Following an extremely entertaining 2-2 draw at the Walks Stadium against King’s Lynn Town on Saturday, our eagerly-awaited first home game sees Darlington as the Bulls’ opponents. For many supporters it’ll be their first chance to see the new look Hereford FC.  Pretty much everything except the club badge has changed.

For our visitors, it’s basically 5 players in and 5 out and there is a valid argument that the incomers are not yet on a par with those leaving.  Departures include the brilliant when fit David Wheater who retired due to recurring injuries, Player of the Year Alex Purver has joined Scarborough and second top scorer Jack Lambert moved to Kiddy on a two-year deal.   Their best-known arrival is midfielder Tom Platts who is a long-term battle-scarred step 2 campaigner with either Alfreton or Boston.  One of the Windass family has arrived in loan from Oldham so make up your own schoolboy pun.

The big news is that the Quakers have retained their top scorer Jacob Hazell, one of just 3 from the top 14 NLN scorers from last term still be playing at our level.  Darlo had wisely ensured he had an extra year on his contract which was surely key to his retention.

The Quakers manager Alun Armstrong is among the League’s long stayers as he joined in May 2019.  I believe he is contracted until 2025.  We used to admire the fact that Alun once scored in the UEFA Cup for Ipswich but these days when our own assistant manager can talk about his hat trick in the Europa League, we’re no longer quite so awe-inspired.  Alun has two sons in the game, one plays for Harrogate while the other one was apparently released by his dad from Darlo.  Bet that was an awkward conversation.

Darlo fans are renowned for their fundraising.  In 2022, their Boost the Budget scheme raised £136,000, vital when you consider that their last accounts showed a surplus of just over £100,000.   Without that income, they would have been in deficit and that’s difficult for a fan owned club.  Darlington made a statement that they believed their 22/23 budget was “mid-table” and their board sanctioned an extra £60,000 from their reserves to help reach the play-offs, which of course they didn’t.  You may recall their manager Alun Armstrong insisting that their budget was smaller than Hereford’s after they beat us 3-0 at their place.   I’ll park that for contemplation.

Meanwhile in May 2023, their Boost the Budget raised £161,000.  That’s probably a record for any club at our level.  That’s money they will need. The big talking point among visiting supporters is the clubs’ intention to move to a new stadium. Surprise, surprise there have already been delays in the early planning and the target is now the 25/26 season. The Darlo CEO believes it is possible to build a ground with an adjoining retail park which will generate sufficient revenue to cover the annual mortgage on the stadium.  It’s an interesting theory.  I don’t pretend to understand the economics but the neighbours, whatever site they choose, aren’t going to be happy.  A football ground is generally used once a fortnight but a retail park is used every day.

Darlington lost their opening game at home to 3-1 to Curzon Ashton.  That’s nothing new, just the 4th straight home defeat to the Nash.  More painful are the injuries to two key players – wide man Jarrett Rivers (pulled groin) and senior midfielder Adriano Moke. Time will tell whether they take the field at Edgar Street.

There’s a special reason to attend the Darlo game and that’s to pick up Talking Bull issue 139. IN PRINT  It’s our usual successful formula of 48 advert free pages. Just as a taster, we have an interview with the Gaffer, memories of a former Hereford united groundsman and alternative pen pictures for all our players. The print run is limited to ensure we don’t have unsold copies. Seven of the last 8 issues sold out of print.

Do look out for our handsome, debonair sellers flogging behind the main stand. Or if you can’t be there, visit the Talking Bull online shop to buy a pdf version or order a print copy by post. All profits will go to support our club. The first priority is to pay for our advertising board though there are several new club projects we are keen to back, we just need our fan base to keep buying copies.

You can buy match tickets early to gain a discount here: Darlington (

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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