Where are they now?: Ronnie Radford

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The Independent Online
THE third round of the FA Cup is football's route to instant fame. Ronnie Radford's moment came on 5 February, 1972, when his 30-yard rocket out of the Edgar Street mud set up Southern League Hereford United's slaying of First Division Newcastle, in a much-postponed replay.

'I have a clip of the goal on video but it looked better from where I was standing,' Radford says. 'I played a one-two with Brian Owen and 'bang': it went straight as a die.' Hereford, watched by 15,000, won 2-1 after extra time.

Radford might have been part of another famous story. He had been a junior professional at Leeds, where glory beckoned some of his contemporaries. Fate took him instead to Cheltenham, on a free transfer. Gary Sprake, Paul Reaney, Terry Cooper and Norman Hunter were team-mates left behind.

'The move suited me. I'd wanted to be a joiner above all else and Cheltenham fixed me up with a job so I could develop my trade.' He remains a joiner today. He reached Hereford via Newport and stayed to celebrate their election to the Fourth Division. 'There was a tremendous spirit at the club. It was a great time and I was very fortunate to be part of it.'

After spells with Worcester and Bath, injury forced him to retire. He returned to Yorkshire, built a house in Wakefield and, now 50, lives there still with his wife Annie, whom he met at school. 'I'm very lucky. I enjoy what I do now and through football I have friends I would not otherwise have met, and a lot of memories.'

(Photograph omitted)

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