Pools memories in new book

Football fan John Lightfoot pictured with his book.
Football fan John Lightfoot pictured with his book.

A DIE-HARD football fan has penned a book comparing life on the terraces through the decades.

Hartlepool United and Sunderland Football Club fan John Lightfoot has written his first book, called Reflections of a Football Dinosaur.

In the book, John, 59, who reckons he has attended thousands of football matches over the years, recounts his memories of attending games from his childhood in the 1960s to the present day.

The book recalls the times of Pools greats including John McGovern, Bob Newton and Willie McPheat, who was also an Irish international.

It also features a description of John’s time growing up in both east Durham and west London.

John, who attended school in Hartlepool, described the book as “funny, poignant, sad in parts and very quirky” and said it will appeal to football fans and non-football fans alike.

He added: “It’s about a lifetime of growing up watching football and how it’s changed.

“I think the game’s got greedy and it’s lost its identity. It’s all image now and nothing to do with the product.

“I still love football, but the real football now is below the Premiership level.”

John and his family moved from Easington to London in 1962 before returning in 1976.

John, from Church Close, Peterlee, said: “Even at Hartlepool United, I was there when there were 16,000 fans at derby matches against Darlington in the 1960s.”

John, who lives with his partner Jennifer Deller, 59, also recalls a 1970s Pools game against Leeds at Victoria Park, which the visitors won 6-2.

He said the last time he saw Pools was last year when they were beaten by Sheffield Wednesday 5-0, and joked his matchday pie lasted longer than Hartlepool United’s chances of winning.

John, a former civil servant who now works part time at Asda in Seaham and is dad to Martin, 35, and Daniel, 26, said: “I read about the £100 Pools season ticket offer and I’m tempted to buy one.”

The book, priced £9.99, is available online from www.myreflections.co.uk or at the Love Supreme shop opposite the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.