Hartlepool United: 96 years of history in the Football League, the main dates

Ronnie Moore: Pools need another Great Escape  today
Ronnie Moore: Pools need another Great Escape today

Hartlepool United's unbroken 96-year spell in the Football League is over..

Pools beat Dobcaster at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium but Newport County did likewise against Notts County at Rodney Parade.

SportMail looks back at the big events over the past 96 years.

August 1921
Where it all began ... Wrexham.
Pools were admitted to Division Three North and began with a 2-0 victory on the way to finishing fourth in their debut season, one of only seven top 10 placings in the first three decades.

May 1924
It did not take long for the novelty to wear off at the Victoria Ground as Pools made their first application for re-election after ending 21st.

May 1947
Pools were 13th in the first competitive season after World War Two, under legendary boss, Fred Westgarth.

December 1949
A young striker by the name of Ken Johnson made his debut on the final day of the 1940s, scoring the first of 98 goals in a 3-0 victory over Bradford City.

May 1952
Pools clocked up 50 points, their biggest tally since joining the Football League, with a team which included club legends like Berry Brown, Wattie Moore and Tommy McGuigan.

January 1955
Pools went top of Division Three North after an 18 game run but could not sustain it and finished fifth.

January 1957
Manchester United's famous Busby Babes hold off plucky Pools in the FA Cup in front of a record 17,426 crowd at the Vic, the Red Devils winning 4-3.

May 1957
Pools are runners up in the division behind Derby but with only one side going up to Division Two, they missed out on promotion.

August 1958
After the Division Three North and South are disbanded, Pools begin their first season in Division Four.

April 1959
While Pools are on their way to a first application for relegation in the new division, they do set a club record with a 10-1 victory over bottom club Barrow

March 1962
Pools suffer their record defeat when they were humblewd 10-1 at Wrexham.

May 1963
Pools finish bottom of Division Four after conceding 104 goals but survive their fourth successive application for re-election.

October 1965
Pools appoint an ultra-confident 29-year-old striker as their new manager .... Brian Clough.

May 1966
Brian Clough leads Pools to safety in 18th place and hands a debut to 16-year-old schoolboy John McGovern in the last game of the season.

May 1967
Clough's first and only full season at the Vic saw Pools end in eighth place but his talents had been recognised by Derby who made him their new manager.

May 1968
After over four decades in the Football League's bottom tier, Pools are promoted from Division Four under Gus McLean following a 2-0 win at Swansea, Bobby Cummings and Wilson Hepplewhite the scorers.

May 1969
Pools suffer immediate relegation, finishing third bottom in Division Three, two points from safety.

April 1970
McLean resigns as Pools boss as the side end the season 23rd In Division Four, seeking another re-election.

April 1972
Len Ashurst leads Pools to safety in Division Four with a stunning run, including a 2-1 derby win at Darlington

February 1973
A new record for Pools! The club go vinyl as they release songs 'Who put sugar in my tea?' with 'Never say die' as the B-side.

August 1977
Hartlepool AFC becomes Hartlepool United, but the name-change brought no luck as they ended the campaign 21st for yet another re-election bid, Souhport dropping out of the Football League.

November 1983
Billy Horner takes Pools to second in the table but the side would end the season sixth though with a record 70 points only minor consolation for failing to make the top four.

May 1985
Chairman John Smart begins the demolition of the stand erected in World War One as a temporary measure after the original structure was destroyed by a German Zeppelin.

February 1988
Pools humble Sunderland 1-0 at gale-swept Roker Park in the Sherpa Vans Trophy, Brian Honour scoring the winner direct from a corner.

December 1989
New chairman Garry Gibson appoints Cyril Knowles as manager with Pools rock-bottom of the Football League but the former Spurs favourite inspires a remarkable recovery to end the season 19th.

May 1991
Pools clinch promotion with a 3-1 final-day win over Northampton, Paul Dalton, Paul Baker and leading scorer Joe Allon. The success was completed superbly by caretaker Alan Murray, the club's commercial manager, after Cyril had been taken ill.

May 1992
Pools finish 11th in Division Three and will be playing in Division Two next season after the re-naming of the Football League divisions.

January 1993
Pools beat Premier League Crystal Palace 1-0 in the third round of the FA Cup, but financial difficulties had set in and on the pitch, the team slid to a 16th place finish.

May 1994
Pools, best by financial woes, are relegated back to the bottom flight after ending the season 23rd and crushed 7-1 by Peter Shilton's title-winning Plymouth.

April 1997
Mick Tait leads Pools to safety with an excellent late-season run, Joe Allon's last-gasp winner at Darlington sealing the deal.

September 1997
Increased Oil Recovery, an Aberdeen-based, Norwegian-owned oil company buy Pools fropm local hero, Harold Hornsey

May 1999
Pools survive a late scrape to stay in the Football League under new boss Chris Turner.

May 2000
Pools reach the play-offs for the first time but lose both legs of the semi-final to arch-rivals Darlington.

May 2001
A case of deja vu as Pools reach the play-offs again only to be defeated in both legs by Blackpool.

May 2002
A stunning end-of-season run takes Pools into the play-offs again, only to lose on penalties at Cheltenham in the semi-final.

May 2003
Fourth time lucky! Pools don't need the play-offs as they go up as runners-up under Mike Newell who had taken over from Chris Turner after he joined Sheffield Wednesday.

May 2004
Pools enjoy their best ever season, Neale Cooper leading Pools to sixth but there is play-off heartache as Danny Wilson's Bristol City score two late goals to snatch a trip to Cardiff.

May 2005
Cooper takes Pools to sixth again only to be sacked in a shock move. Pools reach the playoff final after Ritchie Humphreys, fittingly, scores the winning penalty at Tranmere. There are tears and anger at Cardiff where Pools lose 4-2 after extra-time to Sheffield Wednesday.

May 2006
Pools are relegated 12 months after being eight minutes from the Championship. Danny Wilson takes over as boss.

May 2007
Wilson's wonders return to League One at the first time of asking, just missing out on the League Two title by a whisker.

December 2008
Pools sack Wilson with the side comfortably placed in League One and team end up hanging on to their third tier status, just!

May 2013
Despite a good effort by boss John Hughes and a late season spark from Luke James, Pools are relegated back to League Two.

April 2015
Ronnie Moore pulls off THE Great Escape as Pools fight back from 10 points adrift to stay in Football League with a game to spare after a 2-1 win over Exeter.

July 2015
Seventeen years of IOR-ownership ends when Essex-based recruitment company JPNG buy club.

January 2017
Pools sack Craig Hignett with side 19th, five points above drop zone, and appoint Dave Jones.

April 2017
Chairman Gary Coxall sacks Jones with Pools 23rd and two points below relegation zone after the wheels fall off with unacceptable displays against Leyton Orient and Barnet.

May 2007
Coxall resigns just three days before must-win game with Doncaster, Pam Duxbury, who only joined Pools in mid-season taking over as club's first chairwoman.

May 2007

Pools are relegated to the National League for the first time in their history