Hartlepool stormtroopers don't let the result spoil a great weekend in Plymouth

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Pools took Plymouth by Force as hundreds of dedicated fans donned fancy dress for the last away day of the season.

Poolies dressed as Star Wars stormtoopers for the long journey south and partied before the game in full costume.

Picture by Gareth Williams

Picture by Gareth Williams

Sadly the Force was not with them, with Craig Hignett's men losing 5-0 to the hosts - but it looks like they had a great day nonetheless.

Organiser John Pearson is the man who came up with the idea of dressing up as Darth Vader’s feared henchmen.

“It has been brilliant - absolutely brilliant,” he said.

“We had a night out in Torquay, which is where we stayed on Friday night, then we have got the train into Plymouth today.

“The best reaction is from the kids - the kids just love it.

“When they have seen us coming, they have been so excited.

“We encourage, it , we interact with them and they love it - it’s great.”

Speaking before the match, John said the response from the fans’s hosts had been fantastic.

The annual fancy dress roadtrip has become a tradition with Poolies and previous costumes have included Thunderbirds and Smurfs.

Last year saw around 3,000 supporters make the relatively short trip to Carlisle, all dressed as Bob Marley.

This season’s last away day has been a somewhat more mammoth undertaking, with fans setting off on Friday, staying overnight again on Saturday and making the return trip yesterday.

“We went from one extreme to the other,” said John.

“Last year it was only about 90 miles - this year it’s the other end of the country.

“We have still got over 400 fans travelling to the game - I don’t know how many are dressing up but we’re in the pub now and there are 250 of us dressed as stormtroopers.

“I haven’t seen or heard a single negative reaction to it. Everyone is getting along fantastically.

“We will be keeping the outfits on tonight but I don’t think we’ll be wearing them for the return trip.

“One or two are starting to look a bit stretched at the seams, to say the least.”

For John, it is about backing the lads on the pitch.

“We are just looking at showing our support for the team,” he said.

“Hopefully that will rub off on the players - they know there is a hard-core of fans who are really behind the team and are just passionate about the club.”