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Hartlepool United FC Staff Profiles

Pools Manager, Paul Murray

Paul Murray
First Team Manager

Paul Murray was appointed as the new Manager of Hartlepool United on Thursday 23rd October 2014, replacing Colin Cooper.

Murray is a familiar face for most Pools fans after making 105 appearances for the Club during a three-year stay between 2010 and 2013.

His tough-tackling style, composure on the ball and experience quickly made him very popular with the Victoria Park faithful and he went on to win Player of the Year in 2011/12.

Having left The Vic in the summer of 2013, he returned to former club Oldham Athletic to take on a role as First Team Coach at Boundary Park, making no secret of his desire to progress in to management.

Even at a young age, Murray has always had self-confidence and he forced his way through the system at Carlisle United to make his First Team debut in 1993 at the age of just 17.

His eye-catching performances for The Cumbrians earned him a move to Queens Park Rangers in 1996 with the London club paying £300,000 for his services.

The midfielder went on to make almost 150 league appearances for The Hoops and he won international honours with England Under 21s and England B.

Premier League Southampton was his next destination but he was restricted him to just one senior appearance for The Saints before moving on to Oldham in December 2001.

He made over 100 appearances for Athletic before he was tempted abroad to Portuguese side Beira Mar, returning home to Carlisle in 2006 and then Gretna in 2007.

He signed for Shrewsbury Town in 2008 and spent two seasons with The Shrews before linking up with Pools under Mick Wadsworth in the summer of 2010.

Assistant Manager, Willie Donachie

Willie Donachie
Assistant Manager

Glasgow-born Willie Donachie began a long association with football in the 1960s when he came through the ranks with Manchester City, signing professional terms in 1968.

He debuted for City in February 1970 and quickly established himself as the Club’s left-back, going on to earn a full debut for Scotland in 1972 after previously playing for the Under 21s. In total he earned 35 senior caps for his country.

Donachie went on to make over 350 appearances for the Maine Road outfit, including playing in two League Cup finals, before moving to America with Portland Timbers in 1980.

After a season in the States he returned to England with Norwich City who paid £200,000 for his services before rejoining Portland in 1982 for a second spell.

In November 1982 Donachie signed for Burnley and went on to make 80 appearances for The Clarets before joining Oldham Athletic for the start of the 1984/85 campaign.

At Boundary Park he played over 150 league games and also began getting involved in coaching before being appointed Assistant Manager to Joe Royle at Oldham Athletic. The duo went on to enjoy great success at Boundary Park, taking the Club to the Premier League, League Cup Final and the unforgettable FA Cup semi-finals against Manchester United in the 1990s.

Donachie followed Royle to Everton in 1995 before a short spell as First Team Coach at Sheffield United prior to being reunited with Royle at Manchester City in 1997/98.

He stayed on at City for a period under their next manager Kevin Keegan but left to link-up with Terry Yorath at Sheffield Wednesday in November 2001.

Royle took him to Ipswich Town as his assistant in October 2002 and he spent almost four years on the coaching staff at Portman Road before moving on to Millwall as assistant to Nigel Spackman.

When Spackman left the club, Donachie was offered the chance to take caretaker charge and he steered The Lions away from relegation trouble and to a safe mid-table finish before being appointed to the role permanently.

He left in October 2007 and his next assignment was as boss of Antigua and Barbuda, overseeing two games against Cuba before returning to England to take up the post of Assistant Director of Newcastle United’s Academy.

He later took on a role as a development coach at St James’ Park and was working for The Magpies until as recently as February.

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.”