Team From The Past - Hartlepool - 1971/1972
Len Ashurst - Defender
Ashurst signed professional forms at Sunderland on 27 December 1957. His first-team debut came on 20th of September 1958, in a 2–0 defeat to Ipswich Town at Roker Park. He went on to make 458 appearances for the club; putting him second in the all-time appearances list in Sunderland's history, and one of only two outfield players to top 400 appearances. He was called up to the England under-23 team on 15 March 1961, in a 4–1 victory over Germany at White Hart Lane.
After receiving a testimonial match against Newcastle United, Ashurst was given a free-transfer to Hartlepool where he became a player-coach and made 46 appearances for the club scoring 2 goals.
Ashurst managed Gillingham, Sheffield Wednesday, Newport County and Cardiff City before returning to Sunderland as manager in March 1984. His time as Sunderland manager was not successful, despite taking them to their first-ever League Cup final. Performance in the league was poor and Sunderland were relegated from the first division. Ashurst was sacked in May 1985.
After the Sunderland job, Ashurst went on to become a coach with Kuwait national football team and later the Qatar national football team. He was the manager of Qatari club Al-Wakrah and also coached in Malaysia. After returning to England, he was the assistant manager of Blackpool, and then in September 1989 he returned for a second spell as manager of Cardiff City. His last managerial role was a one-year stay at Weymouth
Malcolm Clarke - Midfield
After playing junior football in his native Scotland for Johnstone Burgh, Clarke played in the Football League for Leicester City, Cardiff City, Bristol City and Hartlepool United. He played 38 times for Hartlepool, starting with a loss to Colchester United in 1970 and ending with a loss against Chester in October of 1971. He later played in Australia for APIA Leichhardt and Inter Monaro.
Malcolm Dawes - Defender
Dawes began his playing career at Aldershot Town making 176 appearances. He moved onto Hartlepool on August 19th 1970 against York City in the League Cup. He went on to play 213 games scoring 12 goals for Pools and won the Player of the year award in the 1974/75 season. Malcolm played his final game for Hartlepool United FC against Bournemouth AFC on 16 August 1975 in the League. During his time at Hartlepool Dawes was loaned to the NASL where he played for the New York Cosmos for two seasons and also made 19 appearances for the Denvor Dynamos. On his return to England he signed for Workington where he made 51 appearances.
Ken Ellis - Defender/Forward
Ellis played in the Football League for Hartlepool and Darlington. He also played in Belgium for Racing Jet and AS Oostende, and in English non-league football for Scarborough and Goole Town. He made 37 appearances for Hartlepool, scoring 5 goals.
Mick Gadsby - Goalkeeper
Gadsby played for Ashbourne, Notts County, York City, Grimsby Town, Bradford City, Hartlepool United and Dover Town. For Bradford City he made 6 appearances in the Football League and for Hartlepool 25 starts.
Alan Goad - Defender/Midfield
Started his playing career with Exeter City before moving to Hartlepool in 1967. He was a young member of the promotion-winning side in 1967/68. Goad went on to make over 418 appearances scoring 11 goals for the club and is still ranked 5th in games played and still ranked 1st in League Cup Starts with 23. He played in every position and wore every number, except goalkeeper and is the only player in the club's history to be part of 3 name changes at the club (Hartlepools United, Hartlepool FC and Hartlepool United).
Alan was voted 'Player of The Season' in 1975 and was voted as a Player Of The Decade (1970's) along with Bill Green and Billy Ayre during the Club's Centennial Season in 2008. He was awarded a Testimonial Match in 1977 where Pools tied 2-2 with League Champions Nottingham Forest. In his final two seasons with Pools he was Player/Coach under Manager, Billy Horner and retired in 1978 before moving to Canada
Alan resumed his playing career in 1980 when he was signed as Player/Coach for the Fraser Valley Allstars in Canada and then played two seasons for the Vancouver Whitecaps NASL Indoor team. He then resumed his coaching career with the Whitecaps Reserves and Youth Teams as well as running the Vancouver Whitecaps Coaching Camps.
