Hartlepool United fans want the club to name a stand after Neale Cooper
Hartlepool United fans would like to see a stand named after the late Neale Cooper, the most successful manager in the club's history.
Fans were stunned when the 54-year-old, who led the club to the League One play-offs in 2005, died last week after a fall.Pools' new chief executive Mark Maguire immediately said the club wanted to do something to commemorate the former manager.He said: "“Neale was clearly an incredible character who had a significant influence on Hartlepool United Football Club.
“We will be open to anything in terms of the best way to commemorate Neale, his time at Hartlepool United, and him as a man. We will be respectful of the family’s wishes.”
The Mail has run an online poll for several days, asking fans to vote on six suggestions on how the ex-Victoria Park boss might best be remembered.
Almost 400 people voted, and more than half (55%) said naming a stand at the ground after Cooper would be the most fitting tribute.
Among the many comments left on social media was one by Anthony Wood, who said: "Name a stand after him or name the road outside Pools after him. Neale Cooper Way has a ring to it."
Ian Lincoln agreed: "Name a stand in his honour," Shelagh Cheyne wrote: "A stand named after him would be a great tribute," and Paul Flounders added: "Name the Town End stand after him, it's the least he deserves."
The second-most-popular suggestion (18%) was a fundraising friendly between Pools and Aberdeen, the Scottish Premier League club where Cooper made his name and won several trophies during his playing career.
Norman Lee Taylor said: "Have a friendly, Pools vs Aberdeen, with all proceeds going to his family or charity."
Kevin McCammon agreed, posting "Definitely agree with a friendly against Aberdeen, excellent tribute for a footballing hero adored by the faithful at the Vic and Pittodrie."
Jason Sowerby said both the top two options were worth considering: "Friendly with Aberdeen and name a stand after him - he was the best manager Pools ever had."
The other poll results were 'Name a suite at The Vic after him' (12%), 'Hartlepool schools to play for a trophy named after him (11%), 'rename Victoria Park the Neale Cooper ground' (3%), and 'a reserved seat in the executive box at Victoria Park' (2%).
A new suggestion came from David Bradley, who said: "Put his name on the shirts for this season."