Hartlepool United Stories
(from the book when Saturday comes)
In 1916 a Zeppelin dropped bombs on the Victoria Ground, destroying the main stand. After the armistice Hartlepool petitioned Berlin for £2,500 compensation, but despite persistent requests the German government was unmoved. Further bomb damage to the stadium the next time hostilities broke out suggested a vendetta.
Hartlepool United made headlines of a different sort in 2002 when the club’s mascot, H’Angus the Monkey (a reference to the local legend that Poolies once lynched a monkey after mistaking the unfortunate simian for a French spy), was elected mayor of the town. H’Angus or at least the man who filled his suit on matchdays, Stuart Drummond, ran on a ticket of free bananas for local school-children, but once in office reneged on the promise, citing financial constraints.
In 1965 Brian Clough arrived for his first taste of football management and discovered his predecessor had been keeping bantam cockerels in the main stand.
Hartlepool hold the record for most successful applications for re-election to the Football League. The club finished in the bottom slot on 14 occasions (and escaped on goal difference another couple of times). Allegedly the lavish hospitality laid on for visiting clubs and FA officials is often cited by the followers of less fortunate clubs such as Gateshead, Workington and Bradford Park Avenue, all of whom were cut adrift over the years despite having better records than the team from the Victoria Ground.
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