Hartlepool United Michael Woods gutted to see Buster Gallagher go

Ian Gallagher: Popular Poolie. Picture by FRANK REID
Ian Gallagher: Popular Poolie. Picture by FRANK REID

Michael Woods has paid a heartfelt tribute to Ian Gallagher following his shock exit from Hartlepool United.

The head physio was sacked earlier this month after a quarter of a century’s service to the club, which ranged from his time as a player to life on the medical staff.

I’ve been lucky enough to have played at some top clubs and I’ve seen their physio staff and medical teams and Buster was as good as any of them

MICHAEL WOODS

Gallagher was universally known as Buster and universally popular with players, staff and supporters.

Fans loved his heart-on-the-sleeve approach and the 39-year-old was part of the gang of four which almost kept Pools in the Football League at the end of last season.

Gallagher was a quarter of the caretaker management team with Matthew Bates, Billy Paynter and Stuart Parnaby, following the sacking of Dave Jones.

But Woods has special reason to thank Gallagher after the work the Poolie did following the midfielder’s serious injury in 2015.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him,” said the 27-year-old. “I think everyone is aware what he did for me.

“I had a broken leg and dislocated ankle and he got me back in five months.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have played at some top clubs and I’ve seen their physio staff and medical teams and Buster was as good as any of them.

“I was lucky to have Buster here. Personally, I was very upset to see him go, as were a lot of people at the club.

“But that’s the club’s decision, it’s not really anything to do with the players – we still have our jobs to do.

“I can’t thank Buster enough.

“When you have been out for five or six months, you are spending six, seven days a week with someone.

“He took a lot of time out to visit hospitals, coming to see me at home when I was bed-ridden, stuff like that I’ll never forget.

“I was gutted to see him go, but that is the club’s decision. No one man is bigger than the club.

“He was a top man, still is, he’s not died.”