Tributes to Jacob to the Great Escape: Hartlepool’s most popular stories in 2015

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore celebrating with his staff at the end of the game against Exeter City which saw Pools retain their Football League status.
Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore celebrating with his staff at the end of the game against Exeter City which saw Pools retain their Football League status.

It’s been another busy year in Hartlepool.

Terrible crimes, heartbreaking tragedies and sporting successes have made for an emotional 2015.

A balloon release was held in Seaton Carew in tribute to Jacob Jenkins.

A balloon release was held in Seaton Carew in tribute to Jacob Jenkins.

We’ve brought you the latest news, sport and entertainment stories both in the paper and on our website over the last 12 months, and now we’re sharing the stories that proved the most popular.

Our thoughts go out to all of those who have suffered heartbreak this year and we wish everyone the very best for 2016.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the news next year by picking up your Mail and by visiting hartlepoolmail.co.uk.

You can also get the latest news and get involved in conversations on our Facebook page (facebook.com/hartlepoolmalnews), through our Twitter account (@HpoolMail) and by following our recently launched Instagram account (hartlepoolmail).

In Hartlepool's hearts: Jacob Jenkins.

In Hartlepool's hearts: Jacob Jenkins.

Most popular news stories

Jacob loses fight for life as Hartlepool unites in emotional tribute
Tragedy struck on October 9 when Jacob Jenkins swallowed a grape at Pizza Hut, in Marina Way. The two-year-old died five days later despite the prayers of people from around the world. The Mail was inundated with messages of support for his family and hundreds of people lined the streets for the boy’s funeral.

Shop staff feared for their lives as JCB was rammed into Hartlepool Tesco during their tea break
It was a crime that shocked Hartlepool. Brazen thieves smashed through the wall of the Tesco Express store in Throston in a bid to steal a cash machine. The November 25 raid failed – but the crooks left a big mess.

Tributes flood in after tragic death of ‘amazing’ Hartlepool dad, 32
Devastated family and friends paid tribute to Richard Bradley after his tragic death aged just 32 in February. He was described as “an amazing bloke” by loved ones.

The scene of a ram raid at Tesco Express, Throston Grange.

The scene of a ram raid at Tesco Express, Throston Grange.

‘She screamed and clung to Mark’: Manslaughter victim’s wife tells of daughter’s agony
It was revealed in May how the devastated daughter of tragic Mark Dixon, 32, cries herself to sleep because she misses her daddy so much. The heartbreaking words came after the trial of his killer. Paul Sutton, 29. He was sentenced to six years at Newcastle Crown Court for the “needless” death of Mark, who died after he was the victim of a one-punch attack in Hartlepool town centre in October, 2014.

Hartlepool drugs gang leaders get 23 years for their part in £30m conspiracy
Adrian Morfitt and David Garside, both 30, worked with Liverpool dealers to transport tens of kilos of cocaine and amphetamine across the Pennines to Hartlepool, where they were distributed across the North East. They were jailed for more than 23 years on June 25.

Most popular sport stories

Hartlepool United pull off THE Greatest Escape by beating Exeter City 2-1
We’re still humming the music. Ronnie Moore’s Hartlepool United came back from the dead to secure their League Two survival – and boy did the town celebrate!

Honorary president Jeff Stelling.

Honorary president Jeff Stelling.

Delight as TV star Jeff Stelling is given a top honour at Pools
Hartlepool’s favourite son was named honorary president of the club he shouts about on national TV. He told the Mail he hoped to be ‘active’ in the role as he balances his commitment with his Sky Sports job.

Hartlepool United chairman reveals ambition to transform Pools into a Championship club
In November, Hartlepool United chairman Gary Coxall revealed his ambition to transform Pools into a Championship club in an exclusive interview with Richard Mennear. Pools have never played in the second tier of English football but ambitious Coxall has high hopes for the Clarence Road outfit.

Our picks of 2015

Hartlepool says goodbye to brave little Callum Smith
The courageous three-year-old passed away on February 1, after fighting against a string of conditions including epilepsy, dystonia and hypertonia. Mail readers had made a big difference to the little boy’s life as part of the Callum’s Dream appeal. Rest in peace Callum.

Mobility scooter boatman revealed – and he was taking girlfriend out for day’s fishing
A mystery mobility-scooter rider, who was spotted towing a boat with the machine, was revealed as 22-year-old Hartlepool butcher Luke Cartridge. We then found out that Luke was taking girlfriend Natasha Day out for a date and was using the boat to go fishing.

Revealed: The best and worst food hygiene ratings in Hartlepool
Was your takeaway among those who scored zero? We reported the Food Standard Agency’s ratings for eateries in Hartlepool and there was a lot of interest in the results.

Scooter man Luke Cartridge.

Scooter man Luke Cartridge.

‘Guess how much I love you’: Hartlepool mum tells of final moments with baby Seb
Sarah Marriott and her partner Jonathan Blenkinsop had to make the heartbreaking decision to switch off their beautiful baby boy Seb Patrick Blenkinsop’s life support machine after he became ill when he was born. Sarah read the poignant words of a children’s story book ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ as her seven-day-old baby died in April from an extremely rare lung condition which has affected only 180 newborns in the world.

Eyesore seaside building will be pulled down at last
Hartlepool Borough Council’s Finance and Policy Committee approved the compulsory purchase order (CPO) for the Longscar Building after all efforts to buy it by agreement failed. The clearance of the derelict site is a key part of plans to regenerate Seaton Carew.

A balloon release in Ward Jackson Park, Hartlepool, in memory of Callum Smith.

A balloon release in Ward Jackson Park, Hartlepool, in memory of Callum Smith.