‘It is what Saturday afternoons are made for’ – Pools fans joy as they return to Victoria Park
Hartlepool United Football Club fans express their joy as they return to Victoria Park for the first time since March 2020.
Pools played in front of a home crowd for the first time since March 2020 as they took on Weymouth in their final match of the regular 2020-21 National League season.
Just over 1,700 fans were expected to return to Victoria Park to see Pools end the season in their highest league finish since 2007 – with a play off place already secure.
Excitement was high ahead of kick off, especially with husband and wife Lynn, 58, and Stephen Burton, 60, who commented on how good Pool’s season had been.
Beauty therapist Lynn said: “It’s good to be back and I’m looking forward to it, as long as everyone sticks to the rules that are in place.”
Production technician Stephen added: “It has been our most successful season in a long time so it is a shame that fans haven’t been able to be there.
"It is also a shame for the players, I think they would feel so much better having fans behind them and cheering them on – obviously you can watch it via online streams but the atmosphere is nothing like being there.”
Student Matthew Merson, from Seaton Carew, also touched on how good the season had been for Pools.
The 21-year-old commented: "It has been our best season for about the last 15 years and it is a shame that it has been without fans, hopefully we’ll be back seeing some Pools goals and wins again.”
For friends Pete Stephenson and Adam Moreton, the day was extra special as they made a 400-mile round trip from Northampton to be at the Vic.
Adam added: “Great to be back watching football in person again, hopefully we will see a Pools win and be able to enjoy the atmosphere will all of the fans again.”
Husband and wife, Henry, 57, and Andrea Bowman, 51, expressed that they had missed both the social and football side of coming to the match.
Henry said: “There has been a little gang of us coming to the games for the best part of 18 years, it’s what Saturday afternoons are made for.”
Andrea added: “I’m very excited, nervous and terrified all the same time but looking forward to getting back into the ground.
"It is wonderful to be back, we’ve definitely missed both the social and football side of things.”
The 57-year-old said: “Fantastic to be back even if we aren’t challenging for anything at the moment.
"The only downer to my day is that I’m off for my second Covid vaccine after the game."
Dave’s wife, Michelle, 54, commented: “It has been a long time coming and I can’t wait for the match as we have definitely missed the social side of it as we go to every home and away game.”