Matt Healey continues the series.
John Trewick began his career at West Bromwich Albion and made nearly 100 league appearances for the club in the late 1970s. He also made six UEFA Cup appearances during the 1978-79 season, scoring once against Galatasaray .
He moved to Newcastle United in 1980 for £250,000, which was a club record fee at the time for the Magpies. His time at Newcastle was somewhat marred by injury, although he enjoyed a successful loan spell at Oxford United, later joining on a free transfer in 1984. Trewick played in every league game for Oxford during 1984-85. The following season he was part of the team that won the League Cup, then known as the Milk Cup.
He later played for Birmingham City and non-league Bromsgrove Rovers, during the 1989–90 season he returned briefly to the Football League with Hartlepool United. After ending his playing career in non-league football with Gateshead, he moved into coaching. He coached at West Bromwich Albion from 1993, moving to Derby County in 2001. After leaving Derby, he worked as a coach educator and had a short spell working at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the youth department before joining Hereford United in June 2004. .
Hereford had suffered heartbreak the previous season by being knocked out of the playoffs by Aldershot Town. Several players had left the club to play in the Football League and it was a traumatic time for the club’s supporters who were concerned that the best chance for promotion had slipped away.
I asked Trewick what brought him to Edgar Street.
“I was working at Wolves before coming to Hereford. I spoke to Richard O’Kelly (who was leaving Hereford to become Sean O’Driscoll’s assistant at Bournemouth) and he told me there was an opening and asked if he would be interested. I wanted to work with first-team players again, so I met Graham Turner and from there I agreed to join the club.”
With the high turnover of players, was it about getting everyone up again?
“Not really, I knew it would be a bit different with the high turnover, we had lost five or six of the best players and at that level players are always picked up by other clubs, they tend to move up a league or more. two and they offered me better money elsewhere, so the challenge was there and I was enjoying it, the club was on the rise.”
One of the new signings that summer was the late Adam Stansfield, top scorer of the 2004/2005 season. “Adam was a fantastic man and a fine striker, he made an excellent contribution to the club and it was very sad that he died at a young age. However, his son Jay carries on his legacy and it’s great to see him scoring for Exeter yesterday. ”
Hereford would finish the 2004/2005 season again in second place. It would be heartbreaking again in the playoffs this time for Stevenage, who defeated The Bulls 2-1 on aggregate over the two legs.
The following season, the club would retain most of the players, apart from left-back Mark Robinson who left for Stockport County, and additional experience was added to the squad with the likes of Guy Ipoua, Alex Jeannin, Jon Brady and Stacy. Caldicott.
I asked Trewick how important those players were.
“You need a balance between youth and experience in any league, it was promotion we were looking for, in the end it proved it would be the right decision as we beat Halifax 3-2 on that fantastic day in Leicester.”
On the third question, Hereford would win promotion via the Play Offs. I asked Trewick his memories of the final.
“The thing I remember most is Ryan Green’s game-winner, the game was a close game that could have gone either way, but we won it with a real quality moment in extra time”
After a nine-year absence, Hereford returned to the Football League and would beat Stockport County 2-0 in the first game of the season. Hereford established themselves in League Two, finishing the campaign in 16th position.
“It was always going to be difficult after almost ten years out of the Football League, I remember it going quite well, the first half of the season was better than the last part, but looking back we did reasonably well against bigger and better clubs. . ”
Despite being relegation favourites, Hereford would win promotion to League One during the 2007/2008 season. In a season filled with happy memories, the club signed former Premier Leaguers Trevor Benjamin and Clint Easton, and peppered with top-quality loans from higher-tier teams, the formula worked like a charm. Two of these loan signings were from Watford. Theo Robinson and Toumani Diagouraga.
“They were vital to what we were looking to achieve, we came up with a plan to get a significant number of loan signings at the club, we also bought the likes of Lee Collins, Robbie Threlfall, Sherjill MacDonald and Gary Hooper. It worked perfectly. We also signed Lionel Ainsworth from Derby County who was fantastic and then they sold him to Watford for a lot of money, but part of the deal meant we could also keep Robinson and Diagouraga until the end of the season, everyone in the team gave 100% That team and the success we had will remain in my memory for a long time.”
Hereford were now in the prime position of League One and on the same footballing level as Leeds United, Leicester City, Brighton and Huddersfield Town, but would sadly end the season in bottom place.
I asked Trewick, with the benefit of hindsight, what would he have done differently?
“When a club gets to a level so fast it can be difficult, we tried to sign Gary Hooper permanently that summer, unfortunately he went to Scunthorpe, had we managed to sign him I think it would have turned out differently as he would have scored. we 20-25 goals and that would have been the difference”
Graham Turner stepped down as manager to focus on being chairman in the latter part of the League One season and Trewick was now in charge. I asked him how things have changed for him.
“Being the manager is different, although it didn’t change much, Graham (Turner) came into the boardroom because there were things he needed to resolve, I know at the time the club was in dispute with the police over the cost of surveillance. games and I think Graham felt that he needed to get away from the football side because he had so many things to do. So I decided to take on the role, it was an up and down season, we had been relegated from a higher league but had lost some of our best players, but when I left we were still about 10 points out of the relegation zone. ”
Trewick would leave the club amicably in March 2010 after a 2–0 home defeat to Macclesfield Town. Graham Turner returned to the bench and took charge for the remaining games. A couple of months later it became apparent that this was done to secure the club’s Football League status, as Turner, who had already completed fifteen seasons at the club, wanted to go out and sell. a Football League club is much more attractive than a National League team. Hereford United was later sold to local businessman David Keyte. Turner and Trewick later linked up at Shrewsbury Town and became the management couple there.
“I enjoyed the four years I had working with Graham (Turner) at Shrewsbury. Fitness trainer Tony Ford also joined us, we won promotion and it was a very well run club.”
Turner and Trewick left The New Meadow in early 2014 with the club struggling to reach the bottom of League One. The Hereford connection was still there as over the years they recruited the likes of Paul Parry, Darren Jones, Rob Purdie and Lionel Ainsworth.
About fifty miles up the A49, things had capitulated horribly as Hereford United would end the year in the Southern League and then be wiped out.
“It wasn’t pretty to see, especially after the success we had at Edgar Street, as soon as we left the club went into a downward spiral, but at least the club has reformed and it would be nice to see them back in football. League in the future
Is Trewick still involved in the game?
“I am retired now, my son has a business that I am involved in, football is no longer a part of my life. I spent over 40 years in the game, when my time at Shrewsbury ended I took a holiday and on reflection decided to spend more time with my family and have a business interest to keep me busy when necessary.
*Photos provided by Bulls News and Ellie Woolstenholmes