Well, that went well!

Talking Bull were delighted to be the official Hereford Football Club Match Sponsor on Saturday, and even more delighted as the Bulls ran out 1-0 victors over high-flying Chorley at Edgar Street. Indeed, we’re sure we heard a cry of… “Can you sponsor us every week” at the final whistle.

For those of you who we unable to make the match, or indeed missed out on a match programme, here is the article which was published on Saturday.

Fanzines or supporter written magazines are enjoying a national resurgence with more new titles springing up, especially for non-league clubs. There are five in our league alone though none can claim a lineage to match that of Hereford.  

Talking Bull fanzine is an Edgar Street institution, indeed far older than most of our current squad. Now in its 33rd year of publication, it has developed massively from its 8-page original. We are now the longest running publication in the West Midlands, possibly even the whole of the Midlands. Naturally such longevity requires extended commitment. Editorial reins are regularly handed over and the current editor is the fifth.

There is currently a choice of Hereford independent mag. formats four times per season. Either a paid for downloadable pdf or for those who naturally prefer the impact and solidity of paper, there is a limited print run. Both formats cost £3, which for a 48-page publication with virtually no advertising, compiled unpaid by veteran media operators, seems decent value to us. The pdf is available via our online shop Talkingbull.org and if print copies are available, you will have no trouble hearing about them. Next issue is out for the Chester game. Do bear in mind that all profits generated will be donated to Boost the Budget.

The pandemic forced the editorial team to operate in a different way. Times were tight and thus we opted for free online editions, asking for donations where possible. Our circulation increased five-fold and suddenly we had readers all over Eastern Europe and even further afield, who were now very aware of the efforts of Josh Gowling and Hereford FC supporters. New contributors appeared from everywhere and towards the end of the pandemic, we were churning out free 72-page monster editions. No other UK football fanzine produced 13 times during lockdown, an exhausting process for the editors. The frequency created so many tangible and intangible benefits for supporters and club alike. All donations raised and even Woking souvenirs bought by readers benefited Hereford FC. Happily, we have retained many of our pandemic readers, some of which support other clubs but so admire what we do. Our readers include both Chairmen and managers of other clubs.

There is much liberation in writing for an independent publication, a freedom to highlight and showcase areas of the football club that, let’s say, aren’t covered elsewhere. With that liberation also comes a responsibility to be as even-handed and considerate as possible. Talking Bull doesn’t go in for knee jerk reactions or mindless criticism and whilst lurid language isn’t totally banned, it is used very sparingly indeed. But critical? Oh yes! Every football club needs a critical friend though all too few recognise that need. It is to HFC’s credit that we generally rub along pretty well.

But there are unique memories, genuine insight, humour, research, off-beat angles, cartoons and so much more inside each issue of Talking Bull. New contributors are always welcome via editor@talkingbull.org

Help us to help the football club by writing for or purchasing Talking Bull.

Simon Wright

By Editor

Lifelong Hereford supporter who has endured the rise and fall of the club through progressive generations. Sports journalist, broadcaster and commentator who will never forget his Edgar Street roots.

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