THE photograph of Hartlepool United players and supporters sent in by Pauline Orley brought back happy memories to me of her dad and uncle, namely George and Laurie Hunter, staunch Pools supporters.
We had been work mates and friends for many years.
Pauline, you were right about your mam making rosettes and scarves in the Pools colours, plus the rattles, but uncle Laurie had his bugle which he made at work and used it to good effect.
Many a day’s work and pay George gave up to follow the Pools, so here are two of his stories I well remember.
George went to Tranmere to see Pools in the cup and wandering around he spotted this pub.
It looked all right to have his lunch pie and a pint.
On entering the pub he noticed the licensee’s name above the door. William Dean it said.
So he got his lunch and tucked into it, then that name over the door rang a bell.
Could that be Dixie Dean, the Everton centre-forward, a great player in his day?
So after lunch he asked the man behind the bar: “Are you Dixie Dean, that great centre-forward who played for Everton?”
The man nodded and smiled. “Yes I am, but I don’t get called Dixie now, just Billy.”
They had a few words about the match. What a memory. Pools won 1-0.
On Monday at work George let everyone know that he had met and spoken to one of football’s greats, Dixie Dean.
This time George travelled to Northampton Town to see Pools in the cup.
Having a look around the town before the match, he walked past a hotel and in the car park were some of the Pools players.
In the crowd was his long time friend, Pools favourite Leo Harden, so he went over to have a word with him.
Leo said to George: “Have you had your lunch yet?”
“No, I’m just looking for somewhere to get it.”
“Wait there,” said Leo, and off he went back into the hotel’s dining room, picking up two dinner buns and two steaks left on the table, quickly wrapping them up in serviettes.
He handed them to George. “There’s your lunch,” he said, and off he went to accompany the other players.
So what a lunch. He had a pint of beer and two steak sarnies then off he went to see Pools beat Northampton Town.
Sadly George and Laurie are no longer with us but I still have my memories of the happy times we had together.