This bit of nostalgia is a spoof Sunderland Football Echo which we printed as a sort of supplement (on pink paper, just like the original) in Bizz no. 68 of February 2004. It recorded Pools' great day out at the Stadium of Light the previous month.

IT WAS CERTAINLY A DAY TO REMEMBER, one to tell the grandchildren about. Our grandfathers told us about Manchester United in ‘S7 - well now it’s our turn.

The day began later than most away match days with Sunderland being even closer than Darlington, and the excitement was building as pubs and clubs throughout the area filled up with blue-and-white kitted fans soaking up the atmosphere and the alcohol before the short trip north. Many coaches had been organised to take them, most for the first time. to the Stadium ofLight. This game had really captured the imagination of the town. and with recently-promoted Pools having won their last away game, and recently-relegated Sunderland having injury problems, there was afeeling that Pools could get something from the game.

Quite a few who went had never even seen Pools play. and the odd few had never even been to a league match before. The trip up the A19 took its toll on many fans, especially when they were stuck in traffic as they neared the ground, with many electing to leave the coaches near the city centre for an impromptu comfort stop, fully prepared to then walk to the ground. The stadium itself was impressive for itself, but also for the seemingly endless crowds of fans heading towards it, in numbers that Pools can only dream of for Victoria Park.

As kickoff approached, the sound of the Poolie hordes singing carried outside and was truly impressive. Then the game got going and 9100 Poolies had a proud 90 minutes. In the end everybody won. Sunderland got through to the next round and also got a huge attendance from what for them was not an attractive tie. Hartlepool got an amazing travelling support and a huge cheque for around £200,000. And the 40,816 spectators enjoyed an absorbing tussle which stayed open right to the end, in which the underdogs were always a threat.
Bill the Biro

Magic and Mackems

POOLPOWER describes a great day for Pools - even though we lost

From the moment the ball was drawn out, away to the Mackems, I thought, we can win that game.

As the game got nearer the results were going our way, apart from the reverse at home to Barnsley, one that I had thought beforehand could end our record rtm of unbeaten games at home. But still a good record all the same - 27 unbeaten at home is a fantastic run at any level of football. Still I was very confident of going to the SOL and getting a result.

Once tickets went on sale it was obvious that we would go up the A19 mob-handed, with initially 12,500 tickets on offer. This was soon revised to 9200, either by police or the Mackems. I think it was the latter as they did not want 12 or 15,000 baying Hartlepool fans upsetting their stars.
"They truly deserved the standing ovation at the end of the game. How many other teams’ fans would have supported them in this way after a defeat?"

Requests for ticket infor- mation were coming thick and fast though tales of Mags fans coming in their hundreds to support the Pool against their deadly rivals were a bit extreme - although there were a lot of Mags who told me on the day that they had come to support the Pool.

Overall I think we added at least 12,500 to the gate with a lot of our fans going in the home turnstiles just to be able to see the game. It was a fantastic achievement for Hartlepool to be involved in the highest crowd of the FA Cup third round Saturday, also to set the record of the biggest away following to visit the SOL in its short history, beating clubs like ManUre and Villa. Shame that the Beeb didn’t appreciate our efforts and only showed about 16 seconds of the game on their “Mis-match of the Day”.

I was at the SOL from about twelve-thirty hoping to shift a few copies of MB and the rest of our merchandise that had been ordered. As I got out of the car I asked the attending Mackem stewards if I could sell my wares at the ground to the Pools fans initially. Afier three radioed messages the answer came back "that will be a negative". That is "No chance" in Mackem talk. I picked up my bag and set off towards the town hoping to catch the Poolie hordes as they walked across the vast car park. I noticed a stall selling Mackem gear and three stands trying to relieve the Pool fans of £2.50 for the privilege of buying a Mackem programme for the game (poor value with little content for the Poolies) I just ambled around there with a handful of Monkey Bizz copies on show. Shortly afler, two guys turned up selling blue and white jester hats at a fiver a go (£1 each at home) and Pools flags (£8.00 a go!). No one chased them away so I stood my ground and did OK.

Fans started to gather at the turnstiles and lots of them came asking for tickets for the away end, as some fans had read in the press that they could pay on the day, only to find out later that was not the case.

Once again a cock-up on tickets which is especially hard on the exiles that have little chance to come on a weekday and queue for tickets. Club’s or police’s fault, either way it is frustrating for those fans coming long distances to find they have not been able to join in with the Poolie throng.

Many settled for a seat in the home end to see our biggest game of the season, until we go to the Wendies again. We could easily have sold 15,000 and if SAFC had cleared their daft lads out of the lefi hand corner we could have filled the whole south end of the ground. As they only had 26,000 for their previous home game we certainly gave them a lift as a very high percentage were attracted by the Pool, as the following home game was back down to 25,000 again. Granted, season ticket holders get first shout but the free-for-all lefl a lot of genuine Pools fans without tickets. Surely with the database system Pools fans should not have had hassle to get tickets, especially exiles. Having said that it was good to see whole families coming to the game together and I hope some of them have caught the bug and will come back. It proved to IOR that if we get the big games the fans will come out and support us.
Earlier as I arrived at the ground I met the legend that is Joe Allon preparing to go and do his stint on Radio Borer. I said to him “Are we going to get a full commentary or two minutes?” His answer was that he did not know but urged all Pools fans to complain in numbers about the amount of airtime we get. The only trouble with that is there are more complainers at the Borer than there are at Pools. I later listened to the recording of Jo Jo at the game and he was awesome - he has that special relationship with Pools that gives him the edge when commenting on our games. That recording should be played before every game and at half time - the passion he showed was magic. Joe was kicking every ball and urging Tinks and Westy on - a far cry from the Allistair Brownlie guy at Borer who takes great delight in adding a foreign accent to his pronunciation of Gaizka Mendieta or Franc Quedrue, he sounds so artificial.

