Any Other Business


Well, a fifth of the season gone and Pools are still in the playoff zone. Happy days indeed.

It was a great pity (for both him and Pools) that Tyler Burey had his hamstring injury, but that's an occupational hazard when you play as committedly as he does.

I'm amazed at how relatively few injuries Luke James has suffered despite his frequent contact with other players and the ground - he's lasted much longer than I expected. Still, Tyler is young and obviously determined so let's hope he comes back from this setback to enjoy the great career he seemed to be heading for, which obviously won't be with Pools.

Is it just me, but I'm finding this streaming lark all a bit confusing. After a few false starts and a Pools website that was less than inviting for newbies, I finally got into streaming last season, and would pay my tenner each week to watch some very basic live streaming and hear some amateurish, quaint, and sometimes very irritating commentary from up and down the country. My favourite was King's Lynn, where the 'expert summarizer' was the club chairman, who had to explain the monkey legend to the commentator!

I won't criticise too much though because the clubs fell into streaming in order to generate income and avoid refunding season tickets, given that fans couldn't attend for almost the entire season. They did well to set it all up from scratch and I, and probably many other fans, was grateful to watch most of the second half of the season live which, for someone hundreds of miles from the Vic, was a Godsend.

Like I said, it's probably unfair to criticise clubs that are learning as they go, but I quickly found that Pools' own commentary was the most irritating of the lot and I soon worked out that I could combine the BBC Radio Tees live commentary by Rob Lowe and the excellent Eddie Kyle with Pools' pictures, even though synchronising the two was a bit of a pain.

But now with Pools having moved up from the ramshackle National League, I'm finding that things have gone backwards. Last season I could listen to two commentaries for free. The first few live streams from the Vic this season used Rob and Eddie's fine BBC Tees commentary and all was right with the world. But now Pools have reverted to the DIY approach, charge you £2.50 for the privilege of having your ears assaulted, and the BBC commentary isn't available online any more.

For the last few games there hasn't been any live stream, and the next few are very random with some being televised and others not, both home and away. No doubt there are good reasons for all this but I'm sure that, as the Premiership big boys have known for years and as we at the Bizz found out when, due to postponement we had to launch a printed edition at Barnet - and almost sold out - the exile market can be lucrative.

So for us Poolie exiles, for whom going to the Vic is difficult even without a fuel crisis, having got used to an acceptable if not good service last season makes the current situation seem worse.

We've already sadly had a glut of obituaries for the four ex-Pools players and staff who passed away in September, but we shouldn't forget the two England stalwarts of the 1960s who we also lost last month: Jimmy Greaves and Roger Hunt.

They were close contemporaries, born only 19 months apart, were both in the 1966 World Cup winning squad, and both were free-scoring strikers. Jimmy played mainly for Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham, scoring 382 goals in 579 matches, averaging 0.66 goals per game while Roger scored 272 in 486 for Liverpool and later Bolton, averaging 0.56 per game.

They had different but complementary styles with Greaves being a goal-poacher and Hunt more of a workhorse and both set many records and won many trophies. They'll neither be forgotten. After retirement, Roger went into his family's transport business while Jimmy went into television punditry, ironically working as a duo with Roger's former Liverpool strike partner, Ian St. John.

We have no idea where Wallace and Gromit found this notice but in fact it's more interesting that we don't know.

Were Pools acting as priests during the Second World War?

As fit young men were they testing lifejackets for the Royal Navy?

The possibilities are endless. And if all else fails I suppose we could ask.

And finally, the attendances at last weekend's games have provoked comment but I'm not sure what they prove, other than that the upstart clubs don't have big fanbases and Scunthorpe aren't doing very well at the moment after having narrowly avoided relegation last season.

The huge gap between Pools' 5,194 and Sutton's 2,873 is amazing though.

Attendances in League Two, September 25, 2021
8,436 - Swindon
5,434 - Walsall
5,252 - Leyton Orient
5,234 - Rochdale
5,194 - Hartlepool
2,873 - Sutton
2,513 - Scunthorpe
2,435 - Crawley
2,427 - Barrow
2,356 - Forest Green
2,037 - Salford
1,667 - Harrogate

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