Hartlepool United fans before the game get ready for the League One play-off final.

15 years on: 25 stunning pictures from the day 17,000 Hartlepool United fans suffered play-off final heartache against Sheffield Wednesday

On this day 15 years ago, Hartlepool United were backed by 17,000 Pools fans for the heartbreaking League One play-off final against Sheffield Wednesday.

Saturday, 30th May 2020, 11:21 am

On Bank Holiday Sunday, May 29, 2005, Pools were just eight minutes from the unchartered waters of football’s second tier when a controversial penalty turned the League One play-off final decidedly against them.

With centre-back Chris Westwood harshly dismissed for fouling Drew Talbot, opponents Sheffield Wednesday levelled from the spot before eventually triumphing 4-2 in extra-time against caretaker boss Martin Scott’s weary 10 men.

Second-half goals from strikers Eifion Williams and Jon Daly had earlier given Pools - roared on by nearly 17,000 fans at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium - a deserved lead against their big-city rivals.

Re-live the drama of the day – on and off the pitch – with our gallery of images, via Frank Reid.

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