Matt Healey continues the series.

Steve Guinan was born in Birmingham on Christmas Eve 1975. He was signed by Brian Clough as a professional at Nottingham Forest after a successful spell as a youth team player.

During his time at the City Ground he was loaned out to gain first team experience and this included spells at Darlington, Burnley and Halifax Town.

He left Forest in 1999 and joined Plymouth Argyle. After a short spell at Shrewsbury Town Guinan became a Hereford United player in 2002.

The Hereford squad was massively overhauled during the 2002/2003 season. Only 6 players remained from the previous campaign where Hereford had finished a disappointing 17th. Graham Turner had appointed Richard O’Kelly as his assistant, and with a huge change of the playing squad it was a fresh era at Edgar Street.

Guinan opened his Hereford account by opening the scoring during a 3-0 win at Nuneaton on the 31st August 2002, the goals then flowed and this included a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Barnet in December 2002.

Guinan ended the 2002/2003 as top scorer with 14 league goals as Hereford finished 6th. He then re-signed for the club for the 2003/2004 on a one year deal.

The 2003/2004 saw Hereford amass 91 points and score 103 goals. Guinan top scored with 29 goals. This included a hat trick against Halifax Town.

A couple against Dagenham and Redbridge in a 9-0 demolition live on Sky Sports.

Hereford had gone on a fantastic 11 match winning run, but missed out on automatic promotion but just one point. The team had scored 103 goals in 42 games and achieved 91 points. Chester City had pipped them to automatic promotion.

It meant that Hereford would face Aldershot Town over two legs. The Bulls had finished 21 points ahead of the Shots, and had beaten them twice in the league.

What happened was brutal. Hereford drew 1-1 at Aldershot in the 1st leg, and many thought that Hereford would finish the job at Edgar Street.

Guinan told us “I had so many good memories of that season. I scored so many goals, it was such a travesty we didn’t go up. The Aldershot play off defeat was hard to take” Hereford had been defeated 4-2 on penalties in the 2nd leg at Edgar Street after the game had finished 0-0 after extra time.

Referee Andy Woolmer had controversially sent off Hereford player Andy Tretton midway through the 1st half, and the Bulls had to play around 100 minutes with just 10 men. Being knocked out on penalties was a horrible ending to what had been a fantastic season.

Guinan then turned down a new deal at Edgar Street and joined Football League Cheltenham Town, he spent three seasons at Whaddon Road, and scored the winner at the Millennium Stadium in 2006 to secure the Robins promotion to League One in the Play Off final against Grimsby.

He returned to Hereford in January 2007 initially on loan. He made a great start by scoring two against Notts County. His former colleague Ben Smith had also come back to Edgar Street, and the atmosphere was electric that afternoon. The loan spell was profitable with 7 goals in 15 games, which also include a hat trick at Lincoln City in a 4-1 win.

Guinan then was snapped up permanently in the summer of 2007 on a two year deal.

Despite not being as prolific this time around. Guinan provided support to Theo Robinson and Trevor Benjamin, and had scored three goals by early October 2007.

An injury forced him out for three months of the season, but he was back in the squad by the end of April 2008 as Hereford secured promotion to League One.

Against the odds Hereford had won automatic promotion despite being favourites by some bookmakers to be relegated. Promotion was a brilliant feeling, and Hereford would play in the 3rd tier of English football for the first time since the 1970’s,

Not securing the permanent signing of on loan Gary Hooper, and losing Goalkeeper Wayne Brown to Bury had already crippled the club on the pitch before the season had begun, and sadly Hereford struggled in League One finishing bottom.

Guinan top scored with 15 goals “Beating Leeds United was brilliant, and we played Leicester City that season” Guinan scored a 1st half hat trick in a 5-0 win over Oldham on the 17th January 2009.

Guinan had signed for Graham Turner at Hereford on three occasions, and as you would expect he heaped praise on his former boss

“I enjoyed it with GT, I had my most productive spell scoring goals with him, by hook or by crook he got the best out of me, he simplified everything, gave easy instructions to us all. It was such a shame that a team that competed in League One in 2009 had sunk so far away in 2014”

John Trewick had replaced Graham Turner as manager in the spring of 2009, and Guinan left Edgar Street to join Northampton Town. Spells at Kidderminster Harriers and Forest Green followed.

He was back at Edgar Street in May 2019 for the Rob Purdie testimonial, and currently works for the FA.

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