Hartlepool United are to wear a bespoke kit created especially to honour Neale Cooper in today’s pre-season friendly against Sunderland.
The game, at Victoria Park, will see Pools don a shirt that contains a dedication to their former manager, who led them to the League One play-offs in 2005.
Inspired by the shirt worn by Cooper during his hugely successful spell with Aberdeen, the design comes complete with a dedication to Neale and an embedded image of the man himself.
Donated by BLK, the royal blue shirt will be worn by the players for the meeting with the Black Cats and also subsequent pre-season friendlies before the new home kit is revealed at Pools’ open day on July 26.
As well as unveiling the special kit today at the Vic, the club will also officially open The Neale Cooper Stand sponsored by East Durham College.
“We want to make this Saturday memorable for everyone involved, and this extra tribute is just another way of showing how much Neale meant to the club,” said Pools chief executive Mark Maguire.
“I have to thank BLK for their help and for generously donating the kit for this special occasion.”
The shirts worn by the players will be made available for auction later this summer.
Cooper collapsed and died aged just 54 in May in his home town of Aberdeen.
He managed Pools for 110 games between 2003 and 2005 before returning for a second spell in 2011-12.