Match Guide: Hartlepool United

by Oscar Chamberlain

We look ahead to tonight's game.

Full name: Hartlepool United
Founded: 1908
Ground: Victoria Park
Capacity: 7,856
Chairman: Ken Hodcroft
Manager: Colin Cooper
League: League Two
2013/14: 19th

Who are they?

Hartlepool United have participated in League Two since 2013 following their relegation at the end of the 2012-13 season.

The club was founded in 1908 as Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company, before later becoming Hartlepool and then Hartlepool United.

Nicknamed Pools, the club is widely known for its association with Brian Clough who began his managerial career at Victoria Park in 1965.

Hartlepool’s finest moment occurred in 2005 when they narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship, losing 4-2 to Sheffield Wednesday after extra time. 

The club received a wealth of media attention in 2002 after team mascot H’Angus the Monkey was elected mayor during the 2002 Hartlepool Council Election.

Famous supporters include Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling, rock stars Meat Loaf and Janick Gers, film director Ridley Scott and Ed Sheeran.


Hartlepool United play their home matches at Victoria Park, a 7,856-capacity stadium which opened in 1886.

It was originally home to West Hartlepool RFC but in 1908 they went bust, and, after a period of vacancy, it was registered under the name of The Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company Limited.

During the First World War the stadium was bombed by a German Zeppelin which resulted in the destruction of the main stand.

Victoria Park hosted Manchester United in 1957 for a third round FA Cup tie which ended 4-3 in favour of the Red Devils.

The match, which saw the stadium register its record attendance of 17,264, would later be described by Matt Busby as the most exciting game he had ever witnessed.

A host of other football teams have played home matches at the stadium including Middlesbrough and Gateshead.


Hartlepool United are managed by former Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest defender Colin Cooper.

Cooper made over 300 appearances for the Boro during two spells with the club, in between which he featured for Millwall and Nottingham Forest.

The 47-year-old also had a brief loan spell on Wearside, making three league appearances for the Black Cats in 2004.

In 2006 Cooper ended his playing career but he remained at the Riverside Stadium as reserve team coach before moving into a first-team role.

A spell as assistant manager followed, during which time he was named caretaker manager for just four days following the departure of Gareth Southgate and the arrival of Gordon Strachan.

Cooper left Middlesbrough in May 2010 but he was back in a first-team role within 12 months, joining Bradford City as assistant to interim manager Peter Jackson.

In May 2011 Jackson was appointed on a permanent basis but he left the club just three months later.

Cooper subsequently became caretaker manager, but after leading the club to a 4-2 win over Barnet he returned to Middlesbrough to work with the club’s under-18s. 

 In May 2013 Cooper was appointed as manager of Hartlepool United, replacing John Hughes.