A POPULAR football boss made an emotional return to Hartlepool last week to thank the fans who hailed him as “one of the best ever”.
Neale Cooper was given a fantastic reception as scores of fans packed out the Belle Vue Sports and Social Club, in Kendal Road, eager to question the former boss in an event organised by Hartlepool-based Goffy Media.
The 47-year old Scot was hugely popular during his impressive two-year stint at the club, taking newly-promoted Pools to the play-offs in his first season.
His second year was equally impressive and United were points away from securing their second consecutive play-off place when Cooper resigned with one game remaining.
Cooper was back in the town on Friday night to speak to the fans for the first time since
He said: “It was a fantastic night and very emotional. The fans gave me a night I will never forget.
“I loved every second of it. I would walk all the way from Scotland to manage this great club again.
“To walk into the room and to see it packed for my return made me feel like a million dollars.
“I had a very special bond with the Hartlepool fans and cherish the great times we were able to share. They will live with me for ever.”
During his return to the town, Neale caught up with some familiar faces and even took time out to pose with the Mail’s ‘Proud to be a Poolie’ poster.
Pools striker Adam Boyd, who played under Cooper, said: “Neale is a fantastic motivator and I owe him so much. He gave me a huge push to get me moving in the right direction.
“I am sure he will be back in the game very soon, he is far too good a manager to be out of it.”
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