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Pools On The Up: 1997 To Present Day

5 May 2015

IOR take over and lead the Club to bright new dawn

Harold Hornsey took the Club as far as his resources would allow, then took everyone by surprise when selling out to an Aberdeen-based oil company. 

Many fans were sceptical as to the intentions of a company with no other obvious links to the town, or indeed football. 

Building on their predecessors' foundations IOR have won over the doubters with their progressive investment in the Club both on and off the pitch. 

Aberdeen-based Increased Oil Recovery Ltd (IOR) buy the club from Harold Hornsey and set about building on the solid base now in place. New Chairman Ken Hodcroft keeps Harold on in a paid consultancy role and as a Director. The other Directors are replaced. 

IOR use their oil business connections to bring Norwegian International Jan Ove Pedersen to the Club on loan from Brann Bergen for three months. He is widely acclaimed as the best player of the modern era to have worn the club's colours. 

September 1998
The Club start up their own Centre of Excellence to bring through their own young stars for the future. History turns full circle as West Hartlepool Rugby Club commence a planned three-year ground share at Victoria Park as they play in the Allied Dunbar Premiership. However the deal ends after one year and West suffer successive relegations out of National League rugby. 

2nd January 1999
England legend Peter Beardsley makes his debut and scored in the 2-2 draw with Cambridge United. 

March 1999
Former Sunderland and Manchester United goalkeeper Chris Turner is appointed manager, with the immediate task of saving the club form relegation. He does this, with full financial support from IOR, despite being three points adrift at the bottom with only four matches left, and begins the task of building a strong side which is soon fighting for promotion. 

October 1999
Turner brings in Colin West as his assistant. 

31st October 1999
Club mascot H'Angus the monkey makes his debut at the !st Round FA Cup victory over Millwall at Victoria Park. 

November 1999
Taylor Report improvement work starts on Victoria Park with the first phase being completed early 2000. 

May 2000
Chris Turner's side qualify for the Play-offs in a thrilling 3-0 away victory over Hull City, but lose the semi-final over two legs to Darlington. Midfielder Tommy Miller is leading goalscorer and finishes second behind Kevin Phillips but ahead of Alan Shearer in NE Football Writers' Player of Year. 

December 2000
Pools go on a record 21 match unbeaten League run, beginning with a 1-0 home win over Southend United and ending with a 2-1 defeat at Southend. Jan 2001 Turner's achievements earn him the Division 3 Manager of the Month award. 

May 2001
Pools qualify for the play-offs, winning their last three matches to confirm fourth place, three points behind Chesterfield, but lose out to Blackpool. 

June 2001
The Club invest £100,000 in a new pitch including, for the first time, a full drainage system. Second phase of Taylor Report improvements work begins at Victoria Park, featuring improvementsto spectator facilities including turnstiles, catering outlets and toilets. The £1,360,000 cost takes the total spent on the ground during IOR's tenure to the £2 million mark. 

December 2001
Chairman Ken Hodcroft reports a loss of £917,000 for the financial year to 31 Dec 2000, fully funded by IOR. 

April 2002
A late run takes us into the Play-offs for the third successive year, but after a superb performance in the second leg at Cheltenham we suffer the heartache of losing a penalty shoot-out. 

November 2002
With the team at the top of the Third Division table, Chris Turner and Colin West leave to join Sheffield Wednesday; former Blackburn and Everton striker Mike Newell becomes the new manager. 

December 2002
Another former Evertonian, Kevin Sheedy joins Newell as Assistant Manager. 

May 2003
Promoted to the 2nd Division as runners-up. Mike Newell's contract is not renewed. 

June 2003
Neale Cooper is appointed as the new manager and former Youth Team Coach Martin Scott promoted to Reserve Team Manager. 

January 2004
A crowd of 40,816, including 10,000 Pools fans sees Sunderland edge an epic FA Cup 3rd round tie 1-0 at The Stadium of Light. April 2004 The Reserves win Pontins Holidays League Division 1 East, finishing ten points clear of nearest rivals Newcastle. The Youth Team win the Under 19 Group at The Dallas Cup, winning all of their games and beating the Metrostars 4-1 in the final. 

May 2004
Finish 6th in Second Division and reach play-offs for fourth year out of five but again miss out on Cardiff as Bristol City come back from the dead to score twice in last five minutes. 

