Former Pools star McGovern backs masterplan

Former Hartlepool United player John McGovern
Former Hartlepool United player John McGovern

A SUPPORTER’S group has won the backing of one of Hartlepool’s most famous football exports.

John McGovern, who twice won the European Cup during a distinguished career, has agreed to become honorary president of the Mill House Area Action Group (MHAAG) which is urging councillors to support the redevelopment, including the transfer of Victoria Park with no charge.

John was back in Hartlepool to visit the Mill House area, meet members of the committee, and give his backing.

The former Pools, Derby, Leeds and Nottingham Forest captain, now a UEFA delegate, has given his backing to the group and the regeneration masterplan for the area.

A key part of the plan is Hartlepool United securing ownership of the ground and progressing with new developments.

John said: “I have seen the masterplan for the regeneration for the Mill House area and it looks fantastic for the residents, and the town in general with new housing, leisure and community business all in the plans.

“The ground switch with the council and the owners IOR is a major part of the plan, and I would only urge the council to support the great work that has been achieved in recent years.

“The whole image of the town and club has taken on a totally different look since IOR arrived, and they need to be supported in return.

“They have done a magnificent job in the years they have been in control.”

John, part of the club’s first ever promotion squad of 1967-68, was born in Scotland, but moved to town as a youngster and was a talented sportsman at Henry Smiths School.

He was given his first break at Victoria Park during the reign of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, making his debut as a right winger at the age of just 16.

John, who reminisced about playing football on the Central Estate, said he still looks out for Hartlepool United’s results.

He was invited to take the role of honorary president after an approach by Hartlepool-based publicist Paul ‘Goffy’ Gough, of town based Goffy Media, who is supporting MHAAG.

Russ Green, Pools’ chief executive and Daniel Robinson, of the developers Gus Robinson Developments, will discuss their part in the masterplan at a meeting tonight at the Mill House Pub, in Rium Terrace.

The meeting is due to start at 6.30pm and anyone is welcome.