Isn’t it ironic?

RUNNING MONKEY on Danny Wilson and Ritchie Humphreys

An interesting snippet with a link to Hartlepool F.C. popped up on the footynet during January. Sir Ritchie of Humphreys who is still plying his trade at Chesterfield F.C. was asked to stand in for the man the club had just sacked as manager, none other than Danny Wilson, ex-Pools boss and former manager of Sir Ritchie.

As history shows, Wilson was a successful manager at Pools, taking up the reins of the club in 2006 after the Martin Scott/Steve Agnew debacle. Remember the SCOOTY OUT sign in the Millhouse stand that got a long-time Pools fan ushered out of the ground despite that being the feeling of most of the fans at the time. I believe there were some fisticuffs over this between management and players but that is a story for another day.

Wilson did well picking up a decent side and taking the team on an unbeaten run of twenty-nine games. Starting with a 2-1 win at Accrington Stanley, with a goal apiece for Effion Williams and Sir Ritchie. This was probably THE best side we have seen at the Vic in recent years. Names like Porter, Humphreys, Williams, Monkhouse, Brown, Liddle, Daly, Strachan, Clark, Robson, Sweeney, Duffy, Barker, Nelson, all in the stats pitching in with goals on that great run. How lucky were we back in the day? It seems so long ago now.

Danny Wilson never came across as a likeable bloke, but I suppose if you are successful you do not need to be popular with the fans. When you compare Wilson with the likes of Neale Cooper who was, and still is a fans favourite, it makes you wonder what it takes to be a success.

Turner was successful, or as I would say LUCKY to be in at the start of the IOR phase, which was probably the only time that a manager was given adequate funds to form a decent side. Odd also how our most prolific backers became so unpopular with some sections of the crowd at the end of their tenure.

Wilson’s record looked as if he was heading for bigger and better appointments and at the end of his run with Pools he was after a quick getaway, and was soon off to Swindle Town. Looking back on his record between his first job at Barnsley and his latest job at Chesterfield he only ever stayed a couple of seasons at any club.
"Danny Wilson never came across as a likeable bloke, but I suppose if you are successful you do not need to be popular with the fans"

The reason for this piece is to highlight the irony of how someone is always standing in the wings waiting for you to fall. In Wilson’s case I think it is so ironic that Sir Ritchie was waiting in the wings to step into Wilson’s shoes, albeit for only one game as they now have Tony Mowbray in charge of the team. Sir Ritchie’s managerial record reads: played one, won one, but it was the first win in six games for Chesterfield, which I consider a poke in the eye for Wilson.

I often think there must have been some history between these two from back in the day. Remember when Wilson came to the club and Ritchie was on a record run of games, becoming the first player to make two hundred consecutive league games for the club. Wilson stopped this great run at two hundred and thirty four games even though the team was doing well and Ritchie was playing his part.

Wilson, obviously in a fit of pique, sent Sir Ritchie out on loan to Port Vale. Sir Ritchie returned after seven games and went on to set Pools' all-time record of five hundred and forty four games. In twelve seasons at the club he picked up quite a few awards including two Player of the Year awards from fans, one Player of the Year award from his teammates, as well as the award for Player of the Century (2000s). He was also recognised at regional and national levels, being named on the PFA TEAM twice, and recognised as the North East League Player of the Year in 2006. He helped the club win promotion out of the fourth tier in 2002–03, and again in 2006–07.

SO Danny, he was a lot more than a bit player!