Here at Talking Bull we are continuing to build up our career archive which details former players, managers and coaches of Hereford United and Hereford FC. In this article we take a look back at one of the most loyal, determined and committed ambassadors ever to grace Edgar Street.
Peter gave outstanding service to the club in both triumph and disaster, having experienced the joys of promotion, the agony of relegation, and the humiliation of re-election during his three decades at Edgar Street.
Born at Pontypridd in South Wales on 16 May 1935, was actually christened William Henry Isaac, but became universally known as Peter.
During his younger days he was a useful boxer and an above average rugby player, but decided on a career in football when selected to play for Wales against England in a youth international at Fratton Park.
Peter joined Stoke City in March 1953, but was soon called up for his National Service with the Royal Horse Guards, and during his days in the army he won representative honours with the Northern Command. He re-joined Stoke on his return but did not play in the first team and came back to Wales joining Barry Town.
His performances at Jenner Park caught the eye of several Football League clubs and in July 1958 he signed for Northampton Town, and although he was unable to force his way into the side on a regular basis featured 8 times for the Cobblers that season.
In the summer of 1960 the then Hereford manager Joe Wade persuaded Peter to sign for the Bulls and in the next eight years he made a total of 353 appearances for the club, including 258 Southern League games. His most notable performances arose against higher-graded opposition in the FA Cup. Peter was outstanding in the Bulls 1-0 FA Cup win over Third Division leaders Millwall, and in an earlier 1-1 away draw with Bristol City in the same competition. He also played in both legs of the Welsh Cup Final against Cardiff City in 1968.
The match at Ninian Park in May 1968 turned out to be his last appearance for the Bulls before a move to Worcester City. Peter spent twelve months at St George’s Lane before linking up with Kidderminster Harriers.
However, Peter returned to Edgar Street as trainer in July 1970 becoming John Charles’ right hand man, and when Hereford were elected to the Football League two years later he became a full-time member of the staff.
He completed over 30 seasons at Edgar Street as player, coach, physiotherapist, trainer and caretaker-manager. Indeed, that included over 23 consecutive years as one of the clubs backroom boys. He served with thirteen managers; Joe Wade, Ray Daniel, Bob Dennison, John Charles, Colin Addison, John Sillett, Tony Ford, Mike Bailey, Frank Lord, Tommy Hughes, John Newman, Ian Bowyer and Greg Downs.
Peter was a popular figure at Edgar Street and always had a word or two with the travelling supporters on away days. Club Chairman Peter Hill made the following tribute on the occasion of a benefit match against Manchester United in 1992.
“Peter Isaac had a unique record of service to Hereford in particular, and football in general. There are few people in the country from the Premier League to Sunday soccer who could equal the years of dedication he gave to the game over three decades. When he first joined the club in 1960 I was already a diehard supporter, and used to watch the clubs Southern League games from the Edgar Street terraces with my father. I remember the rivalry Peter had with Gerry Sewell to establish himself as the clubs first choice goalkeeper. I cannot speak too highly of what Peter did over the years to enhance our reputation.
“He was willing to turn his hand to anything to help the club and always displayed loyalty, determination, dedication and sportsmanship. He was a wonderful ambassador and well deserved the tribute of the benefit match against Manchester United which marked 30 years of outstanding service”.
Peter is a frequent visitor to Edgar Street to this very day, and remains very supportive of the club – a true Hereford legend.