The Mackem fans as they made their way to the ground took great delight at laughing at the name of our mag, Monkey Business. At least they were taking notice of it. A lot of fans came over and bought one, telling me they had Hartlepool connections and a lot of these fans even said "I hope you win today; we are playing rubbish and not all are happy with the team or manager." Seems Mr. McCarthy has a job on his hands to convert the paying people of Sunderland.

One thing that was fantastic to see was the two mounted policewomen who told the crowd to move off the road as they were bringing another 17 coach loads of Pools fans to the ground, which was on top of the other 17 that had already been brought in. It was brilliant to see such great support.

On entering the stadium I was very impressed until I had to make my way to my seat. Ideal! Yes I was right behind the goal on the end of an aisle but Row 31 is a bloody long way from the pitch side. I got a good view of all of the play but seemed so distant from it all. At least at the Vic if you are shouting encouragement to some errant ref or linesman they can hear you. Give me the Vic any day.

Apart from a few Mackems on the left hand side of us their fans were quiet and we definitely out sung them. Apart from Poom playing out of his skin and the class of Arca we matched if not bettered them all except for one short period after they scored and credit must go to Pools for the fitness to carry the fight to them throughout the game. Fitter and hungrier and it was there for all to see. There was panic in their back four and on their bench as Pool played great attacking football only to be denied at the death. They truly deserved the standing ovation at the end of the game. How many other teams’ fans would have supported them in this way after a defeat?

Even afler the game a lot of Mackems gave us great praise for the way that we played and took the game to them. Pity McCarthy did not show the same respect, not one word of praise for the underdogs who came to the SOL and almost pulled it off. I will excuse him this time as he is probably in a state of shock afler being played off the park for seventy minutes and still going into the next round.


What others said

some further comments about the game

WELL, WHAT A DAY! What was all the fuss about? Sunderland did a giant killing. I was glad the day had arrived because being a Black Cat living in Blue Monkeyland isn't easy. "Who yer gonna support?" "I hope yer get tonked!" "Wait till we get yer back ’ere." Well they very nearly did and the Cats can consider themselves very fortunate in having "Joolio and Poomio", as well as a good portion of luck. But them Poolies, where did they come from? Nearly 10,000 shouting, chanting, cheering. In the end I was proud of them and hoped they would score and that was the feeling all around me from Sunderland supporters.
I suppose the only consolation if any were needed was that a good payday will boost the Pools funds. So good luck for the rest of the season Hartlepool, your supporters deserve it. Of course I can't win, I still get the comments on how lucky we were and that is absolutely right. But thanks for a good cup tie and a great day out.
Mackemfan The Beech Boy

JUST A WORD about the Sunderland v Hartlepool game. The visitors did all they could to prevent Sunderland from lowering the prices but with both sets of fans against them they lost out when the FA had to intervene. An attendance of over 40,000 showed that the money-grabbing 2nd Division club had it wrong.
Tony Scholes in the Footymad website's review of round three.

THE BIGGEST FA CUP SHOCK over the weekend wasn't at Crewe, but the attendances up and down the country.
The crowds were pretty awful nationwide and virtually every club was well down on what they would surely have expected. Many managers haven't taken the FA Cup as seriously as they might have done in recent years, but you now wonder if that approach is rubbing off on the fans as well.
That surprises me because what are you looking forward to at the start of every season? Being promoted, relegated or finishing mid-table in the League - and having a decent draw and run in the FA Cup.
It would not only be sad if the Cup is losing some of its appeal and romance with supporters, but also potentially deadly to the coffers of struggling clubs.
If the draw is unkind, a club might have to go all the way into the fifth or even sixth round before really cashing in.
Only at Sunderland at the weekend, where some 10,000 Hartlepool fans took to the road for an attractive local derby, did an attendance leap out at you for the right reasons.
The Stoke-on-Trent Sentinel's review of round three.

Fanzine to the rescue

HARTLEPOOL FANZINE Monkey Business came to the rescue of a Pools fan on one of the many pub coaches which streamed out of Hartlepool, all packed with Poolies and heading for Sunderland. As the coach was heading north up the A19, he had to take off his glasses to check some match tickets. As he did so, one of the screws came out of his glasses, and a lens fell on the floor of the coach. The lens was retrieved, but not the screw unfortunately, so he was resigned to watching the match with only one eye.

With no tools to hand, there was little alternative. Then several people, at the same time, remembered the bag of Monkey Businesses in the coach, intended for the edification of the good people of Sunderland (or even Hartlepool). Each copy contained two staples. A staple could perhaps be twisted through the screw hole and thus save the day. And that’s exactly What happened, and it worked fine.

The MB was then carefully moved to another pocket of the bag so that it wouldn’t get accidentally sold, it having only the one staple. Sadly, it had disappeared by the end of the afiemoon. So MB wishes to apologise to whoever bought it, but your sacrifice helped a Poolie in his hour of need!

A week later, one of the teeth that bent the staple into place developed a dental abscess, resulting in its owner missing the Peterborough match due to being at the dentist's, so we suggest you don't try this at home!

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