Bill Green - Defender
Green joined Hartlepool United from school and made his league debut for them against Newport County in September 1969. In 1973 he joined Carlisle United for £15,000, and then signing for West Ham United in June 1976 for £75,000 just four weeks after West Ham had been beaten in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final to the Belgians, Anderlecht. He later went on to play for Peterborough United, Chesterfield and Doncaster Rovers as a centre-half.
He went onto manage Scunthorpe United from 1991 to 1993, with a record of played 101, won 43, lost 32, drawn 26. He lost his job after an expected promotion push in 1993 never happened. In 2002, he took caretaker charge of Sheffield Wednesday for one game, which they lost. He was the chief European Scout at Wigan Athletic and worked in a similar role at Derby County, alongside former Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough before being sacked in March 2009.
Ron Hillyard - Goalkeeper
Hillyard joined Rotherham United as an amateur. He then played for Brinsworth Athletic in the Sheffield Amateur League before being recommended to Leeds United where he spent a season as fourth-choice keeper before being recommended to York City. Joining as a junior, Hillyard was thrust into the first-team in October 1969, when the club was facing a goalkeeping crisis.
Loan spells at Hartlepool United, Bury and Brighton & Hove Albion followed. Although he made 61 Football League appearances for York City over the next five years, he was unable to establish himself as a first-team regular. Finally in 1974, Gillingham manager Len Ashurst, who had been attempting to sign the Yorkshireman for his former club Hartlepool United for three years, was able to secure his transfer to his new club.
On 15 May 1983, Hillyard enjoyed a testimonial game when Gillingham beat West Ham United 3–2 at Priestfield Stadium.Hillyard was expected to break John Simpson's record for the most league appearances for Gillingham but ultimately his career ended 8 matches short of Simpson's tally of 571. Nonetheless, Hillyard set a new record for appearances for the club in all competitions with a total of 657, during which he kept 202 clean sheets.
Hillyard was appointed goalkeeping coach of Ebbsfleet United in 2002 and remained with the club until 2016. He also held a dual-role position of goalkeeping coach with Gillingham during the 2011–12 season.
Jimmy Kelly - Defender
Young left back Jimmy Kelly enjoyed a short career in the Hartlepool first-team under Len Ashurst's management. He made just five starts in the 1971/72 season as the club struggled near the foot of Division Four. On leaving Pools, Kelly went on to play non-league football for South Shields
Tony Parry - Defender
Parry made nearly 200 appearances in the Football League playing as a central defender for Hartlepool United, Derby County and Mansfield Town.
He was Brian Clough's first signing as manager of Hartlepool and was a mainstay of the side which won promotion from the Fourth Division in the 1967–68 season, and won the club's inaugural Player of the Year award.
In 1972 the club was on the brink of going out of business, needing to sell a player to survive, when Clough, by then manager of Derby County, bid £2,500 for the player. It is usually regarded as a philanthropic gesture by Clough (albeit using Derby's money) as Parry made few appearances for Derby before moving on to Mansfield Town. He later played non-league football for Gresley Rovers, where he was Player of the Year in the 1982–83 season.
George Potter - Defender
Potter a Scottish defender who started his playing career with Forfar Athletic in Scotland before moving to Luton on March 6th 1968. He then spent two seasons with Torquay United. He moved to Hartlepool in 1971 where he made 242 appearances for Pools scoring 6 goals. Potter is most famously known for breaking his orbital bone after being head-butted by Dennis Tueart in a FA Cup against Manchester City.
Nick Sharkey - Forward
Sharkey began his career with Sunderland where he made his debut on 9 April 1960 against Scunthorpe United in a 1–0 win at Roker Park. In total, he made 99 league appearances, scoring 51 goals for the club from 1960 to 1966. He then joined Leicester City in 1966, but made just six appearances, scoring five goals. His next club was Mansfield Town where he signed for in 1968. He scored 17 goals in 69 games for the club. He finished his League career with North East team Hartlepool United in 1970, where he made a total of 60 appearances with 12 goals to his name, and then moved into non-League football with South Shields.
