Annie Radford has many happy memories of Hereford and that goal

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First published in Sport

THE mutual affection between Hereford and the legendary Ronnie Radford has been clear for all to see down the years.

But his wife of 52 years feels exactly the same about the city and the club which has taken the Yorkshireman to their hearts.

"I never get tired of these events," said Annie Radford, when she and Ronnie paid one of their regular visits to Edgar Street, on this occasion as the guests of the Tupsley Whites.

"We had such a wonderful time at Hereford and have such lovely friends here that we would do anything to help them out.

"Certainly Ron would - he's absolutely mental about Hereford United."

Although she was at Edgar Street on the day her husband scored the BBC's goal of the century, Annie didn't see Ronnie's famous goal.

"I was sitting in the stand with the children, Gary on one side and David on the other," she recalled.

"I was watching the game and Gary said 'Mum', so I turned around and as I turned my head back, I saw the goal going into the net.

"But I didn't know who scored it.

"I asked my friend Julie McLaughlin who scored the goal and she said 'It was your Ronnie'.

"Then I saw him running round the field and that's when I realised that it was him. I hadn't had a clue - we were all jumping up and down because we had scored a goal but we didn't know who had scored it. It was ridiculous, but that's the sort of thing which happens with children."

It was quite a weekend for the Radford family.

"It was Ron's dad's birthday on February 4, he scored the goal on February 5 and one of our sons' birthdays was on February 6," she said.

There wasn't a lot of time to savour the moment, however, as, in common with the vast majority of his team-mates, Ronnie, who worked as a carpenter, was only a part-time footballer.

Even back to work, his modesty and unwillingness to take more than a corner of the limelight came through.

"On the Monday after the game, it was straight back to work as if nothing had happened," said Annie.

"When he was working, he never told any of his work-mates that he was Ronnie Radford.

"One of the guys, Derek Hayes, who was in charge of the building site where Ron was working lived in the same village as us. Derek is dead now but he was the only one who knew.

"One of the others heard him say Ronnie Radford and asked him whether he was the one who scored the goal, but Ron denied it - that's the way he is, he's never been one to push himself forward."

Memories of the day linger on and it's clearly a pleasure for both Ronnie and Annie to relive them.

"It's incredible that 42 years on, people still turn out to see him," said Annie. "We made such wonderful friends and met such lovely people here.

"That goal - it's amazing that still after 42 years people remember but it was such a big thing at the time and the feeling on the pitch was fantastic."

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