April 2005
The Youth Team follow up the previous season's Dallas Cup triumph with a third-place finish in the prestigious USA tournament's Super Group section. After qulaifying as Champions from their Group phase, they are beaten in the semi-finals but win the play-off against Mexican side Tigres. 

May 2005
The Youth Team win the Durham Challenge Cup with a 3-0 victory over Dunston Federation Brewery. Two goals from James Brown and one from David Foley hand Pools the win in front of a bumper crowd at Durham's New Ferens Park. 

May 2005
Manager Neale Cooper leaves the Club by mutual consent. Martin Scott steps up to take charge of First Team affairs on a temporary basis. 

May 2005
Meanwhile, the First Team finish their season on a high by squeezing in to the play-offs with a point at Bournemouth. They face Tranmere Rovers in the semi-final and Adam Boyd scored twice in the first leg to hand Pools the advantage going to Prenton Park for the second leg. Rovers come back in to it with two late goals, but Pools go through to Cardiff after a tense penalty shootout - Ritchie Humphreys buried his Cheltenham demon with the winning spot kick. 

May 2005 
Pools fall at the last hurdle as Sheffield Wednesday defeat them in the Play-Off Final at The Millennium Stadium. Goals from Eifion Williams and Jon Daly saw Pools come from behind to lead but nine minutes from time a dubious penalty was awarded against Chris Westwood who was then sent off. The spot-kick was converted and The Owls made their man advantage pay in Extra Time scoring twice to win promotion to The Championship and condemn Pools to another season in League One. 

June 2005
Martin Scott is named permanent Manager in a Victoria Park Press Conference. He quickly appoints former Barnsley and Sunderland midfielder Steve Agnew as Reserve Team Manager. 

February 2006 
Martin Scott leaves his post as First Team Manager after discussions between himself and the Club. With Reserve Team boss Steve Agnew also leaving the Club, Youth Team Coach Paul Stephenson is handed control of First Team affairs on a temporary basis, while former boss Chris Turner arrives in the capacity of The Director of Sport. 

May 2006
Pools are relegated from League One after three seasons following a home draw with Port Vale. 

June 2006
Danny Wilson is appointed First Team Manager with Ian Butterworth joining the Club soon after as Reserve Team Manager. 

September 2006
Boss Danny Wilson takes the League Two Manager of the Month prize for September following a goal-filled month. Wins over Boston, Mansfield, Peterborough, Grimsby and Wrexham were enough to see Wilson handed the award. 

February 2007
After being on the shortlist for the Manager of the Month award in the two previous months, it was a case of third time lucky for Danny Wilson. He was named League Two's top boss for the second time in the season after a perfect month of five consecutive victories, including wins over Swindon and Walsall. 

March 2007
Danny Wilson makes it a hat-trick of awards when he nets the League Two Manager of the Month prize for March. Wilson had led his team to three wins and two draws as they made their way onwards to promotion. 

April 2007
A diving header from Richard Barker secured all three points at Wycombe and finalised Pools' automatic promotion back to League One. 

May 2007
Pools are defeated at home by Bristol Rovers on the final day of the season meaning they miss out on the League Two title but take the runners-up spot. 

April 2008
The Reserves finish top of the Pontins Holidays East League Division One, meaning they qualify for the end of the season play-offs. However, they are beaten by Nottingham Forest at Billingham Town. 

May 2008
Pools finish 15th in their first season back in League One. 

June 1st 2008
The Club celebrates 100 years of football by officially reaching its 100th birthday. 

December 2008
Danny Wilson leaves Hartlepool United and Director of Sport Chris Turner takes temporary charge of First Team affairs. 

May 2009 
Despite defeat at Bristol Rovers on the last day of the season, Pools survive in League One. They finish 19th with 50 points - just one point above the drop zone. 

November 2009
The Club launch the brand new Official History of Hartlepool United - a book which charts every major event in the Club's history since its inception in 1908. 

May 2010
The Club are deducted three points by the Football League after playing Gary Liddle in an Easter Monday fixture with Brighton when he should have been serving a suspension. Pools reveal their dismay at the decision and announce plans to appeal against the deduction, which plunges them back in to a relegation battle with just one game of the season remaining. On a tense final day at Brentford, Pools secure their League One status with a 0-0 draw against The Bees. With Tranmere and Exeter both winning, they climbed above Pools in the table but it was Gillingham who slipped to relegation after a dismal 3-0 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers. It means the Club will play League One football for the fourth consecutive season - a record. 

