The worst time possible to be hit by a bug

The Mail's report on the troubled build-up to the big day.
The Mail's report on the troubled build-up to the big day.

Talk about bad timing.

The build-up to that Pools-Darlington derby could hardly have had more bad luck for the home team.

The entire Hartlepool playing staff had to be sent home because of an outbreak of a cold virus.

It also hit manager Billy Horner as well as his coaches Willie Maddren and George Smith.

But as well as leaving the squad out of sorts, Billy could not even name his matchday team until he discovered who was going to be fit.

And to add to the headache, the stars of his Intermediate League team were bidding for their own league title.

It meant Billy had to decide whether to turn to the youngsters for a big derby match, just before their final push as favourites for the NIL crown.

Elsewhere, this was a big year in sport.

Cancer survivor Bob Champion and his horse Aldaniti won the Grand National and Steve Davis became world snooker champion.

Ricardo Villa scored a mesmerising goal as Spurs beat Manchester City in a memorable FA Cup Final replay.

Liverpool won the European Cup with a 1-0 victory over Real Madrid and became the first British side to win the trophy three times.

Shergar won the Espom Derby and England beat Hungary 1-0 at Wembley to qualify for the World Cup in Spain in the summer of 1982.