Ex-Middlesbrough star Stuart Parnaby leaves as Hartlepool United gang of four becomes one

Stuart Parnaby (right) in consultation with Pools interim management team members Billy Paynter and Matthew Bates (left). Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com
Stuart Parnaby (right) in consultation with Pools interim management team members Billy Paynter and Matthew Bates (left). Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com

Hartlepool United’s gang of four is now down to just one member after Stuart Parnaby’s departure from Victoria Park.

The 34-year-old has been removed from his role as the club’s pre-rehabilitation and conditioning coach.

Parnaby was one quarter of the caretaker management team asked to save Pools at the end of last season.

Then-chairman Gary Coxall put Matthew Bates, Ian Gallagher, Billy Paynter and Parnaby in charge of the team following the sacking of Dave Jones with just two games of the season left.

The quartet almost rescued Pools after the rapid decline of the team, only to go down in the dying seconds of the season.

Only Bates has survived, the central defender being made first-team coach with responsibility for running the reserve team.

Club captain Paynter was the first of the caretakers to exit, leaving at the conclusion of his two-year contract, perhaps no great shock given his Achilles troubles.

Gallagher’s sacking following a quarter of a century at the Vic did come as a surprise, given the esteem in which he was held by players, staff and fans.

Parnaby may not have been as highly regarded by the fans as the head physio, but certainly the squad rated him.

The former Middlesbrough star, forced to retire after an injury-plagued career, put the experiences of the dark days in his career by carving out a niche as a pre-rehabilitation and conditioning coach.

Parnaby worked with squad on a psychological and physical level, bringing players back from a variety of injury set-backs.

He was first taken on by Ronnie Moore on a part-time basis after the former UEFA Cup finalist had to hang up his boots.

Craig Hignett then employed him on a permanent contract and he was retained by Dave Jones after he took charge of the club.

However, he has now gone, with Craig Hubbard in full charge of the strength and conditioning work.

Hubbard had initially been removed by Jones, along with chief scout Tommy Miller and keeper coach Tony Caig, after his arrival at the Vic, only for Hubbard to be re-employed again soon after.