Where were you last week?

The sale of season tickets for the upcoming 2019/2020  Motorama National League North campaign at Edgar Street has been underway for three weeks. But what if you do not take advantage of the “early-bird” offers, or are not even sure whether you will watch Hereford every time.

Down the years there have been some fantastic excuses for not attending a match at Edgar Street for one reason or another. Here at Talking Bull we’ve cast our eye back over some of the finest…

Where were you last week?

By Simon Wright

Let’s accept lots of people are no longer attending games for obvious reasons. I’ve heard them, I have some sympathy. The reasons are repeated so often they have become so familiar, and they lack interest and originality. But it wasn’t always this way.

In years gone by, our faithful, already hardened to defeats for a club lacking a utensil for bladder relief, had unusual, off-beat excuses for missing Edgar Street. For many years, I thought Mark Home’s calm explanation “I had to get a new fish tank” was unbeatable for its simplicity and its bizarre nature.

Mark of B Block (always the happening Block at the Street) probably regretted that line for he was to be reminded of it endlessly for years to come. Early exits or “nose-powdering” exercises drew comments around the infamous fish tank. “Another new tank, Mark?” or “Checking your tank, Mark?”  I shared the line widely through the fanzine network to universal amusement.

Surprisingly, I’ve recently heard other lines, wonderful lines sadly rarely attached to an actual supporter. Maybe that’s fortunate. A casual enquiry when on fanzine selling duty brought an alarming “I had to attend Crown Court.”  No surprise for followers of certain bigger clubs but at little ol’ Hereford?  There was nothing I could comfortably say after that, so I refrained from further comment.

Another never-to-be-forgotten one-liner popped up on social media. “I bashed both my knees on a wheelbarrow and couldn’t walk.”  I so badly wanted to know more but reply to my intrigued enquiries was there none. An agricultural injury to be sure yet an incomprehensible one. Just how? Such was my interest I tried walking into my own wheelbarrow from different angles. (I know, I know, too much time on my hands).  I ultimately concluded that the person could only have rammed his knees forcibly against the wheelbarrow handles. No other angle made any sense.

And finally, two heavily related phrases only surely to be uttered in agricultural areas.  At Wembley, I politely asked two strangers in the next seats whether they were regulars at the Street. “No”, said one. “I normally have to milk my cows at 3pm.” This was a sharp reminder to me after 40 years of Black Country residence that yes milk didn’t ultimately come from supermarkets and that is what real people did in the Shire.

My chums, who’d travelled down from the Potteries, were fascinated and I guess we all needed detailed distraction in the second half. The bovine assertion was recently repeated on Radio Hereford FC (thanks to that nice Mr Williams for the reminder) when a special guest admitted “I normally have to milk 75 Friesians at 3.30 every Saturday.”

That is my Hereford. So many of its residents are obliged to spend their Saturday afternoon in the close quarters of a cow’s backside. They don’t have these stay-away concerns in the Premier League…

This article first appeared in Talking Bull, Issue 114. Don’t forget you can take out an 8-issue subscription via our on-line store;

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