Hereford Hero #31 – Terry Paine

Here at Talking Bull we continue to build up our career archive detailing former Hereford players, and in this article we take a look back at a terrific winger for Southampton and England who became a midfield tactician and player-coach at Edgar Street when the Bulls lifted the Third Division Championship. 

Hereford Hero.

TERRY PAINE.

As a teenager I could never understand why some Hereford supporters took a lot of persuading as to the merits of signing the former Southampton and England winger Terry Paine.

All I could see was a terrific player with amazing vision and ball control. Not to mention his passing accuracy and an uncanny ability to pick out striker Dixie McNeil – seemingly at will.

Terry was born at Winchester on 23rd March 1939 and joined Southampton from Winchester City in February 1957 where he became one of the finest wingers in the country.

In the following fourteen years with the Saints he was to make 713 Football League appearances, scoring 160 goals. Terry collected a Third Division Championship medal in the 1959-60 season with Southampton, prior to gaining the first of his 19 full international caps three years later, having already gained 4 caps for the England U-23 side, as well as representing Young England and the Football League XI.

His seven goals for England included a hat-trick against Northern Ireland in 1963 in the first ever game to be played under floodlights at Wembley Stadium. Jimmy Greaves scored the other four goals in an 8-3 victory for England who had lined up: Gordon Banks (Leicester City), Jimmy Armfield (Blackpool), Bobby Thompson (Wolves), Gordon Milne (Liverpool), Maurice Norman (Tottenham), Bobby Moore (West Ham), Terry Paine (Southampton), Jimmy Greaves (Tottenham), Bobby Smith (Tottenham), George Eastham (Arsenal), Bobby Charlton (Manchester United).

Terry was a key member of the Saints side that gained promotion from the Third Division, right through to the elite for the first time in their history in the 1965-66 season. When Paine was a youngster he was fast, tricky, elusive, well-balanced and already an excellent reader of the game. This linked to his excellent passing and crossing ability gained him a tremendous reputation within the game. However, he was one of the wingers ignored by Alf Ramsay in his pursuit of the World Cup in 1966, although he was in the England World Cup squad and played in the opening matches.

A class player even in the twilight of his career he was a great influence on the Hereford United side after joining the Bulls as player-coach on the 10th July 1974. The news came as a blow to Saints supporters as he had missed just one game the previous season and had not been transfer listed.

Terry was the architect of many of the passing movements that ended with goals from the Bulls strike-force of his day; Dixie McNeil, Steve Davey, John Galley and Eric Redrobe. Despite having lost his youthful pace he was a revelation at Edgar Street although he had to firstly overcome a sceptical Hereford public. Terry was particularly effective at dead ball situations and his tactical and coaching ability soon guided Hereford United to the Third Division Championship in the 1975-76 season.

He went on to break the highest number of Football League appearances record whilst at Edgar Street, eventually hanging up his boots after a total of 824 matches. It was towards the end of his time with Hereford that, in 1977, Paine was made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list in recognition of his service to the game of football.

Terry later played non-league football with Cheltenham Town whilst a publican at the White Horse Inn, near Stroud and later had a spell managing in Kuwait, before coaching in South Africa.

In 1989 he once again teamed up with John Sillett at Coventry City as reserve team coach, but returned to South Africa where he presents their equivalent of Match of the Day on television.

Frank Miles, the late Hereford chairman, paid this tribute to Terry Paine after he had made his 800th League appearance in a match against Peterborough United in October 1975.

‘Terry bubbles with enthusiasm and has become totally involved in the running of the club after arriving at Edgar Street.

‘He sets a wonderful example to not only youngsters but also to the experienced playing staff. I think Hereford supporters were slow to accept Terry when he first came to the club, but now appreciate what a gem he is in helping to encourage and mould our players into a side that will succeed in gaining promotion to the Second Division.

‘He has done so much to win our whole-hearted admiration and gratitude for a wonderful job.

‘Terry Paine is a footballer extraordinary, a man of unusual distinction.’

Overall, Terry chalked up 129 appearances for the Bulls in just three seasons, scoring 10 vital goals.

Later, Paine was drafted in as an ambassador for South Africa’s bid to host the 2006 FIFA World Cup. It was through this role that Terry was able to meet Nelson Mandela when FIFA’s inspectors visited the country.

In 2009, Paine was – at long last – awarded his winners’ medal for being part of England’s triumphant squad at the 1966 World Cup as until 1974, only the eleven players on the pitch at the end of a World Cup final would be given medals. However, ten years ago, FIFA agreed to retrospectively award medals to all squad members and staff. Paine, along with the likes of Jimmy Greaves and Norman Hunter, collected his medal from then Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a ceremony at 10 Downing Street in 2009.

In the last decade Southampton revealed record appearance-maker Terry Paine as their honorary president.

I last met the former player-coach in Hereford when he was promoting his autobiography ‘Constant Paine’ back in 2008, and he remains just as forthright, passionate and enthusiastic about football as he was during his playing days. His book is a terrific read, and highly recommended.

By Keith Hall

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