The heroes who brought glory to Pools

Goalkeeper George Smith, who signed from Notts County and was to prove a vital member of the promotion-winning team.

Goalkeeper George Smith, who signed from Notts County and was to prove a vital member of the promotion-winning team.

0
Have your say

Today we take a final look at the historic Pools promotion of 1968 - and the heroes who fought for glory.

Terry Bell, Bobby Cummings and George Smith were at the forefront of the push for promotion, with manager Gus McLean leading the charge.

Bobby Cummings signs on under the watchful eye of manager Gus McLean. Cummings' goals would help Pools to promotion.

Bobby Cummings signs on under the watchful eye of manager Gus McLean. Cummings' goals would help Pools to promotion.

“If I mention promotion people say ‘Oh yes, but when?’” said McLean. “If I could tell them that, I wouldn’t be in football. I’d be running a show in Blackpool.”

A superb opening week of the season saw Pools beat Brentford 2-0, followed by a 2-0 victory over Bradford in the League Cup first round.

Injuries and transfers, however, left the club on shaky ground for a while - until a run of good fortune in the spring of 1968.

“This club has never won anything, and they have the chance to remedy that,” said McLean at the time. He was proved right on May 6, 1968.

The defensive line-up which helped Pools to promotion - l-r: Tony Bircumshaw, John Gill, George Smith, John Sheridan, Tony Parry and Brian Drysdale.

The defensive line-up which helped Pools to promotion - l-r: Tony Bircumshaw, John Gill, George Smith, John Sheridan, Tony Parry and Brian Drysdale.

Terry Bell, pictured with coach John Simpson, was Hartlepool's top scorer during the 1967/68 season.

Terry Bell, pictured with coach John Simpson, was Hartlepool's top scorer during the 1967/68 season.