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24 September 2014
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Walkers Stadium pitch
Final venue: The Walkers Stadium

Turner ready for final push

By Sports Editor, Trevor Owens
Hereford United Manager Graham Turner would regard victory against Halifax Town as being the completion of a nine-year mission to return United to the Football League.

United fans will not need reminding that the man they know as "GT" was in charge on the fateful day in 1997 when United failed to beat Brighton and Hove Albion in the final match of the league season, and so slipped out of the footballing elite.

Graham Turner admitted to BBC Hereford and Worcester that victory over Halifax Town at Leicester City's Walkers Stadium would be the fulfillment of a burning ambition:

"There's been a lot of recollections of that day against Brighton and it does bring back unhappy memories.

Hereford United players in training
United training at Holme Lacey House

"It was an horrendous night as far as the club was concerned but it would restore a lot of pride to supporters.

"They need something to get their teeth into again; we've had a good following through the Conference days and they need the benefit of the Football League."

Since relegation in 1997, Graham Turner and Hereford United have been through the complete range of experiences; from the brink of financial ruin, to the heartbreak of play-off semi-final defeats, right through to the delight following last week's dramatic extra time win over Morecambe.

Only after taking on the Chairmanship of the club did Graham Turner and the other members of his fledgling board begin to fully appreciate the extent of the financial problems facing them.

The majority of us will never know just how close United came to going out of business and while it's clearly been very tough, they have slowly turned things round.

The United Manager still prefers to be known as that; the Manager, rather than the Chairman, a role he has in the past described as being a "necessary evil".

That can all be set aside for this week; a week in which thousands of people across Herefordshire and far beyond are focusing their attention on cheering the Bulls back to the Football League.

While you sense he doesn't want to overplay this element of Saturday's events, there's no doubt that it is important to Graham Turner's professional pride that United win the match against Halifax.

"There's been a lot of recollections of that day against Brighton and it does bring back unhappy memories. "
Hereford United Manager, Graham Turner

"For me, personally; it's been a long time getting back there.

"I just feel we've got to do it now and it will restore some of my pride."

Were they to beat Halifax Town few would deny Graham Turner the right to lead United back to the big time, given the enormous obstacles that have been in his way over the past nine years.

BBC Hereford and Worcester will bring you all the build up and then full match commentary on the match this Saturday evening.  

Trevor Owens and Terry Goodwin will describe the action, while Malcolm Boyden will mingle with supporters outside the ground ahead of kick off with coverage from Leicester's Walkers Stadium beginning from 1400 this Saturday afternoon.

last updated: 17/05/06
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