Skip to main content

Hartlepool United FC Staff Profiles

Sam Collins

Sam Collins
First/Reserve Team Coach

Sam Collins extended his playing contract at Victoria Park in May 2014 but Colin Cooper was keen to bring the experienced defender on board with his coaching staff.

As a result, Collins agreed to step up to the role of Assistant First and Reserve Team Coach as well as remain a part of the playing squad at Victoria Park.

The defender joined Pools from Hull City back in January 2008 and has since made over 250 appearances for the Club, with the majority being as captain.

During 2013/14 Collins had already been assisting Academy Manager John Hewitson with the Reserve Team, working both on match days and in training with the Club’s young players. 

He also played a big part in the shift away from the League Two relegation zone, featuring heavily in the final 18 games of the season, leading by example with some impressive performances.

Cooper was quick to reward Collins for that hard work and loyalty by giving him the opportunity to join the coaching staff for 2014/15.

Stephen Pears

Stephen Pears
Goalkeeping Coach

Stephen Pears joined the staff at Hartlepool United when he was appointed as the Club’s new Assistant Manager and Goalkeeping Coach in July 2014, and was kept on as Goalkeeping Coach following the appointment of Paul Murray as boss.

The experienced Pears has previously spent six years as Goalkeeping Coach at Middlesbrough where he worked closely alongside former boss Colin Cooper.

Pears enjoyed a long and distinguished playing career with started with Manchester United in 1979 but after making only four appearances he was loaned to Middlesbrough and went on to make the move permanent in 1985.

The dependable keeper went on to achieve legendary status during a lengthy stint at Boro during which he made over 400 appearances for the club and earned a Testimonial in 1995 which also turned out to their last-ever game at Ayresome Park.

After a short spell providing cover for David James at Liverpool, Pears returned to the north-east when he agreed a deal to join Pools in 1996 and he went on to make 19 appearances for the Club in the 1996/97 campaign before retiring at the age of 35.

He returned to Middlesbrough to take up a coaching role in their Academy before being promoted to work with the First Team by then boss Gareth Southgate.

Ian Gallagher

Ian Gallagher
Head Physiotherapist

Ian Gallagher – known to everyone simply as Buster – has a long-running affinity with the Club which stretches back to his childhood and has been on the books in one capacity or another for over twenty years.

In 1992 he was signed on schoolboy terms as a central midfielder, progressing on to a scholarship in 1994 before being offered a professional contract with the Club in 1996.

A lifelong Pools fan, Buster went on to make two appearances for the First Team but a knee injury forced his early retirement so he turned his attentions to physiotherapy and he was kept on as part of the Club’s medical staff while he studied for the required qualifications.

Now a Chartered Physiotherapist with an FA Diploma in Treatment Management of Injuries and an FA Advanced Resuscitation and Emergency Aid certificate, he took over as Head Physiotherapist in 2012.

Craig Hubbard

Craig Hubbard
Strength & Conditioning Coach

Craig began work as the Club’s Strength & Conditioning Coach at the start of the 2014/15 campaign in conjunction with Durham University.

A qualified sports therapist, Craig also has a Level 1 Certificate in Strength & Conditioning as well as a Level 4 qualification in Personal Training.

During three years of studying, he built up experience with various personal training positions before taking up the role at Durham University and Pools.

He has played semi-pro for Blyth Spartans in the past and is currently registered with Whitley Bay though his work with Pools restricts the amount of games he plays for them

Martyn Brown

Martyn Brown
Kit Manager

Martyn has been working for the Club since 1998 when he joined in the role of Assistant Groundsman, working with Head Groundsman Dave Brown.

However, in October 2010 he was installed as the Club’s new Kit Man when he succeeded Peter Darke who had left to go to Middlesbrough.

As well as carrying out his duties for Pools, Martyn also plays Sunday League football for Murton Park View where he is comfortable in defence or attack and describes himself as “a young Paul Warhurst.”