decent display and the acquisition of our first ever League One points, this a little piece of history all but ignored by the City and County of Hereford.

Is this the unfortunate culmination of the credit crunch, a shaky start, out-dated facilities and a few folk still in Lanzarote, or is it a slap in the face to the management and players who have worked their socks off to deliver football a million miles away from Leigh RMI and Canvey Island.

Spin it any way you like, but I see it as an embarrassment, nothing more, nothing less.

Harsh? Not really. Almost double that number turned out on the same Saturday only five years ago to watch the Bulls go top of the Conference, so where are the lost 2,000?

Whilst not a term I like to use (once a year or every week - all welcome in my book), do we really have that many fairweathers?

If we do, and it certainly looks that way, a core home support of 2,000 plus is small time, small town, small club. The numbers tell their own story here, one clearly saying that a significant number of Bulls followers would prefer to watch a winning team in the Conference, than a struggling (a term that shouldn't really be applied after just four games) team in League One.

Put another way, we like to be, or are at least more comfortable with, being the big fish in a small pool.

So, does that make Hereford United different from any other club?

Taking a look around the Leagues, you might say that the closest comparisons would be Cheltenham, Yeovil, Aldershot, maybe Exeter or Chester, and perhaps above all, Shrewsbury. Sorry about the language there.

Size, geography, history, tradition, the above tick most, if not all of these boxes. I would be surprised, shocked even, if any of them failed to muster a significantly bigger number than two and a half thousand hard-core, if they had enjoyed three years such as we just have. This may sound like criticism, a rant even, but it is not.

I know many Bulls fans, have stood with them at Canvey Island and at Leeds United, and have admired their unwavering, if sometimes necessarily stoic support of their team.

I admire their sense of humour as much as the honesty of their views, whatever they might feel about the current regime. Most of all however, I admire the fact that they will still be supporting their team when hard times return, and given the cyclic nature of the game, they undoubtedly will.

My feeling however, is this.

There should be more people like this, given the catchment area, the distant history, and the recent past.

So, how big a club is Hereford United?

Whilst everthing is relative (big compared to Ledbury Town, small compared to Arsenal), we are a small club in terms of support and finance, a little larger in terms of tradition and romance.

And was that a cop-out answer?

Of course, so how about this.

Currently, we are, as recently opined by 'The Observer', the "Little Team that Could", a club punching well above its weight, and whose natural level is, I would suggest, toward the bottom of League Two, the Fourth Division.

The hard-core of support deserve everything we currently enjoy, the city and the county perhaps a little less.

As for me, well, I would rather see us take an occasional beating from Bristol Rovers, than be trawling around Accrington or Barnet.

All of course, just my opinion.

Up the Bulls!

Twickenham White

Writer:Colin Green
Date:Thursday September 4 2008
Time: 6:35PM

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Comments

0
Your completely right!! Lets hope the fans see what this club has achieved and come flooding back!! bit optimistic I fear!! Come on fans come and support our brilliant players and fantastic gaffer. Come On THE BULLS!!!!
Captain M
04/09/2008 19:41:00
0
Good article. Well balanced and objective. I'm not a Hereford supporter but do live in Hereford. I don't visit Edgar Street as the Bulls are not my team but I do like to see them flourish. I can't understand why a couple of bad results makes local stay away so readily. These are the golden years and yes, you're right, they must be enjoyed. For how long will Hereford enjoy this standard of football? Given the significant improvement in the standard of professional football and the quality of pitches in this country this is arguably the best football that has ever been on show in the city and county. So why the stay-away fanbase?
Prophet of Doom
05/09/2008 09:30:00
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