BLackburn Rovers, hands off Craig Hignett says Hartlepool United legend

Craig Hignett can become the fifth manager in Hartlepool United's history to lead Pools into England's third tier.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 6:00 am
Joe Allon
Joe Allon

That was the prediction of Pools legend Joe Allon, who was the leading scorer when the club clinched their second promotion in 1990-91.

Allon was back in town to be part of the event to mark the 25th anniversary of that success.

The striker was joined by other heroes of that campaign at a function at Seaton Social Club to raise money for Hartlepool & District Hospice.

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And Allon believes Pools fans could be celebrating again in 12 months.

“It was a poor end to the season and Higgy won’t disagree with that,” Allon told SportMail.

“But when he took the reins he got the club to a place of stability quite quickly and he’ll be looking to move it on.

“I’m sure in the close season there will be comings and goings, players coming in because he’ll want to put his stamp on it,

“Higgy’s a good man and he’ll be good for Hartlepool United. So back off Blackburn, he’s not your’s, he’s ours!

“I’m sure he’ll be looking to get Pools up challenging at the top end of League Two.”

On the subject of Blackburn, things appear to have cooled on the Hignett front.

SportMail reported on May 11 how he had emerged as the bookies favourite for the vacant Rovers job.

It is understood Blackburn are at the interview stage with four on their shortlist with another ex-Pools man tipped to replace Paul Lambert.

Neil Warnock, who quit Rotherham United after keeping them in the Sky Bet Championship, is favourite for the Ewood Park post with Russell Slade, Neil Readfearn and Alan Stubbs other candidates.

It looks like encouraging news for Pools, with Hignett looking a good fit for the club and vice-versa.

Allon pointed out that the 1991 promotion was built on the back of the club successfully fighting relegation battles.

“The last two years have been a struggle, avoiding relegation,” said the 49-year-old.

“There have been a lot of comings and goings, managers and players.

“The promotion me and the lads had was brilliant but it came out of adversity.

“The promotion was only the second time it happened to the club and to go up was a massive achievement – we were very proud.

“But, for me, the achivement wasn’t just for the players, the management and fans, it was people behind the scenes, the unsung heroes.

“Frankie Baggs, John Breward, Ronnie the groundsman, Mally Kirby, Maureen Smith, John in the shop and for any I’ve missed out, I apologise.

“When I joined the club, Frankie and John, both fantastic characters, got hold of me and said ‘you have to understand the town’.

“I got to know the town and the people and this will always be up there as one of my greatest achievements.

“To have had a massive tribute like this was brilliant.

“It’s fantastic for us but great to see a lot of old faces among the fans.

“Top marks to Phil Dunn and Andy Wilson for putting it on and everyone supporting it for Hartlepool & District Hospice.”