Next up in our Poolie Index feature we see how Club President Jeff Stelling gets on with our random brand of questions.
Jeff always remains ice cool under the glare of the live television cameras but what’s he like when he faces some real pressure in this Poolie Index feature? Let’s find out…
1 What’s your biggest fear?
I would reckon that has to be the fear of saying something on-air that gets me the sack! I’m not sure how it hasn’t happened yet, if I’m honest!
4 If you wrote your autobiography what would you call it?
It would have to be ‘Unbelievable, Jeff’ wouldn’t it? It would be a short story!
7 Have you got any pets?
Have I?! I have five cats, three dogs, three Guinea pigs, two turtles, one rabbit, two goldfish – and a partridge in a pear tree!
11 What one thing do you get the micky taken out of you about more than anything else?
My height! I’m 5ft 7ins – and a quarter! That’s the same as Tony Cottee. And actually, isn’t it the same as Liam Noble?
15 What was the last book you read?
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.
17 Did you pass your driving test first time?
Nearly. I suspected I wasn’t going to pass first time when I got both back wheels up on the pavement while attempting to reverse! And I forgot to turn up for another test. So I guess you can say it took me three attempts to pass.
28 What are you really bad at?
Swimming. I once had to be rescued by a bloke one day on the beach when I was struggling to swim back from a reef in Barbados. It must have been all of 50 metres offshore.
29 If you won the lottery what would be the first thing you’d buy?
Hartlepool United – Raj and Mrs Stelling, permitting!
31 Would you ever go on a reality television show?
I was once asked about Strictly but I said no to that. However, I would say yes to I’m A Celebrity, though King Harry would definitely be a hard act to follow.
35 Have you ever been mistaken for someone else?
Yes, I have. I was at Gatwick once when a bloke came up and said: “I know you – you’re from the telly and football aren’t you? You’re Trevor Brooking.” I think he had been at the meths!
38 If we made a film about your life who would you choose to play the lead role?
It would probably have to be Tom Cruise – he’s the right height anyway isn’t he?
40 What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?
Capital Cities. Don’t ask me why but I just know them! Or maybe Black Holes and the Origin of the Universe. But probably Capital Cities.
46 What film can you just watch over and over again?
I should say Groundhog Day! And I can watch that repeatedly, to be fair – but really it’s Love Actually or Four Weddings and a Funeral.
50 What three things would you take to a desert island?
Beer, gin and tonic!
52 Who was your first football hero?
Ernie Phythian. He played up front for us alongside Jimmy Mulvaney in the 1960s and was definitely the first player I looked up to.
64 Who is the funniest member of the squad?
Paul Merson. We always love it when someone like Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or new Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl arrive in the Premier League!
74 What word or phrase do you think you say too much?
“And Hartlepool have conceded in added time…”
78 Who’s your favourite comedian?
Lee Mack. We once went to see him live only to discover that my wife had managed to mix him up with Lee Mead, who sings and acts – but trust me, he isn’t funny.
81 What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard shouted from the crowd?
Well, this wasn’t from the crowd but to the crowd… I remember the announcer at Pools once asked for a fan to come to reception to meet his wife, whom he had locked out of the house! And it was at the start of the second half. And it was freezing.
87 Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
I would say that it would be a toss-up between Princes William and Harry, and Holly Willoughby.