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The Board

Chairman Raj Singh is one of the best-known businessmen in the region having built up a strong portfolio of residential care homes throughout the Teesside area.

Mr Singh also owns a construction company and is involved in a number of investment properties across the United Kingdom.

His first steps in to business came when he was still a teenager running an off-licence in Redcar but he moved in to the care home sector in 1994 when investing in Longlands Road in Middlesbrough.

The business prospered and he is now the owner of Prestige Group which boasts a string of care homes across Teesside and one in the pipeline in Hartlepool.

A keen footballer in his younger days, he played in midfield or attack for a variety of teams including Whinney Banks Under-18s and Red Barns, though a damaged cruciate put paid to any dreams of turning professional!

He remained a passionate supporter of football in the region and in October 2008 he became Vice-Chairman at Darlington before stepping up to Chairman of the club the following year.

Having gained experience from his time at The Quakers’ helm, Singh was always keen to step back in to football ownership and is now determined to help guide Pools back in to the EFL.

Hartlepool born and bred, Jeff Stelling has become one of the most recognisable figures in sports broadcasting after presenting Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday since its inception in 1994.

Famed for his quick wit, Jeff along with his friends on the panel help keep millions up to date with the football results as they roll in every weekend – with a special emphasis placed on his beloved Pools!

Jeff was educated at Rift House Primary and West Hartlepool Grammar School before joining the Hartlepool Mail as a journalist where he spent four years learning his trade.

After a stint covering Middlesbrough for Radio Tees in the late-1970s, Jeff then went on to present on London’s LBC Radio and BBC Radio 2 before moving in to television with TV-am, Channel 4 and Eurosport.

In 1992 he made his move to Sky and shortly afterwards began work on their flagship show Soccer Saturday where he has remained ever since, often fronting the broadcaster’s Premier League and Champions League coverage as well.

He spent three years as the host of Channel 4 game show Countdown after succeeding Des O’Connor in 2008 and more recently presented ITV programme Alphabetical.

Among his many honours are a 2007 honorary Doctorate of Professional Studies from the University of Teesside and four successive Sports Broadcaster of the Year awards, while in 2010 he was granted the title of honorary freeman of Hartlepool.

Over the years Stelling has also helped to raise vast amount of money for charities and in 2013 he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with Pools’ newly-appointed management team of Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett for the Finlay Cooper Fund.

More recently, Jeff has completed two epic marches raising money and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK – completing 15 marathons in 15 days alongside then Pools Chief Executive Russ Green in 2015 before trekking from Victoria Park all the way to Wembley in 2016.

Last year his extraordinary efforts – which have helped raise over £800,000 for the charity – were recognised when he was named as JustGiving’s Fundraiser of the Year at their annual awards ceremony.

As passionate about Pools now as he was when he cheered on his favourite player Tony Parry at The Vic back in the 1960s, Jeff is to continue in his voluntary role as Club President after investing alongside Raj Singh in the successful takeover.

David Arthur has over 40 years of experience as a chartered accountant, with 25 years of that time working as Managing Partner at Tait Walker.

He began work for the Teesside-based chartered accountants in 1977 before being promoted to partner two years later and he went on to work across various sectors, specialising in healthcare and manufacturing.

David was a founder member of the North East Fraud Forum and still continues to operate within forensics and engage in some expert-witness work.

He is a Trustee of both the Percy Hedley Foundation and Mental Health Concern, while more recently he was appointed as President for the Northern Society of Chartered Accountants.

David has also served as Treasurer, Chairman and President of Northern Rugby Club and remains a keen and passionate supporter of north-east football as well as sport in general.

He brings his vast experience to the Board of Hartlepool United on a voluntary basis with a determination to see the Club return to the EFL in a timely but prudent manner.

Ian is a vastly experienced solicitor who played a key role in driving through the deal for Raj Singh to complete his takeover at Victoria Park.

Originally a litigation lawyer, his specialist area since 2000 has been insolvency and over the years he has gained particular experience in insolvency within sport, with a number of football and rugby league clubs benefitting from his expertise.

He joined Blacks Law in 2010 as an associate and is currently operating as Head of Insolvency and Corporate Recovery but his work in the law sector spans three decades.

Having been brought up in Liverpool, Ian moved to Yorkshire in the mid-1980s where he lived with his wife and two young children.

Football has always played a huge part in his life and he’s been a keen amateur player until recent years when a hip operation at 54 forced him to hang up his boots.

Now he satisfies his passion for the sport by coaching the village football teams for whom his son daughter play for.

Ian takes up his place on the board on a voluntary basis where his skills and experience will blend perfectly with his encyclopaedic knowledge of the game at all levels.

Craig Hignett was appointed as the Club’s new Director of Football following Raj Singh’s takeover at Victoria Park.

It means a fourth spell at The Vic for Hignett who has previously been with the Club as a player, Assistant Manager and Manager in the past.

A talented attacker during his playing days, it was in October 1988 that Hignett first burst on to the scene when he graduated from Crewe Alexandra’s Academy to make a senior debut at the tender age of 18.

His form at Gresty Road meant he soon became a key member of the team and his impressive tally of 57 goals in 150 appearances for The Railwaymen earned him a move to the Premier League with Middlesbrough in 1992.

Hignett became a massive fans favourite during six years in Teesside during which he won two promotions and played in the FA Cup Final and League Cup Final in a memorable 1996/97 campaign under Bryan Robson.

His reputation with Boro fans was further cemented when he wrote his name in the history books by scoring the first goal at the Riverside Stadium in their 2-0 win over Chelsea in 1995.

A spell north of the border with Aberdeen was followed by an £800,000 switch to Barnsley in 1999 where he gained cult status by scoring 20 goals in his first season as The Tykes won promotion to the top flight.

His record of 35 goals in 66 appearances at Oakwell was enough to convince Blackburn Rovers to shell out £2.2million for his services in 2000 and he again celebrated promotion to the Premier League with the Ewood Park outfit before also winning the League Cup in 2002.

An illustrious playing career was rounded off with spells at Leicester City and Darlington before he joined Pools in 2007, making two appearances during the latter part of the League Two promotion campaign under Danny Wilson.

After working as a summariser for BBC Tees, Hignett returned to the game when Colin Cooper drafted him in as his Assistant Manager at Pools in 2013 and he oversaw a successful start to the season before being tempted back to Boro to work under Aitor Karanka.

After leaving the Riverside in December 2014 he once again returned to The Vic but this time as boss when he was unveiled as Ronnie Moore’s successor in February 2016.

Hignett went on to spend 52 games in the hotseat at Pools, enjoying some terrific wins during that time including a memorable 5-2 triumph at Morecambe.

During his time as boss Hignett signed numerous players who have gone on to make moves to a higher level, including Toto Nsiala, Lewis Alessandra and Padraig Amond.