HEREFORD United pulled out all the stops to ensure that a disappointed auction bidder received just a little more than a consolation prize.

Cheryl Winmill, who was looking for a special gift for her husband Steve, was narrowly outbid when the club auctioned a shirt autographed by all of the survivors of the legendary Giantkillers side at their Lee Sharpe sportsman’s evening last year.

But director Grenville Smith moved swiftly into action, obtaining another shirt and dispatching it all over the country to get the members of the Bulls most famous team to sign it, often by rather unorthodox means.

Colin Addison took it down to Bristol to get Tony Gough to sign it,” said Smith.

“Tony had a friend who was taking a load of bananas down to Cornwall so the shirt went down there for Brian Owen to sign on a banana lorry.”

Cheryl and Steve, who was completely unaware of the shirt-search, were invited to Saturday’s game with Lincoln as Smith’s guests and watched the game from the directors’ box before the big surprise was revealed after the match in the boardroom.

“My wife and I were extremely well looked after, in fact the club went above and beyond to make sure we had a fantastic day,” said Steve.

“Obviously I was the only one not in the know about the Hereford United v Newcastle United 40th anniversary shirt and what had been done in order to get it signed by so many of that team (and John Motson as well).

“We would like to give our sincerest thanks,” he added. “The club is very special to me and we had a wonderful day.

“None of this could have happened without my wife being so lovely and also without Gren’s thoughts and kindness.”