Bobby Smith - Forward
Smith began his career with Manchester United, turning professional in April 1961. He made over 200 appearances for the United reserve team, but Matt Busby did not give him his First Division debut. Smith left Old Trafford in March 1965 to join Scunthorpe United. He moved to Grimsby Town, for a fee of £8,000. Smith remained in the Third Division, signing with Brighton & Hove Albion in June 1968. In June 1971 Smith signed with Chester, but moved to Hartlepool United – initially on loan – in October of that year. In August 1973 he moved to Bury as player-coach, but failed to appear in their league side.
He was Appointed as Bury's manager in 1973, he led the club to promotion out of the Football League Fourth Division in 1973–74. in 1977 he was signed as Port Vale manager, he moved on to Swindon Town the following year, having failed to prevent the club from suffering relegation. Spending time as a coach at Blackpool, he returned to management in 1985 with Newport County. He remained in the game as a coach at Cardiff City, Hereford United, and Swansea City, he was appointed manager at Swansea in 1995. However, he resigned after less than three months in charge, and took up a role in the back-room staff at Sheffield Wednesday.
Mick Spelman - Midfield
Spelman played as a midfielder in the Football League for Hartlepool United and Darlington. He was on the books of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford, without playing first-team football for either, and also played non-league football for Whitley Bay. He made 121 appearances for Pools scoring 4 goals.
Bobby Veart - Forward
Bobby Veart made his Pools debut in 1970 while still an amateur, a level at which he received England honours. Over the next three years, Veart played around half of the club's league games as Pools struggled badly on the field. He became the first Pools substitute to score twice in a match when he came off the bench to round off a 6-1 FA Cup win against Scarborough in November 1971.
Willie Waddell - Forward
Was centre-forward for the Scottish Schooboys and joined Leeds straight from school in 1965 and signed professional forms on 18th April 1967. After progressing through the Leeds Juniors, he became a regular in the Reserves and a useful goalscorer, but never progressed to the first team in competitive matches.
He joined Kilmarnock on 1st March 1969 and scored twice in nineteen Scottish League starts and five more as a substitute before returning to Yorkshire to join Barnsley in May 1971. At Oakwell he scored four League goals in seventeen starts and one more as substitute. However, he was there for less than a year before moving to Hartlepool United in March 1972 he played a full part as the team won each of its last 7 home games to pull clear of danger and established himself as a real fans' favourite during his 2 years at the club. He scored nine goals in forty-eight League games, of which five were as a substitute, and he also had a loan spell at Workington in February 1973, where he started one, and came on as a substitute twice, but did not score, in League games. His next move was in 1974 when he went across to Ireland to play with Dundalk.
Billy Ward - Midfield
Ward spent time with Spennymoor, Seaham Colliery, Shildon and Gateshead United. He played with Hartlepool from 1972 to 1975 where he made 91 starts and was a substitute 10 times scoring 11 goals.
Neil Warnock - Forward
Warnock played as a winger for Chesterfield, Rotherham United, Hartlepool United, Scunthorpe United, Aldershot, Barnsley, York City and Crewe Alexandra, scoring 36 goals in 327 career league appearances. He retired in 1979 at age 30 to move into coaching.
Warnock's first managerial job was with non-League Gainsborough Trinity (1980–1981), he would subsequently manage Burton Albion (1981–1986) and Scarborough (1986–1989), winning promotion to the Football League with the latter in 1987. He then managed Notts County (1989–1993), leading them from the Third Division to the First Division in successive seasons, though he was sacked after the club were relegated the season before the First Division became the Premier League. After a brief spell at Torquay United (1993), he moved to Huddersfield Town (1993–1995), with whom he won promotion to the new First Division. He then resigned and joined Plymouth Argyle (1995–1997), leading them to the Second Division. After being sacked, he spent spells with Oldham Athletic (1997–1998) and Bury (1998–1999).
