Hartlepool United hail fans' commitment after camping out for 16 hours for play-off final tickets
Dedicated Hartlepool United fans have been told they deserve a medal after camping out over night to guarantee they will be at Sunday’s big play-off final.
Dozens of passionate Poolies spent Tuesday night under the stars to ensure they would not miss out when tickets for the National League final went on general sale on Wednesday morning.
By 9.45am hundreds of supporters were in line with the queue stretching right back from Victoria Park as far as Middleton Road.
Fans started arriving just before 6pm on Tuesday with the line quickly growing.
They said there was a great atmosphere into the night added to by free beers delivered by club media manager Alex Chandy and free pizzas courtesy of food app Hartlepool Eats.
Mark Wood and David Johnson were first in the queue.
Mark, 37, of Bishop Cuthbert, said: “The shop hadn’t fully closed and the two girls said ‘are you really going to stay here?’
"If it guaranteed me a ticket that’s what you’ve got to do.
"As soon as we came down and my friend posted it more people joined and it just grew and grew.”
The chef added: “I’ve never experienced anything like this before and it was good.
"I’m massively excited for the game because hopefully this takes us back into the Football League where the club belongs.”
David, 34, an IT auditor, bagged two tickets including one for his six-year-old son Isaac.
"He decided he wanted one so I’m here for him,” he said. “It’s been a real party atmosphere, everyone had beers, people were bringing us free pizza.”
David, who is predicting a 2-1 victory over Torquay United, saying: “Obviously we’re going to win.”
Adam Garrington, 22, had been in the line since 7.30pm the previous night so he could buy four tickets.
He said: “The atmosphere was good, everyone was in happy spirits. It is just good to be back at games after Covid.”
But he was a little disappointed Pools have missed out on the chance of playing at Wembley due to the Euros.
"The National League could have picked a bigger stadium to allow more fans to go,” he said.
"With a fan base as big as ours we should be allowed a bit more.”
Around 1,500 tickets went on general sale as Pools bid to return to the Football League after a four-year absence.
Club spokesman Mr Chandy praised the fans commitment, saying: “These are some of the most passionate fans you will find.
“The fact people queued since six o’clock last night is crazy but expected. It’s one of the biggest games in the club’s history.
"Every single person deserves not just a ticket but a medal for their unbelievable commitment.”
He also thanked fans group Hartlepool United Supporters Trust who volunteered to help process phone ticket orders from season ticket holders.
Pools have been given about 3,100 tickets for Sunday’s game which will be played at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate ground.
Tickets were still available as of late Wednesday afternoon and for the latest information keep logging on to www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk