Hartlepool United superfan Jeff Stelling's yo-yo emotions as his club battle relegation

Hartlepool-born Jeff Stelling cheers on his home town team from the Sky Sports studio during their game against Doncaster Rovers.
Hartlepool-born Jeff Stelling cheers on his home town team from the Sky Sports studio during their game against Doncaster Rovers.

Hartlepool United superfan Jeff Stelling was put through the wringer live on TV as his beloved club was relegated on Saturday.

The Sky Sports presenter was forced to try to keep his cool live on air as Pools battled for Football League survival.

Wearing a replica shirt, Jeff was seen jumping up and down in the studio after Devante Rodney struck what looked certain to be the goal to keep the club in League Two with eight minutes left, as Pools went 2-1 up against Doncaster Rovers.

Former Arsenal and England star Paul Merson, who was describing the action from Victoria Park, described the scenes after the goal as “unbelievable” as supporters streamed onto the pitch.

However, Jeff had a warning. He said: “As it stands, Newport County are going down, but a Newport or Doncaster goal would change all that.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to bear to get through these next few minutes.”

Those fears had some substance, as a stoppage time winner from Newport County in their match with Notts County ultimately saved them at Hartlepool’s expense.

The Sky Sports studio went almost silent after the goal, and Jeff sat back in his chair with his hands on his head as he was unable to hide his devastation.

After the final whistle signalled an end to Pools’ 96-year stay in the Football League, he said: “Newport have survived against all the odds.

“When Graham Westley was in charge, it looked for all the world as if they were going to be relegated, but new manager Mike Flynn came in and has picked up 22 points from 12 games.

“They’ve scored late in the day, and Newport County survive in the Football League, which is great for them, but not for some.”

Watch agony and ecstasy on the faces of fans on the Hartlepool United terraces