There have been many players who have captured the hearts of Poolies during their short loan stints at Victoria Park.
We’ve asked fans for suggestions and thrown in a few of our own to look at some of Pools’ best short-term loan signings in the club’s recent history.
To be considered, the player must have only spent part of a season at the club before returning to their parent club, playing 25 games or fewer over the course of said campaign (sorry Luke Armstrong).
Players who returned to Pools on a short-term loan (eg. Gary Liddle during the 2019-20 season) will not be included given their prior affiliation to the club.
However, players who signed for Hartlepool permanently following a successful loan spell will be included. If you have any suggestions that you feel should be added to this list, email [email protected]
Scroll down and click through the pages to see some of Pools’ best short-term loan signings…
1. Richie Bennett - 2021
The inspiration for this list. Richie Bennett's brief but brilliant spell at Hartlepool will not be quickly forgotten by Pools fans. The striker scored five goals in two starts and two substitute appearances after arriving on loan from National League rivals Stockport County. He also became the first Hartlepool player to score a league hat-trick since Roy O'Donovan, another loan star, in 2010.
Photo: Chris Booth
2. Macauley Southam-Hales - 2020
Another inspired loan signing made by Dave Challinor. Macauley Southam-Hales joined Hartlepool United on loan from Fleetwood Town with big shoes to fill after Peter Kioso departed to join Luton Town. The Welsh right-back slotted into his role seamlessly, earning a man of the match award on his debut. He only made seven appearances for Hartlepool in total, but many were desperate to see him return last summer.
Photo: Frank Reid
3. Mark Shelton - 2019-20
One of only two current Pools players to feature. Mark Shelton quickly became a fan favourite after joining on loan from Salford City with three goals in 14 starts before signing permanently in the summer of 2020.
Photo: Mark Fletcher
4. Nicke Kabamba - 2019
Another player who signed permanently following a successful loan spell. Nicke Kabamba scored seven goals in 17 appearances while on loan from Havant & Waterlooville in 2019. While his overall impact waned as his loan spell progressed, Kabamba's initial impact was impressive with five goals in his first four games for the club. He became only the second player to score in four consecutive games for Pools in the 21st century after Adam Boyd.