January 06, 2017

Cornish Poolie

Cornish Poolie


A first article from TO THE HARTLEPOOL 2-0




I am Cornish born, and aged 12, in October, 1965, my family moved to Peterlee, County Durham. (Please tell me what I did in a previous life?) So, on Saturday 23rd October, 1965, my late dad took me to see Pools play Barnsley, in a Division Four league match. My first Pools game and they lost 1-2. Harrison scored, Amby Forgarty was sent off and the crowd was 4,194. Dad and I stood on a very muddy broken Mill House Terrace. This was five years before the stand would be built. 

Pools games usually kicked off early on account of their not having floodlights either.
"These are the people who pay your wages and you should remember how privileged you are to be playing football for a living"

I was bullied at Acre Rigg Secondary Modern School in Peterlee for, amongst other things, my instant love and allegiance to my nearest home town team Hartlepools United FC.

I recall Pools beating Bradford City 1-0 in a league match on a blustery cold Friday night of 27th October 1967, with a goal late on up at the Rink End. It was a header by either Jimmy Mulvaney or Ernie Phythian. By a quirk of fate, a new boy from Bradford joined our class the following Monday and he got in with the bullying and you would have thought the many so-called Mackems in the school would side with me seeing that Pools were their nearest league team? No, they sided with this BCFC fan. These were Mackems who had probably never even seen the inside of Roker Park.

My late dad worked at Siemens, AEI and GEC Telecommunications and recalled first hand to me the day that the late, great Brian Clough visited the factory with the Pools players and told them "These are the people who pay your wages and you should remember how privileged you are to be playing football for a living".

I remember going home on the bus from matches and Brian Drysdale, a Pools full back from Wingate, would be on the bus, and posters advertising Pools' home matches were regular features on the colliery villages' walls.

My connection with Hartlepool seemed fated as I worked at The British Steel Corporation South Works and also attended The College of Further Education. Chuck in fishing off Middleton Pier and The Heugh, being burnt stupid on The Fish Sands and acting stupid after drink down the various pubs and clubs in Church Street and surrounding roads. Happy days.

I read now that Darlo have resurrected their old Tin Shed. I hope somebody had the good (?) sense to keep in storage our old wooden Clarence Road post-Zeppelin stand!

And now let's go on an unbeaten January 2017 run all the way to the end of the season.