MAY I through the Hartlepool Mail Letters page thank former Hartlepool United star John McGovern for the voluntary work he is currently undertaking on behalf of the Mill House Area Action Group (MHAAG).
Pools fans will remember John as one of the stars of the club’s history-making first promotion season of 1967-68 from the old Fourth Division.
His journey from the Vic, moving to follow the great management team of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor to European glory (twice), really is the stuff that dreams are made of.
I was recently asked by the MHAAG chairman, Kevin McElhone, and his committee to see if it would be possible for me to source a name that the group could have as its figurehead, with strong connections to our town and someone with heritage and an impeccable reputation.
Step forward John McGovern, now working as a FIFA delegate around the world and a footballer decorated with piles of honours and medals.
Two as European Cup winning captain of Brian Cough’s Notts Forest – not bad for a lad aged 16 who would bike to the Vic for games from his home on the Central Estate.
Having worked with John on the after dinner circuit for a number of years, I also know he has a great passion for the town and club that gave him the chance to carve out this magnificent journey.
He also fully understands the need for progress for the town and the football club too.
There was no hesitation when he was asked to take on the role of honorary President of the Mill House Area Action Group.
He headed to town (at his own cost) to meet the press and be photographed for publicity press releases for the group.
Having John back the plan has quickly attracted a pile of press, and it gave significant profile for the Mill House project.
A very healthy portfolio has already been assembled of media coverage from across the region, including several front page-related stories.
It’s great to know that John has never forgotten his roots and will be forever grateful to our town football club for giving him the kick start to a phenomenal career.
He also fully understands how crucial it is to have a football league club in town, knowing also that it brings a significant boost to the local economy.
Paul “Goffy” Gough,