RARE footage of Hartlepool United celebrating promotion for the first time in their history has been uncovered.
The colour film, shot on an old cine camera, was recorded 45 years ago at The Vic after Hartlepools United, as they were then known, had secured promotion.
It shows the team being given a heroes’ welcome by jubilant supporters before kick-off and hundreds of fans pouring on to the pitch after the final whistle of their 2-0 win over Swansea Town.
The four-and-a-half-minute film belongs to lifelong Pools fan Kevin Irish.
He took it to friend Derrick Rowbotham, of local history group History of Hartlepool in Images, which is creating a series of DVDs of the history of the town from people’s old photos and films.
Derrick, from the Park Road area of town, said: “Kevin has been a lifelong supporter of Hartlepool like me since we were about 12.
“I believe he had this film in his family for a long while and he brought it to me to convert from film on to a DVD for him.
“It is also going to be included in our second DVD which we are making to raise money for charity.
“It is excellent footage and the reaction from people who have seen it have been unbelievable.
“I don’t think many people knew that this existed.
“Nobody thought there was any footage of that particular period of the 1968 team.”
Hartlepools United secured promotion from the old Division Four on May 6, 1968 by beating Swansea 2-0 away.
The footage is of Pools’ home game, also against Swansea, just five days later when they again won 2-0 infront of 11,011 jubilant fans.
Sadly the team only managed one season in the third division and were relegated the following season.
Derrick added Hartlepool United fan anthems Two Little Boys and Never Say Die over the footage.
It is expected to be released later this year on the second of five DVDs featuring Hartlepool from yesteryear.
The first is due to be released in about a month and further details will appear in the Mail closer to the date.
Proceeds will help dementia research and care home residents.
You can watch the Pools video footage here