Moore, Moore, Moore - the rise of Hartlepool under Ronnie
- Credit: Archant
Never mind a statue, United will be building a museum in honour of their manager soon
Just how close Ronnie Moore came to joining Michael Jackson in being replicated in statue form outside a football stadium remains to be seen.
Late last season, former Hartlepool United player Joe Allon declared that should Moore save United from relegation to the Conference, then the town should celebrate the achievement by erecting a statue of the Liverpudlian outside Victoria Park.
One conjures up the image of Moore as Rodin’s The Thinker, sitting with his chin resting on one hand overlooking a tactics board.
Yet although Moore produced heroics in keeping the club up, it appears that no sculpture has yet been commissioned.
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This, it may actually turn out, could be a blessing, what with the danger of it being decorated by the town’s seagull population who tend to gather around the ground on matchdays.
Hartlepool arrive at the Lamex on Saturday in complete contrast to their last visit to Stevenage.
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Last August, Hartlepool came to town under the stewardship of Colin Cooper and although this journalist attempts to avoid outlandish predictions, in public if not in private, I did declare at the time that they would be in a relegation fight come the end of the season.
That was based purely on a 90-minute showing, plus the rumours of an impending move to Peterborough United for young striker Luke James - their most competent player.
Up top Marlon Harewood led the line – not very well – while behind him, they were overrun in midfield.
Things did not improve over the next few months and Moore arrived at the club in December with them 10 points adrift of safety before setting about slowly changing their fortunes.
He led them to safety, and following a summer of shrewd business including the arrival of Rakesh Binham, he has led to them to three wins from three this campaign.
Moore’s new side have conceded just once in four games in all competitions this season, and in Billy Paynter they have a man who should score double figures this season without a problem. He already has three.
Things could still combust, of course. After all, this is football. And Boro’s fans will be hoping that it does this Saturday.
But this is a new Hartlepool outfit and Moore should be applauded for the job he’s done.
Carry this on, and never mind a statue; there’ll be cries to build a whole museum if not an adventure park called RonnieLand in his honour.