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Hartlepool United fans want the club to name a stand after Neale Cooper

Hartlepool United asked for fans' suggestions on how to remember former boss Neale Cooper.
Hartlepool United asked for fans' suggestions on how to remember former boss 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."

The most popular suggestion among fans was naming a stand after Neale Cooper.

The most popular suggestion among fans was naming a stand after Neale Cooper.

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."