The fight to save Pools from extinction earlier this year has been recognised during an emotionally-charged awards night organised by the Hartlepool Mail.
The Best of Hartlepool Awards was held on Thursday evening to celebrate everything good about the town and special recognition was given to the way fans, campaigners and fundraisers came together to help ensure Hartlepool United survived.
The Club stared down the barrel of administration and even liquidation earlier this year before fans joined together to help raise vital funds, allowing time for Raj Singh and Jeff Stelling to broker a successful takeover.
Singh and Stelling were both present at Thursday’s event – alongside Club Director Ian Scobbie and Chief Executive Mark Maguire – and they accepted the award on behalf of everyone who played their part.
It proved an emotion night at Hardwick Hall as more than 20 deserving winners were celebrated – from community champions, local sporting stars, courageous children and outstanding fundraisers.
“We were both surprised and humbled to accept the award on behalf of all those involved in the Fight to Save Pools,” admitted Maguire.
“We had no idea that we were going to receive an award and, quite honestly, felt privileged just to be there to witness some of the amazing achievements of people from Hartlepool.
“The Hartlepool Mail acknowledged the part played by a number of individuals and supporter groups many of whom were listed in a presentation on screen.
“I’m sure everybody associated with the Club will be forever grateful to people like Rachel Cartwright for her efforts with the Just Giving Page and Mike Lewis for the Save Pools Day, as well as the various groups, the Middlesbrough fans and the list goes on.
“Quite rightly, Jeff Stelling and the Chairman were included in that list because, once the collective efforts to save the Club had bought some time, it needed someone to step forward and, of course, they did.
“It’s safe to say we all felt honoured to accept the award on behalf of everybody associated with the campaign and it goes without saying that the award is dedicated to their efforts.
“The biggest thank you we can give to them is to run the Club properly and gradually build something for the fans and the town to be truly proud of.”