In 1999, Warnock joined boyhood club Sheffield United, leading them to the semi-finals of the League Cup and FA Cup in 2003 and promotion to the Premier League in 2006. However, he resigned in 2007 after the club were relegated. He then took over at Crystal Palace (2007–2010), saving the club from relegation to League One. When the club went into administration, he left to join Queens Park Rangers (2010–2012), winning promotion to the Premier League with the club in 2011. He joined Leeds United (2012–2013) and then returning to Crystal Palace, then in the Premier League, in August 2014. Warnock returned to Rotherham United as manager in February 2016. He was appointed manager of Cardiff City in October 2016, and led them to Premier League promotion during the 2017–18 season. Warnock is now manager of Middlesborough.
Eric Welsh - Forward
Welsh was one of a number of players that Exeter City signed from Irish League clubs in the late 1950s, early 1960s. He had been playing for Distillery, moving to Exeter in September 1959. He played in the last four league matches of the 1959-60 season, the first of which was against Crystal Palace in April 1960.
He moved to Carlisle United for a fee of £7,500. Such was his form for the Cumbrians that he became a Northern Ireland international winning four caps as well as playing once for his country's Under-23 side.
Welsh made a total of 77 league appearances for Carlisle, scoring 20 goals. He then returned to Devon to sign for Torquay United in June 1969 and in two seasons with the club he added a further 39 league games, scoring 11 goals. His final Football League club was Hartlepool United in July 1971, but he only featured in 15 league games, netting two goals.
Welsh then played in South Africa for Port Elizabeth in 1972 and then Salisbury (1972-73), Hellenic (1973-75) and Guild Apollo (1976). Returning to Northern Ireland he signed for Distillery in March 1977.
Dennis White - Defender
Hartlepool-born Dennis earned a pro deal with the Club at the end of October 1967 after debuting in the 1-1 draw against Lincoln City a fortnight earlier. The full-back went on to form part of Pools’ first-ever promotion squad that season. In total, White made 63 appearances for the Club with his final Pools outing coming in a game at Doncaster Rovers in April 1973.
Ron Young - Midfield/Forward
Young joined Pools from Hull City in 1968 as the club was beginning an unsuccessful fight against relegation. Young was a regular for the next five seasons and contributed a very useful supply of goals. His best spell came in the second half of the 1971/72 season when his goals helped to lift Pools out of the bottom four and avoid re-election for the first time in three seasons.
The images above were taken from the scrapbooks of Alan Goad. Custom art was created by Paul Goad.
Alan’s career at Hartlepool started in 1967 after a brief apprenticeship stint at Exeter City. In the 11 years Alan spent at the club he collected programs, pictures, and newspaper clippings from the many matches he played in Hartlepool (418 in total). I am happy to share these memories so that Hartlepool Fans around the globe can enjoy a piece of history.
Alan Goad is still ranked 5th in games played at the club, ranked 1st in League Cup starts, and is the only player in the club’s history to see the club go through 3 name changes. His time with the club began with the celebration of their promotion into Division 3 but the 70’s were unkind with many relegation votes required to keep the club in the league.
Despite the club's luck and with very little money to be made Alan remained committed to the club, the fans, and the town of Hartlepool. He looks back fondly of his time at the club and the career he was fortunate to have.
Special thanks to Phil Dunn, Geoff Wilkinson and John Phillips for their contributions, guidance and wealth of knowledge on Hartlepool and their Club.
Information on the above mentioned players and teams was sourced from various locations including match programmes, newspaper articles, Wikipedia and the "In The Mad Crowd" website - http://inthemadcrowd.co.uk/
The inspiration for the kit designs is from John Devlins, "True Colors: The Football Kit History Site". His staggering work is featured in books, publications and various websites. Check out his amazing work - http://www.truecoloursfootballkits.com/