Manager Craig Hignett

Current TeamHartlepool United

Craig Hignett was appointed as the Club’s First Team Manager for the second time at the end of January 2019.

Hignett had previously been the Club’s new Director of Football following Raj Singh’s takeover at The Super 6 Stadium and subsequently took temporary charge of First Team affairs in November following the departure of Matthew Bates prior to the appointment of Money.

His return to the Club meant a fourth spell at The Vic for Hignett who has previously been with the Club as a player, Assistant Manager and Manager in the past.

A talented attacker during his playing days, it was in October 1988 that Hignett first burst on to the scene when he graduated from Crewe Alexandra’s Academy to make a senior debut at the tender age of 18.

His form at Gresty Road meant he soon became a key member of the team and his impressive tally of 57 goals in 150 appearances for The Railwaymen earned him a move to the Premier League with Middlesbrough in 1992.

Hignett became a massive fans favourite during six years in Teesside during which he won two promotions and played in the FA Cup Final and League Cup Final in a memorable 1996/97 campaign under Bryan Robson.

His reputation with Boro fans was further cemented when he wrote his name in the history books by scoring the first goal at the Riverside Stadium in their 2-0 win over Chelsea in 1995.

A spell north of the border with Aberdeen was followed by an £800,000 switch to Barnsley in 1999 where he gained cult status by scoring 20 goals in his first season as The Tykes won promotion to the top flight.

His record of 35 goals in 66 appearances at Oakwell was enough to convince Blackburn Rovers to shell out £2.2million for his services in 2000 and he again celebrated promotion to the Premier League with the Ewood Park outfit before also winning the League Cup in 2002.

An illustrious playing career was rounded off with spells at Leicester City and Darlington before he joined Pools in 2007, making two appearances during the latter part of the League Two promotion campaign under Danny Wilson.

After working as a summariser for BBC Tees, Hignett returned to the game when Colin Cooper drafted him in as his Assistant Manager at Pools in 2013 and he oversaw a successful start to the season before being tempted back to Boro to work under Aitor Karanka.

After leaving the Riverside in December 2014 he once again returned to The Vic but this time as boss when he was unveiled as Ronnie Moore’s successor in February 2016.

Hignett went on to spend 52 games in the hotseat at Pools, enjoying some terrific wins during that time including a memorable 5-2 triumph at Morecambe.

During his time as boss Hignett signed numerous players who have gone on to make moves to a higher level, including Toto Nsiala, Lewis Alessandra and Padraig Amond.