Pools may push for 5,000 sales

TICKET BONUS: Catcote pupils (back row, left to right) Dan Weldrake, Jack Lindoe, Mark McCormick, Sean Wray and Connor Gallaghan celebrate with Michael Richardson and Kevin McElhone of Into The Blue
TICKET BONUS: Catcote pupils (back row, left to right) Dan Weldrake, Jack Lindoe, Mark McCormick, Sean Wray and Connor Gallaghan celebrate with Michael Richardson and Kevin McElhone of Into The Blue

HARTLEPOOL United officials could extend the deadline for fans to buy cut-price season tickets in a bid to top 5,000 sales.

It comes after 4,000 fans snapped up their ticket before the original deadline tomorrow to guarantee supporters will pay just £100 for their spot at Victoria Park next year.

That milestone was smashed on Tuesday afternoon and club officials say they have been impressed with the “phenomenal” response.

Chairman Ken Hodcroft and chief executive Russ Green will meet within the next 48 hours to discuss extending the deadline.

After the deadline, the prices will revert to what they were last season.

Mr Green said: “We have been so taken with the fans and the response that I am meeting the chairman to decide what to do after Friday to address this issue.

“The phenomenal response we have had has been very encouraging.

“If we did offer it for another week or two week we could get the figure up to 5,000, you never know.”

Fans have been queuing outside the ticket office in Clarence Road all week while staff say the phones have also been busy.

The club sold a further 425 yesterday to take the current total to 4,573.

Meanwhile, generous fans helped the club reach the 4,000 mark by dipping into their own pockets to buy season tickets for youngsters with disabilities.

An online whip-round was started on the popular Pools internet sites The Poolie Bunker and Into The Blue after fans noticed an increase in the number of youngsters around Hartlepool wearing shirts of the Premiership big guns rather than the blue and white stripes of their local team.

Bids quickly started to pour in and more than £150 has been collected to buy three junior season tickets.

They are being donated to Catcote School Business and Enterprise College, in Catcote Road, Hartlepool. One of the fans, 52-year-old retired fireman Bob Cross, from the Stockton Road area of town, said: “This all started when we read the story in the Mail about the big number of Manchester United fans in Hartlepool.

“You always see the kids running round with their Manchester United, Liverpool or Newcastle kits on.

“That’s okay if they have any affinity to those clubs, but a lot of these kids don’t know any different.

“We had a think about what we could do to try to get the kids interested in Pools and someone suggested getting involved with the ticket offer.

“People were going online saying they’d chuck a tenner in and one of the lads ended up getting a PayPal account set up for people to donate into.

“I’ve had people sending me messages for my address and coming around pushing fivers through the door.

“We’ve raked in more than £150 which is enough for three tickets.

“If we get any more, we’ll buy another ticket. If not the spare cash will go to charity.”

Catcote School headteacher Alan Chapman added: “Sometimes students with disabilities do not always get the opportunity to take part in town-wide activities like going to the football match.

“This will change that. We are looking forward to our youngsters getting the opportunity to go to the match.”