HARTLEPOOL United’s latest signing said he didn’t hesitate when asked to join Colin Cooper’s backroom staff.
Stephen Pears, the club’s new assistant manager and goalkeeping coach, has been friends and a former colleague of Cooper’s for more than 30 years.
The experienced former Boro and Pools stopper had been strongly linked with the Number 2 role ever since Craig Hignett left back in March.
But Pears – who left Boro in November after Aitor Karanka reshuffled his coaching staff – said he was still “taken aback” when he got the call from Cooper.
The 52-year-old is adamant though that it took him no time at all in accepting the role at the Sky Bet League Two club.
“I spoke with Colin a few weeks ago and he asked me if I would like to come in,” explained Pears.
“I was taken aback to be honest because I had been out of the game since I got sacked at Middlesbrough before Christmas.
“It was nice to be asked to come back in, I didn’t think it was going to happen.
“I have known Colin for 30-odd years and coached with him, played with him, but I was still taken aback by him asking me.
“I said yes straight away and it didn’t take any thinking about at all really.
“I love coaching, love goalkeepers and it is good to be working with different goalkeepers.
“They are all different in many ways and all have their own issues.
“Thankfully the goalkeepers at Hartlepool United are good,” added Pears who said he has had a warm welcome allowing him to fit in “like a glove”.