Ronnie Radford, FA Cup legend best known for his iconic goal for Hereford United against Newcastle in 1972, has died at the age of 79.
Radford, who has also played for Leeds United, Cheltenham Town, and Newport County, will go down in FA Cup history for his incredible long-range strike against the Magpies, which helped secure a 2-1 victory.
His death was confirmed by his former club Hereford, who issued a statement on their official website.
‘We are heartbroken to learn of Ronnie’s death and wish to express our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time,’ it said.
‘Ronnie is not just a part of Hereford United folklore, he is a part of football history and has kept Hereford on the football map since 1972.
‘His mild manner, and friendly and modest approach to life epitomised the man he was and he was always delighted to visit Edgar Street, to meet up with past teammates and watch the present day team in action.
‘We will always keep Ronnie close to our hearts at Edgar Street, not just at FA Cup moments, but forever and celebrate him and his huge role in propelling Hereford United to the forefront of the nations attention with that goal and being part of that team.
‘We will carry your spirit onwards. Rest in peace Ronnie.’
Radford began his career at Sheffield Wednesday in 1961 as a journeyman, later joining Leeds and Cheltenham before playing for Rugby Town, Newport and Hereford, where he etched his name into history.
Radford had latched onto a flick-on during a third-round replay against Newcastle at Edgar Street stadium, Hereford’s home, before hammering a first-time thunderbolt into the roof of the net, flying past keeper Willie McFaul.
Legendary football commentator John Motson’s words have since become synonymous with the goal.
“Oh, what a goal! What a goal!’ He cried. ‘Radford the scorer… and the crowd are invading the pitch.’
That sensational strike sparked a frenzy inside the stadium as fans swarmed onto the pitch before extra time was played. Hereford went on to secure a famous victory as substitute Ricky George secured the winner – which sparked yet another pitch invasion in the most memorable moment of the club’s history.