The History of the Poolies can be traced back to 1881 with the formation of West Hartlepool Amateur Football Club who won the FA Amateur Cup in 1905 beating Claptam 3-2 at Shepherds Bush in London. In 1908 Hartlepools United were formed and took over land at the Victoria Ground which had previously been occupied by the defunct Rugby Club. Hartlepools (Plural) was because of the two boroughs of Hartlepool and West Hartlepool. Their often referred to nickname of "Monkey Hangers" stems from the time of the Napoleonic Wars when a French ship was wrecked off the Hartlepool coast. The only survivor was a monkey, which was captured and questioned by local fishermen at a beach court. Unfamiliar with what a Frenchman looked like the fishermen were unable to understand the monkeys replies to questions and they concluded that it was a French spy and sentenced it to death. The unfortunate creature was hanged from the mast of a nearby fishing boat. Bulls News hopes that GT will offer Alex Jeannin suitable protection if he travels with the party on Saturday!
The existing ground, Victoria Park, is in Clarence Road and was improved dramatically in the 'nineties with the covered, seated Rink End Stand now providing accommodation for visiting fans who are advised to wrap-up well to protect from the wind which blows off the North Sea. Admission is £18 for adults and £9 for concessions (U16 and over 65). A student (in full time education) ticket can be purchased from the ticket office subject to valid proof of identity. These are not available at the turnstiles.
By Car - Travel to Worcester and join the M5 (north) joining the M42 at J4a. At the end of the M42 continue onto the A42 joining the M1 (north). At M1 J43 take the left hand lanes (sign The North, Leeds East). At M1 J47 continue forward sign The North (A1), Wetherby M1 then join the A1M. At A1M J45 continue onto the A1 (sign Wetherby). At junction for Wetherby (A661) continue forward (sign The North). Continue onto the A1M. Leave the A1M at J49, Dishforth Interchange, and merge onto the A168 (Thirsk, Teeside). Continue forward onto the A19. After the Tees Viaduct branch left, and then at the roundabout take the third exit onto the A139 (sign Billingham). Take the ring road around Stockton On Tees following signs for Billingham then join the A689 (sign Hartlepool). Follow the A689 towards the Town Centre. Follow Town Centre signs for 2.8 miles, over two roundabouts. Go straight over the next two sets of lights, passing Hartlepool College on your right. The next left takes you to the stadium. For Sat. Nav. users, the postcode is TS24 8BZ.
According to AA Route Planner, the distance is 250 miles and a drive time of over 4.5 hours is suggested. There is a good-sized car park at the ground and plenty of street parking behind the away end.
HUISA: Coach due to leave Hereford at 7.30am. Fare £25 Details from the club on 01432276666.
HUMADS: Coach from Malvern leaving at 8.00am via Evesham. Fare £20. A few seats left contact Reg on 01684572945.
FUNBUS: Full. Departs The Street 8.00am. Est cost £15
Refreshments. The Victoria Suite near the entrance to the away end is for members only. At the same end but at the opposite corner, is the "Corner Flag Supporters Bar" that welcomes away fans. The entrance fee is 50p, but the bar has a good pre match atmosphere and SKY TV. Popular with away fans is the Jackson's Wharf Pub near the ground. It has good food and real ale on tap. This pub is over the road from the ASDA store, to the left of the old sailing ship. Otherwise the ground is not far from the town centre where there are plenty of pubs to be found. Those of note include The Causeway, The Tap and Spile and The Brewer and Firkin. There is also a Yates Wine Lodge but I understand the Wetherspoons outlet has been sold off. If in doubt, just head for the seafront where you will find more Pubs/Bars than you can cope with.