Hereford United FA Cup hero Ronnie Radford visits housing development named in his honour
Ronnie Radford pictured at Keepmoat's latest development in Hereford
A housing development being built as part of a £30m regeneration scheme in Hereford, is to be named Radford Gardens in recognition of the achievements of one of the city’s most famous sporting heroes.
Keepmoat and Herefordshire Housing have announced that as part of their plans to breathe new life into The Oval by building 259 high-quality new homes they will name the development after Hereford United’s FA Cup hero Ronnie Radford.
Ronnie was part of the Hereford United side that was responsible for arguably the biggest ever giant-killing in FA Cup history when the non-league outfit knocked Newcastle United out of the tournament after a thrilling 2-1 win at Edgar Street.
Former Hereford midfielder Ronnie, now 70, earned his place in FA Cup folklore when he sparked a pitch invasion by scoring a 30-yard thunderbolt for the part-timers in the 85th minute of the game against Newcastle. After Ronnie’s late equaliser Hereford won the game in extra time thanks to a winner by Ricky George.
The achievement has meant that since 2011 the team judged to have performed the biggest FA Cup giant-killing act each year has been honoured with the FA Ronnie Radford Award. Ronnie, will again present the FA Ronnie Radford Award to the winning team at the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday, May 17.
Ronnie, who now lives in Wakefield in Yorkshire came to visit Radford Gardens, the marketing name for the new development, as the scheme marked a major milestone with the opening of its sales centre. The former footballer, who balanced his career while working part-time as a joiner, also took time to inspect some of the building work going on at the site.
Radford Gardens, in the south of the city will see the creation of 129 high-quality homes for private sale by Keepmoat, which will help fund the construction of 130 new homes for rent to be managed by Herefordshire Housing, as part of the biggest regeneration project in the West Midlands.
The partnership aims to create a high-quality mixed tenure housing development
Ronnie, who was paid just £25 a week as a Hereford United player, said: “This is a tremendous honour. It’s truly unbelievable.
“When I was interviewed after the game and someone asked me whether that goal would change my life, I said: ‘no’. I was mistaken though. That goal has led to some amazing celebrations and anniversaries over the years. I feel like I have been blessed. I never stop being asked about it and I can never stop thinking about it.
“The people of Hereford love their football and it’s nice that that magical period in Hereford United’s history will be remembered in this way. The win over Newcastle is something that Hereford people are very proud of and it’s nice that Radford Gardens will serve as a reminder of that.”
Paul Degg, new build managing director for Keepmoat in the Midlands, said: “Building hundreds of high-quality new homes will help breathe new life into The Oval and regenerate this part of the Newton Farm area of Hereford. The plan for Radford Gardens is to bring highly aspirational and affordable new homes to Hereford which will help families to get on the housing ladder.
“We launched a competition for local residents to come up with the marketing name for this development and Ronnie Radford’s name kept cropping up.
“By naming this development Radford Gardens we pay homage to Ronnie and hope we can help his achievement to live on.”
“Ronnie’s goal against Newcastle is not only one of the most iconic moments in Hereford United’s history it is also one of the most memorable FA Cup moments ever.
Paula Kennedy, Executive Director at Herefordshire Housing said: “As the largest Social Landlord in the county, we are always looking for ways to increase housing choice and opportunities for Herefordshire residents and we are working hard with our partners to deliver for the diverse communities we serve. Ronnie inspired a generation with his goal and we hope the transformation of the Oval will inspire the local community and beyond.”