Big Pools fan Michael Gough sits down with us to talk about his early memories of all things blue and white as well as lift the lid on his blossoming international umpiring career.
As a youngster, Gough loved nothing more than coming along to Pools games with his father Mike who is also a big supporter of the Club and was once on the Board of Directors.
That passion for football almost turned in to a career when he was given a trial with Arsenal at 14 but he eventually ended up choosing cricket, playing professionally for Durham between 1998 and 2003.
After some time spent back playing football semi-professionally, Gough then returned to cricket with umpiring and since then his latest career has gone from strength to strength.
He was recently named the Professional Cricketers’ Association Umpire of the Year for an astonishing eighth year in a row and is soon off to Australia to oversee their rematch with South Africa.
“I started with the domestic ECB for three or four years but then I was selected for the ICC panel and it’s really just taken off from there over the last four or five years,” Gough told us.
“I have now been involved with Test Matches, 50 Over World Cups and T20 World Cups and I’ve got a busy winter coming up as well but it’s something I am really enjoying.
“I am travelling so much but I do enjoy coming back to Hartlepool and to spend a month here is like gold to me when I can spend some time with the family.
“I love being in and around the town really, I am a Hartlepool lad born and bred, and the people here are so friendly and always want to know about my career – I ‘ve never really wanted to move away, I have a real affinity for Hartlepool.
“I have only managed two Pools games this season but I get here as often as a I can and if I am home I’ll be at the ground – and even when I’m away the first thing I do is have Pools PlayerHD on to follow what’s happening.”
Watch our extended chat with Michael Gough for free by clicking on the video above.