THE news that Tommy Best is still going strong at the age of 95 brings back memories of his playing days to those of us of a certain age.

Personally I have many memories of Tommy on the football pitch. His close control when dribbling, the immaculate chest control of the high balls that were played towards him, the soaring headers that defied gravity and the astute reading of the game.

Among individual incidents a Southern League game against Barry Town. Put through Tommy drew the goalkeeper 'Tiger' Reid and rolled the ball gently into the corner of the net. Minutes later a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and Tommy seized on the ball to drive a ferocious ground shot into the net. One moment the delicate artist, the next the brutal executioner. Another, a game against Worcester City when Tommy got the ball on the left, feinted to lob the ball into the goalmouth deceiving both defence and team mates alike before hitting a ground pass converted by a desperate lunge by Jimmy Duggan who heaved a sigh of relief when the ball crept in under the bar.

Although losing six years to World War Two, where he saw service on a mine sweeper, Tommy played for Belfast Celtic, Chester City, Cardiff City and QPR. He played 145 games for Hereford United and cored 77 goals.


Ledbury Road