A DRIVER has been praised after Hartlepool United’s team coach hit a deer on the journey home from London.
Hartlepool United were on the way back from an away game with Leyton Orient when the bus struck the unfortunate animal on the A66.
No-one was hurt in the incident and the coach was able to continue despite suffering damage its front.
Club officials have praised driver Shaun Garbutt for keeping his cool and focus during the collision.
Mark Simpson, media manager for Pools, said: “The deer had ran in front of the coach so he did well kept his nerve.
“Human nature is to swerve out the way, but we had a lorry on the inside of us at the time. He did the right thing.
“Because of where we were, we couldn’t stop. We just had to keep on going.”
The team were heading back north after being beaten 1-0 on Tuesday night at the Matchroom Stadium.
It was around 3am the next day when those on board heard a loud bang.
The coach driver is said to have been unable to stop as they were in traffic on a dual-carriageway.
Mr Simpson added: “It was a strange one as it was so early in the morning.
“A lot of players had their earphones on or were asleep, so were unaware of what had happened until we stopped.”