Don’s Discs #9: Battle Without Honor or Humanity

In this additional feature for Talking Bull we look back affectionately at some of the music that has been played at Edgar Street via the PA Box over the years.

Battle Without Honor or Humanity, by the Japanese Rock musician Tomoyasu Hotei, was first played by Matt Healey as background music immediately ahead of kick-off at Edgar Street during the terrific 2003/4 season in the Nationwide Conference. The track is best known after first being introduced to Western audiences in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Volume 1 and its soundtrack.

The movie hit the screens in October 2003, and the theme was first played over the tannoy at Hereford prior to an evening Nationwide Conference match against Halifax Town on 25th November. Graham Turner’s side had fallen to a disappointing 1-4 defeat at the hands of Shrewsbury Town at Gay Meadow on the previous Saturday, with the Bulls’ boss looking for a determined response. He certainly got one.

United scored seven goals in a league game for the first time since 1969 when the great John Charles netted four of them. On this occasion it was Ben Smith who was the star of the show.

However, it had not looked that way after just 75 seconds when Halifax netted. Craig Midgley crossed for Lewis Killeen to volley home.

Within eight minutes though Rob Purdie released Paul Parry down the let flank for the Bulls and his ball picked out Smith to drill home the equaliser. United dominated thereafter. Smith bagged his second after a Danny Williams effort was blocked in the 33rd minute, firing home from the edge of the box.

Steve Guinan netted his first just after the half-time interval after linking up with Smith before blasting home. The two combined again in the 55th minute with Guinan latching onto a Smith back-heel.

By now Hereford were rampant and Guinan secured his hat-trick, making it 5-1 after Williams found the ex-Nottingham Forest striker free at the far post. Purdie made it six with his first goal since August after a downward header from Guinan fell into the path of Purdie who ran through before scoring from the edge of the box.

Substitute David Brown then made it 7-1 in the 81st minute after spotting keeper Cartwright was off his line. A sublime chip bounced in off the underside of the cross-bar.

Hereford: Baker, Green, Rose, Pitman, Mkandawire, James, Williams, Smith, Guinan, Purdie, Parry. Substitutes: Brown, Craven and Teasdale.

Won 7-1.

The attendance for a Tuesday night game was the lowest of the season, just 1,875.

United moved into second place in the Conference table, and went on to finish the campaign just one point behind champions Chester. The “football with a smile” philosophy of Richard O’Kelly had transformed Hereford. The 103 goals equalled the Conference record. However, nightmare followed in the play-off’s. The Bulls lost 4-2 on penalties to Aldershot Town in a match most will recall for the extraordinary decision of referee Andy Woolmer to send defender Andy Tretton off after just 20 minutes.

Matt Healey has consistently played the ‘Kill Bill’ theme ever since.

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