‘Poolies were his family’: Saying goodbye to one of Hartlepool United’s biggest fans

The funeral of Hartlepool fan passing Hartlepool United's ground this morning.
The funeral of Hartlepool fan passing Hartlepool United's ground this morning.

Tributes have been paid to a passionate Pools supporter who lost his battle with cancer.

Scores of mourners donned blue and white to pay tribute to life-long Hartlepool United supporter Chris Phillips, 54, from Hesledon.

Chris, who had cerebral palsy, was a regular at Victoria Park to see his beloved team play, and would often travel to away matches.

His funeral was held today after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer after Christmas.

Friend Angie Marchant, of West Park, Hartlepool, said: “He loved Pools, especially the last match of the season when he’d dress up. He supported them all his life.”

Chris’ funeral was held at Stranton crematorium before a wake at the Victoria Lounge at the Vic.

“He would have loved to have seen all the people there in blue and white,” said Angie. “He had no family. So the Poolies were his family, as well as the country and western fans at Hesledon Club. He loved his country and western.”

Speaking about the former Thornhill pupil’s illness, Angie said: “He was very independent, and lived at his own home. But he’d been poorly over Christmas and had a fall. He went into hospital and the doctors said he had incurable cancer.

“He spent three weeks at University Hospital of North Tees and then three weeks at Hartlepool & District Hospice.

“Even when he was in the hospice he was joking with the nurses.

“He was a great character and will be a big miss.”