New Hartlepool captain reveals pride as he follows in footsteps of club legends

Matthew Bates with summer signing Andrew Davies. Photo courtesy of Hartlepool United.
Matthew Bates with summer signing Andrew Davies. Photo courtesy of Hartlepool United.

Andrew Davies has revealed his enormous pride at being handed the Hartlepool United captaincy - as he prepares to follow in the footsteps of club legends.

The 33-year-old, a former Pools ball boy, grew up in Seaton Carew and was a regular visitor to The Vic as a youngster, where he had strong family connections.

Having signed this summer, Davies admits it is a dream come true to play for Pools and has described the chance to wear the armband as a "huge privilege".

READ MORE: Matthew Bates explains captaincy decision
“I just feel a massive pride,” he told the club website.
“I’ve spoken about it before but I used to be here watching games all the time as a kid so it’s a bit surreal to be club captain now.

“I was only very young but coming to The Vic was the first time I’d watched football in a stadium so that gives captaining this club an even prouder feel.

“All the other clubs have been important to me but this just means that little bit more because of the connections, my mam worked here, I’ve been a fan and a ball boy – it’s probably the proudest I’ve been to captain a club.

“To follow in the footsteps of people I watched play and looked up to, the likes of Brian Honour and John MacPhail, is massive for me and a huge privilege.

“I know Brian still gets to a lot of the games here and he still has that massive feeling for the club so I hope I can help make him proud and I’ll try and instil that in to the other lads as well."

READ MORE: Jake Cassidy keen to put difficult first season at Pools behind him amid speculation on his future
Davies was a ball boy on numerous occasions along with his brother Mark, the pair doing the honours for the infamous FA Cup win over Crystal Palace in 1993.

Their mother Lynn also helped organise the ‘Pools On The Move’ lottery scheme.

Former Middlesbrough, Bradford City and Ross County defender Davies takes over the responsibility from Carl Magnay, who has handed the armband last summer by Craig Harrison.

New boss Matthew Bates has opted to go with the more experienced Davies.

“Carl [Magnay] was captain last year and we had a little chat and we both have a lot of respect for each other from the very start really," added Davies.

“Obviously a lot of credit must go to him because last year was such a hard season so for him to lead the team to safety was a brilliant achievement so I have a lot of respect for him and I am looking forward to working with him.

“I think we have a team full of leaders though and that’s what you need to get yourself out of this division. You need three, four or five in the team – even some of the young lads coming through, I watch them in training and like what I see so that stands us in good stead.”

READ MORE: Matthew Bates explains captaincy decision
Matthew Bates said: "Obviously the lads have that respect for Andrew as soon as he walks in to the club because of the career he’s had but he’s a great lad off the pitch too and will run the dressing room.

"A lot can be made of being the captain but we will need more than just Andrew being a leader on the field and it won’t mean that any of the other lads go back in to their shells."