Pools legend Rob McKinnon says he can’t wait for his return to Victoria Park this weekend – more than fourteen years on from his last visit.
The former Scottish international was a huge hit with Pools fans during two spells with the Club and will be back at The Vic for the first time on Friday night for An Evening With Honour And McKinnon.
He’ll also be in attendance as the Club’s guest for our game with Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday afternoon and he admits that the weekend can’t come quickly enough.
“I’ve got a lot of people on Facebook who are mad Poolies and they help keep me up to date,” he explained.
“I’ve actually become quite friendly with a Pools fan in Aberdeen on there and it’s great to keep in touch with what’s happening at the Club.
“The team had a dodgy start to the season but the new manager and coach have come in and it takes time – it’s great that the fans have stuck with them and I’m delighted for Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett that results have transformed.
“It’s been a considerable amount of time since I was last at Victoria Park so I’m really looking forward to taking in the game on Saturday after the event on Friday.
“It would be fantastic if the lads could get a win but I’m just really looking forward to watching the game and being able to gauge the standard, I’ll be really interested.
“Things at The Vic had been updated when I came back there on loan and when I played there with Carlisle – even then it was in hell of a better condition than it had been when I first played there in the late 80s and early 90s.
“I’ve been doing my homework and have noticed that some local companies are sponsoring the stands now which I understand is progress and helping gain revenue – but they’ll always be The Rink End and The Millhouse to me!”
McKinnon revealed that since hanging up his boots, he’s very rarely been known to publicly speak about his career and Friday’s event in the Centenary Suite is one he isn’t too used to.
However, the draw of a return to The Vic, coupled with the chance to catch up with his old pal Brian Honour and talk Pools was too much to turn down for the former star.
And he’s even bringing with him some memorabilia from his playing days, along with an extra special raffle prize for one of the lucky guests on Friday night.
“It’s quite a nerve-wracking thing for me because I don’t really do any public speaking or after-dinner stuff but it’s just a great chance to come back and remember the good times I had with the Club.
“I have been digging out some of my memorabilia that I’ll bring along on Friday and hopefully it will be of interest.
“I kept quite a few programmes from games that were special to me, I’ve actually got a spare programme from my debut against Cardiff so me and Brian will sign that and put it up as a raffle prize on Friday.
“There are games that stand out like the Northampton game for promotion, Cardiff on my debut, the games against Spurs were great memories too – as well getting one over on Darlington which was always nice!
“I think my memories will come flooding back when I walk in to the ground – but I’m right in thinking I won’t be able to play head tennis with Brian in the Lounge these days aren’t I?
“I was saying to Brian the other day that my memory is pretty bad; I only vaguely remember what I did yesterday most of the time.
“I think on the night we’re going to be picking our Dream Team of Pools’ team-mates so I’ve been wracking my brains and looking through my programmes at some of the names.
“It all seems a lifetime ago and in some ways it was but to know that I’m still held in high regard by the Hartlepool fans means the world to me.”