The FA Cup Final hero who shone for Pools

Action from the Pools match against Lincoln as Bob Newton lashes home the second goal.
Action from the Pools match against Lincoln as Bob Newton lashes home the second goal.

Resurgent Pools are on the up this season – just as they were in the early stages of the 1980 campaign.

And by October that year, the top four were looking over their shoulders at a team which was performing well.

Bobby Kerr.

Bobby Kerr.

Their latest success came against Lincoln at Victoria Park and what a turnaround in fortunes Pools had enjoyed at home. They lost two of their first three home games of the season while showing great form on their travels.

But the trend was soon reversed and Pools went on a four-match winning run with Lincoln as their latest victims. A 2-0 triumph was only the second time Lincoln had lost away from home since March 1980.

The Mail reporter at the time said: “Pools’ victory was based mainly on their attitude, for after last week’s 5-0 drubbing at Wimbledon, they showed they had the character to come back and use their skill against one of the division’s best sides.

“They kept things tight in defence and in midfield, never allowing Lincoln to play, while when they moved forward Pools looked relaxed and determined.”

Pools kept things tight in defence and in midfield, never allowing Lincoln to play, while when they moved forward they looked relaxed and determined

Hartlepool Mail reporter, 1980

It wasn’t a one-way tide though. The visitors had a well-organised defence and yet Pools still found a way through, twice.

And they did it in a game which was dominated by strong winds and a dogged rearguard action from Lincoln.

The first goal came three minutes before half-time when the impressive Bobby Kerr sent in a long throw-in from the left.

Lincoln’s Trevor Thompson could only head the ball towards his own goalmouth where it fell perfectly for John Bird to slam the ball home.

It was the first time in 15 years as a professional footballer that he had scored a goal with his left foot.

The second came on 68 minutes and gave Pools some breathing space, although it was controversial in the eyes of the Lincoln players. They believed it was offside.

Once again, Kerr was involved. He crossed from the right and although the ball was cleared, Bird was there to head it down.

Quick as a flash, Bob Newton was on to it and turned sharply to hammer a rising volley into the net.

It could have been three when Newton had another chance – again with Kerr involved when he beat two men – but he could only force the ball across goal rather than into the net.

The Mail reporter praised Kerr’s involvement and said he was “Hartlepool’s little general as much as he ever was Sunderland’s”.