Ronnie Radford obituary

Footballer whose remarkable goal for Hereford United earned him an ecstatic reaction from fans and a part in FA Cup folkloreFew players from the lower reaches of English football ever make it into the national consciousness, let alone stay there for decades. Yet Ronnie Radford, who never played at any level higher than the old Fourth Division, did just that. Radford, who has died aged 79, earned his enduring fame on a muddy pitch at non-league Hereford United in February 1972 during a televised third round FA Cup replay match against First Division Newcastle.The tie seemed to be all over when the visitors went 1-0 up with 10 minutes to play. But shortly afterwards Radford won a sturdy tackle just inside the opposition half, played a long-range one-two with the winger Brian Owen and then unleashed a wondrous shot from 30 yards that rocketed into the top corner of the Newcastle goal. As Radford arced across the sodden surface with arms aloft, hundreds of youthful Hereford pitch invaders engulfed him in a scene of such delirious ecstasy that it has become as much a part of the folklore of the FA Cup as the white horse at Wembley or long-haired Charlie George lying on his back after scoring the winner in the 1971 final.

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