Hartlepool United fan's plea for help with book about club's young heroes

A football fan who is finishing a book about Hartlepool’s forgotten “Roy of the Rovers” team has made a new plea for help with his research.

Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 4:53 pm

Dave Sutheran is charting the history of Hartlepool United’s intermediates side, who were the equivalent of a youth team today, from their foundation in 1977 to 1989.

The as yet untitled book will recall how the under-19 squad unexpectedly won the 1981 Northern Intermediate League while up against larger clubs such as Newcastle United, Leeds United, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.

His late dad, Kenny Sutheran, was manager for most of this 12-year period while juggling his role with family commitments and full-time employment as a mechanical fitter.

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Dave Sutheran is finishing his research on Hartlepool United's forgotten "Roy of the Rovers" team.

Dave, 59, a semi-retired delivery driver, expects to finish the book in late January although he is still keen to trace relatives of two of the late architects of the side’s success.

Stan Lewis coached the team alongside Kenny while Tommy Moran provided Pools with a valuable link to talent playing in the local leagues.

Covid restrictions permitting, Dave is also hoping to sift through library negatives in an attempt to find more original photos of the team.

His quest is even more personal as he often helped his dad at both home and away games.

The late Kenny Sutheran.

Dave, who lives in town, recalled: “I remember one game away at Leeds United where we played 10am and were in a rush to get back up the road afterwards to watch the Pools first team at home.

"I was sent to a fish shop near Elland Road and told to get 24 fish and chips, 24 Mars Bars and 24 Cokes.

"The place had only just opened for the day when I walked in so you can imagine the response I got at first.”

Dave has thanked former player Paul Harrington and Barry Venus, father of former Premier League player Mark Venus, for their recent assistance.

He said: “Mark is a great story because he was so determined to make it after leaving Pools and is a great example to people out there of not giving up.”

Players who were part of the 1980-81 title-winning side included Andy Linighan, who went on to play for Arsenal and scored the winning goal in the 1993 FA Cup final, and Kenny Lowe, who played for Birmingham City and managed Australian side Perth Glory.

Anyone who can help Dave can contact him by emailing [email protected] or by ringing 07511 014769.

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