Pools fan Stephen Mead’s 22 years of service in the Army was recognised in fine style when he was presented with a signed shirt by club boss Matthew Bates.
The 44-year-old was born and bred in Hartlepool and was introduced to Pools at an early age by his dad, who took him along to enjoy games from the comfort of the old wooden stand on Clarence Road.
However, he joined the Army at the start of 1997 and was posted to Surrey for basic training at ATR Pirbright where he was a Logistic Specialist within The Royal Logistic Corps.
The majority of his career was served in England, but he still managed to keep in touch with the latest from Pools even when he was posted to Germany, Northern Ireland and Kenya.
During his time in the forces he was also given the privilege of guarding Buckingham Palace, St James’ Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London.
He also toured in Bosnia, the Falkland Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan, subsequently awarded the Accumulated Service Medal for racking up over 1,080 days on military operations, while he also holds The Long Service Good Conduct Medal for an unblemished Military Service.
However, he never lost his affection for Pools so when his colleagues got in touch Pools was more than happy to donate a shirt and for the manager to present it to him.
“I’ve spent 22 years serving Queen and country so now I am looking forward to finding work in the logistics world as a civilian,” he said.
“I have been massively supported throughout my career by my parents Ann and Keith, my fiancée Jackie and my eight-year-old daughter Lilli who is a massive fan of H’Angus the Monkey!
“It was great to meet Matthew to receive the signed shirt – I could have stayed all day talking about Pools and I’ve offered my services as a co-commentator on Pools PlayerHD now I might have more time on my hands!”