Hartlepool United announce Middlesbrough legend Stephen Pears as new assistant manager

SPAIN TRIP: Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper
SPAIN TRIP: Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper

STEPHEN Pears has been confirmed as Hartlepool United’s new assistant manager.

The former Boro and Pools stopper will also double up as goalkeeping coach at the Sky Bet League Two club and will be joining the team on their pre-season training camp in Spain next week.

Pools boss Colin Cooper has been without a Number 2 since Craig Hignett left the club in March to become Aitor Karanka’s assistant and Pears has long been linked with the role at Victoria Park.

Experienced Pears had previously spent six years as goalkeeping coach at Middlesbrough where he worked closely alongside Cooper.

Pears enjoyed a long and distinguished playing career with started with Manchester United in 1979 but after making only four appearances he was loaned to Middlesbrough and went on to make the move permanent in 1985.

During a lengthy stint at Boro he made more than 400 appearances for the club and earned a testimonial in 1995, which also turned out to be their last-ever game at Ayresome Park.

After a short spell providing cover for David James at Liverpool, Pears returned to the North East when he agreed a deal to join Pools - under boss Keith Houchen - and he went on to make 19 appearances for the club in the 1996-97 campaign before retiring at the age of 35.

He returned to Boro to take up a coaching role in their academy before being promoted to work with the first yeam by then boss Gareth Southgate.

Last season’s goalkeeping coach Jim Provett will remain with the club, working with the younger players, it has been confirmed.