Up the Pools - a celebration of promotion triumph

It's all smiles at Hartlepool as players celebrate promotion.
It's all smiles at Hartlepool as players celebrate promotion.

It took Pools 60 years to win promotion for the first time - and a further 23 to clinch the second.

But, when promotion finally came in 1991 - on the back of a 3-1 win over Northampton Town - fans forgot all their troubles.

Hartlepool United stars Rob McKinnon, Brian Honour and Paul Baker are pictured at the launch of Up The Pools - a book written by Mail journalists after the 1991 promotion.

Hartlepool United stars Rob McKinnon, Brian Honour and Paul Baker are pictured at the launch of Up The Pools - a book written by Mail journalists after the 1991 promotion.

“In the previous 23 years, a new generation of fans had grown up with Pools’ record of failure,” reported the Mail.

“But, once again, the waiting had made the winning worthwhile.

“Manager Cyril Knowles built the team, and caretaker boss Alan Murray masterminded the finishing burst.”

Players such as striker Joe Allon, full-back Rob McKinnon and local hero Brian Honour all helped clinch the Third Division place.

Hartlepool United fans pictured at a home game in 1991.

Hartlepool United fans pictured at a home game in 1991.

Tragically, however, Cyril was diagnosed with brain cancer during the promotion push - and died just months after promotion.

Hartlepool players celebrate promotion in the 1990/91 season.

Hartlepool players celebrate promotion in the 1990/91 season.