Hartlepool’s ‘match of the penguins’ at Crawley Town

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IF ever a team needed a p-p-p-p-p-pick up, it was Hartlepool United.

And that’s exactly what the relegated team will get today when the March of the Penguins heads to Crawley for the final game of the season.

Hundreds of Pools supporters are expected to attend the final game of the season at Crawley Town in the identical fancy dress.

The fans made headlines around the world last season when 150 Poolies attended the last game against Charlton dressed as Smurfs.

Hilarious pictures of the fans travelling through London to the game were circulated on social media sites.

The year before that, the curtain came down on the season with scores of Oompa Loompas watching from the stands.

And despite Pools being relegated after a disappointing campaign, the fans are determined to finish the season in good spirits by taking part in the fancy dress tradition.

Organiser John Pearson said: “It all adds to the day. I know the players look forward to it as well, and Russ Green asks me what we are going as.

“Last year there were lots of tweets when we went as Smurfs and the players wanted photos of us.

“Hopefully we will have similar numbers to last year but I estimate there will be around 120. It is just what we do and people like to join in which is good.

“The majority of the costumes will all be identical but I’m sure some people will have their own.”

John, 54, has sourced the suits from Eden Costumes near Sedgfield.

Among the travelling army today will be friends Chris Bell, 17, and 18-year-old Craig Risebury, who are both studying for their A-levels at English Martyrs Sixth Form.

Chris, of Foggy Furze, Hartlepool, said: “With us being relegated all the pressure is off so we are looking forward top the fun and games.

“We will all meet up early today and go from there, so it is an all day thing. Last year was a really good experience, we had random looks off people but it was a good laugh.”

l ARE you going to the game? Get your pictures on Twitter from the game using the hashtag #pooliepenguins.

l Coverage from the day at www.hartlepool mail.co.uk