Former Pools star distraught at Hartlepool United’s woes

Former Pools player Darrell Clarke, assistant manger of Bristol Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
Former Pools player Darrell Clarke, assistant manger of Bristol Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
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Former Hartlepool United favourite Darrell Clarke has described Pools’ financial troubles as “heartbreaking” – and hopes the club can move forward.

Clarke made 136 appearances for Pools over six successful years from 2001.

In stark contrast, cash-strapped Pools are now in danger of going into administration. Local businessman Chris Musgrave had been in talks to buy the club, but the proposed takeover collapsed on Tuesday.

Musgrave said the financial challenges facing the National League club are “serious” and he had not been able to identify the exact amount of cash required to save the club adding he is not prepared to “sign blank cheques”.

Clarke said: “It is such a shame because the supporters are a fantastic bunch. I hope they can get some owners in who will invest in the club.

“I had a very enjoyable six-year spell there, six fantastic years. We had promotions, play-off heartbreak, just missing out on the Championship.

“I made friends for life. I just hope the club can get back on the right track.

“I lived in the town, it is heartbreaking to see the situation the club finds itself in. I know the club has a really loyal fanbase and they will get behind the club.

“It is a good investment for an owner that wants to try and move the club forward.”

Clarke turned his hand to management after hanging up his boots and the 40-year-old has enjoyed a successful spell in charge at Bristol Rovers.

Clarke knows all about the National League having led Bristol Rovers to promotion in 2015.

“It is a hard division but it is doable,” he added. “You don’t have to be chucking massive amounts of money at it. You need to know the league and know what it is about.”