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Hartlepool

Ground: Victoria Park

Visits: 1

Date: 5th April 2010

Match: Hartlepool - Brighton  2-0  (CC League 1)

Attendance: 3 466

 

The reason I decided to stay in Newcastle for three nights during Easter was the possibility to go to a Sunderland as well as a Newcastle home game within three days. With no Premiership matches on Easter Monday I knew there was a chance of the Newcastle game being moved to a late kick-off time and being shown live on TV. When Sky announced Newcastle vs Sheffield U was indeed a 7.45 pm kick-off I was very pleased. The reason was that Hartlepool were playing Brighton at Victoria Park at 3pm meaning I could now do my first "double header" in England. Hartlepool is situated just south of Sunderland and the train from Newcastle only took some 45 minutes. What is Hartlepool famous for then? Probably because of the story about the monkey and in recent years their new mayor. In 2002 the mascot of Hartlepool United, H'angus the Monkey (aka Stuart Drummond), was elected mayor of Hartlepool. His vote-winning slogan was "Free bananas for schoolchildren" and the job landed him a nice £53 000 a year. Not bad! The name H'Angus the Monkey refers to the (according to local folklore) hanging of a monkey during the Napoleonic Wars. A French ship was wrecked off the Hartlepool coast and the only survivor was the ship's pet monkey dressed to amuse in a military style uniform. The fishermen apparently questioned the monkey and held a beach-based trial. Unfamiliar with what a Frenchman looked like they came to the conclusion that this monkey was a French spy and should be sentenced to death by hanging. I don´t know whether this story is true or not but I still love it!

 

I bought a ticket in the terraced home end, although £18 was a bit steep. Paul, the Sunderland fan I met on Saturday, joined me in the home end shortly before kick-off and we could watch a boring first half ending 0-0. Hardly a shot on goal. As we were having a drink at half-time I suddenly heard a voice saying "Hello Per". When I looked up I could recognize a familiar face, Motherwell fan Andy who I met at Carlisle last year. He was doing the same double as me today. What can I say, it is a small world! The second half was much better and to the delight of the home fans Hartlepool managed to score twice to win the game 2-0. Victoria Park has a capacity of around 7 300 and there was only 3 500 to enjoy victory today. Because of Hartlepool being so close to Newcastle/Sunderland/Middlesbrough the attendances at Victoria Park rarely exceed 4000 which is a shame. Victoria Park is a proper football ground and well worth a visit. If I ever come to these parts again I wouldn't mind coming back.

 

hartlepool united

Hartlepool United

 

mosaic

Mosaic

 

executive entrance

Executive Entrance

 

hangus

H'Angus

 

brewery stand

Brewery Stand

 

rink end

Rink End

 

cyril knowles stand

Cyril Knowles Stand

 

brewery stand2

Brewery Stand

 

kick-off

Kick-off

 

rink end2

Rink End

 

spelbild

View of play

 

cyril knowles stand2

Cyril Knowles Stand

 

victoria park

View of Victoria Park

 

pano1

Pano

 

pano4

Pano