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Tribute to former Pools boss Neale Cooper as fans join in minute's applause

Minutes applause for ex-Pools boss Neale Cooper.
Minutes applause for ex-Pools boss Neale Cooper.

Thousands of football fans pay tribute to former Hartlepool United boss Neale Cooper with a minute of applause.

Both sets of supporters joined together for a minute's applause in memory of the late Neale Cooper before kick-off of the game involving his former club Aberdeen and Rangers earlier today.

Neale, who guided Pools to the 2005 League One Play-Off Final, died in May aged just 54 after a fall at his home in Bucksburn, Aberdeen.

It comes after Hartlepool United’s new Neale Cooper stand named in tribute to the popular former manager was officially opened last month.

His daughters Amy and Ellie attended a moving ceremony at Victoria Park before the pre-season friendly against Sunderland which was attended by 3,734 fans.

The former Mill House Stand has been renamed The Neale Cooper Stand in a sponsorship deal with East Durham College.

Representatives of both both Hartlepool United and Sunderland laid flowers on the pitch including former Pools stars Anthony Sweeney and Jack Ross who is now manager of Sunderland.

Pools players wore a kit specially made for the occasion by BLK inspired by the one worn by Neale during his hugely-successful spell with Aberdeen FC.

Neale managed Pools between 2003 and 2005 and returned to the club for a second spell in 2011.

The Ladbrokes Premiership saw Aberdeen score an injury-time equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie.