After parring Plymouth last week, we’re now attempting to hang Hartlepool out to dry in order to create a fiercer atmosphere when Yeovil take on the Pools this Saturday.
*DISCLAIMER* This article is part of a tongue-in-cheek series in which we come up with reasons to hate whoever our opposition are. If you’re a Hartlepool fan and are offended, you are more than welcome, encouraged even, to offer a Yeovil-based response!
A million miles away
As always, we start with the obvious: Hartlepool is an absolute trek.
According to Google Maps, it takes 5 hours and 30 minutes to get from Yeovil to Victoria Park, and that doesn’t factor in the inevitable stops for McDonalds and/or KFC at the services. With all that time on the road, how on earth are travelling fans expected to have time for pre-match ciders?
And don’t bother arguing that Hartlepool fans will have to make the same lengthy journey each season, because there’s a difference. When Hartlepool travel to Yeovil, their reward is Huish Park, aka the home of football. When Yeovil travel to Hartlepool, their reward is… well, Hartlepool. Enough said.
The Glovers supporters who don’t fancy Saturday’s 700-round-mile trip have to endure an equally painful form of torture. I am, of course, talking about Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports.
The banter between the panellists is usually a joy to watch, and the match updates are useful if you don’t have Twitter to hand, but the programme is ruined if Yeovil are playing Hartlepool.
This is because Jeff Stelling, as you no doubt are aware, is a Hartlepool United fan. His annoying celebrations every time Pools score make his face extra punchable, and would make Yeovil conceding even more agonising.
Don’t worry, we’re not about to slag off the genius that is Brian Clough. How could we? Cloughie had one of the best personalities in football history, and his achievements with Derby County and Nottingham Forest are nothing short of legendary.
He’s included in this list as proof because he hates Hartlepool too. Despite managing the club, who were known as Hartlepools United at the time, for a couple of years in the 60s, he said: “I don’t fancy the place.”
The club didn’t treat him well either; the greatest manager that England never had was forced to visit local pubs to raise money for the team on occasions, and even apply for a coach driver’s license to get the squad to away games. Disgraceful.
It may surprise you that a team in the fourth division of English football would be able to secure a high profile brand such as Nike as a kit manufacturer, and you would almost definitely not expect that team to be Hartlepool.
So if Hartlepool can secure Nike, surely the mighty Yeovil can get a deal with Adidas, Puma or Umbro? Wrong! Somehow, we’re stuck with Sondico.
While Hartlepool are swanning about in their stylish, well-made shirts, the mighty Glovers are forced to make do with the sort of cheap kit you’d buy from Sports Direct for your five-a-side team. It just doesn’t make sense.
Hartlepool call themselves the ‘Monkey Hangers’. All I have to say is that in this day and age, racism is football is unacceptable.
Of course, there are some things to admire about Hartlepool. They’re a little club just like us, with similar budgets and attendance figures. Us underdogs need to stick together, you know.
Their fans have a tradition of turning up in costume for the final away game of every season. Usually, fancy dress in football is unbearably cringy, but when such a huge amount of supporters participate it becomes strangely impressive.
And finally, despite Jeff Stelling having the ability to really get on your nerves, other famous fans of the club include Meat Loaf, Janick Gers from Iron Maiden and Ridley Scott, which is undeniably cool.