Halifax and Hartlepool


Here’s a timely bit of nostalgia, given that we'll be playing each other the day after this is published.

I made another visit to the damp and cold attic, and stacked behind some Hawkwind rarities, old analogue synths and things - I don’t even know what they are - were some old Pools programmes.

This one is from the 1960/61 season, First round of the FA Cup. Halifax, then in the old 3rd Division, slaughtered us 5-1 in front of 6,402 spectators, our second 5-1 defeat in 3 games, having lost at Gillingham a few weeks earlier.

Needless to say I don’t remember anything of it but thanks to Gordon Small’s wonderful ‘The Definitive Hartlepool United F.C.’ I’ve assembled some details.

Team changes from the programme were: Norman Oakley in goal, Kenny Johnson and Doug Cooper swapped numbers and Cooper scored our goal.

Clive Bircham, the only Pools player named but not given a pen picture, was born in the North-East, as were all his team-mates that day. He played 112 games for Pools, scoring 16 goals, and he died last June, aged 80.

And as he mentioned, Halifax's manager Harry Hooper had previously, as a full-back, played 66 games for Pools between 1947 and 1950, scoring 4 goals.

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