July 2010
Mick Wadsworth arrives at the Club as Assistant Coach following the summer departure of Colin West. 

August 2010
Chris Turner resigns from his position as Director of Sport with immediate effect, and Mick Wadsworth is handed responsibility for the First Team. He is to be assisted in the role by Youth Team Coach Micky Barron and Club Captain Ritchie Humphreys. 

December 2010
Despite some terrible weather, Pools take points from visits to high-flying Huddersfield and Bournemouth, while also moving past Yeovil Town in the FA Cup. The string of impressive performances results in Mick Wadsworth being named League One Manager of the Month and Sam Collins celebrating as Player of the Month. 

May 2011
Pools finish the season with a 0-0 draw at Charlton Athletic which leaves them in 16th position in the League One table. 

December 2011
Mick Wadsworth is relieved of his duties as Head Coach after a record-breaking run of seven successive home defeats. 

Neale Cooper is appointed as First Team Coach, to be assisted by Micky Barron in his role as Reserve Team Coach.
Neale Cooper leaves his role as First Team Coach after Pools picked up just one win in 14 attempts in League One. Micky Barron takes temporary charge of First Team affairs. 
October 2012

John Hughes joins the Club from Livingston to take up the role of First Team Coach, with Micky Barron continuing as Reserve Team Coach.
November 2012

Pools are relegated to League Two, finishing the 2012/13 season in 23rd position in League One.
April 2013

It is announced that John Hughes and Micky Barron are to leave the Club following relegation. The search for a new Manager concludes at the end of the month when Colin Cooper is unveiled in the hotseat to be assisted by Craig Hignett.
May 2013

March 2014
Assistant Manager Craig Hignett leaves the Club to take on a similar role at Middlesbrough.

Ten man Pools come from behind to defeat Morecambe 2-1 at Victoria Park and secure their Football League status. A run of defeats had dragged the Club close to the bottom two but the gutsy turnaround against The Shrimps was enough to allay any fears of relegation. Pools go on to finish the season 19th in League Two.
April 2014

July 2014
Stephen Pears is unveiled as the Club's new Assistant Manager and Goalkeeping Coach. The former Middlesbrough and Pools keeper linked up with the squad for the first time when they spent a pre-season training week in La Cala, Spain.

October 2014
After a 3-0 home defeat to Carlisle United, Colin Cooper decided to call time on his spell as boss at Victoria Park. Cooper had been in charge for 16 months but resigned immediately after the game against The Cumbrians with Sam Collins placed in temporary charge.

On 23rd October, Pools' search for a new boss came to an end when Paul Murray was unveiled as the new man in charge to be assisted by Willie Donachie. Murray had been popular with the fans during his time as a player with the Club and had been working as First Team Coach at Oldham Athletic prior to interest from Pools. He took charge for the first time when Pools were beaten 2-1 at Cambridge United.

Following a humiliating FA Cup defeat to non-league Blyth Spartans at Victoria Park, Pools made the decision to relieve Paul Murray and Willie Donachie of their duties. The defeat was made all the more painful by the fact the game was televised live on BBC - Pools letting a one-goal lead slip in the second half to be dumped out of the competition.
December 2014

Pools acted swiftly to identify Murray's successor and Ronnie Moore was appointed as the new Manager on 16th December. His first act was to hand Sam Collins the Assistant Manager position.

January 2015
After a 1-0 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday 3rd January, Pools were left ten points shy of safety at the bottom of League Two and with one foot in the Conference.

March 2015
A sequence of four successive victories (over Morecambe, Oxford United, Mansfield Town and Cambridge United) lifted Pools out of the bottom two and rekindled hopes of a Great Escape.

April 2015
While Pools struggled to maintain their improved form, they did manage to stay out of the bottom two going in to a crucial final home game of the season against Exeter City. Scott Fenwick scored an opener but the visitors quickly equalised before Jordan Hugill smashed home what proved to be the decisive goal. A crowd of nearly 5,000 created an incredible atmosphere and sang along to the Great Escape theme when it was confirmed that other results had gone Pools' way and the 2-1 win was enough to safeguard their Football League future. 

May 2015
Pools came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 in the final game at Carlisle United a week later, finishing 22nd in the table.

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