Partner pays touching tribute to much-loved Hartlepool United fan
The partner of a popular Hartlepool United supporter has paid a touching tribute to the “love of her life”.
Mark Teal sadly passed away on Wednesday, July 21, at the age of 39.
The father of five was a passionate Pools supporter and would follow the team up and down the country.
Mark was also known as “The Voice” because of his loud singing during the games.
His partner, Christie Begley, 40, has said Mark was the biggest football supporter she’d ever known and would describe himself as “Poolie through and through.”
She said: "He was just so proud to be Hartlepudlian. He used to say he was Poolie through and through.
"He was the biggest football supporter I’ve ever known.
"He was known as ‘The Voice’ because he was so loud when he sang the Hartlepool songs.
"I think people sometimes had to tell him to be quiet so they could hear the match because he was so loud.”
Fans of the club paid their respects with a minute’s applause during the 39th minute of Hartlepool United’s friendly game against Gateshead on Saturday.
Christie, from the Grange Road area of town, said she listened to the applause on the radio.
She said: “It truly did mean a lot and I know Mark would have been over the moon, looking down.”
The barber added that Mark was among the lucky fans who travelled to Bristol to see Pools clinch their promotion back to the Football League in June.
She said: "I’m so glad he went down and saw them get promoted. When he rang me after, he could hardly speak. He was just so overwhelmed. He was so passionate about that club.”
Mark, from the West View area of Hartlepool, used to coach Gretton Crest football club.
Christie has said he was an “exceptional” brick layer and was head-hunted to build houses.
She has described him as the “life and soul of the party”, who would always help others, but faced his own struggles with mental health.
Christie now wants to raise awareness and encourage people who struggle with their mental health to seek help.
She said: “He was just a great man. He would always put people before himself. I think it was easier for him to help other people than to deal with his own mental health struggles.
“I want people to know they shouldn’t be scared to talk about it. They shouldn’t be afraid, they should reach out to friends and family.”
The couple had been together for a year after meeting at a pub.
Christie said: "It’s been absolutely horrific. I’ve been trying to speak to his family and friends and we are all absolutely devastated. It’s a waste of life but we are going to come together and help each other through it.
She added: "We were only together a year, but what we shared in that year, it was like a lifetime.
"Personally, I’ve never felt pain like this in my entire life. He truly was the love of my life. We only had a year together, but it was the best year of my life and it was fate that we met, it truly was.“