Legend Brian Honour excited by Hartlepool United’s future under new owners

Brian Honour at Victoria Park
Brian Honour at Victoria Park
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Brian Honour hopes new owners JPNG can bring the good times back to Hartlepool United - and says he is looking forward to seeing their ideas for the club.

The recruitment firm, which has offices in London, Essex and Dubai, has taken over from Increased Oil Recovery (IOR) to bring an end to their 18-year spell in charge.

Horden-born Honour - who scored 36 goals in 384 first-team matches for the club between 1985 and 1994 - admits he is “excited” about the future.

The 50-year-old club legend said: “We have momentum on the pitch now after last season’s Great Escape.

“When TMH 2014 tried to take over, we weren’t so clever on the pitch then and it was all doom and gloom.

“From the outside looking in, these news owners look more professional and I am certainly excited about the future.

“When somebody new takes over at anything, they bring new ideas to the table and it is a good time to tap into the football club.

“Ronnie Moore has done a great job bringing in good quality players, of the right age, this summer and as a fan I am really excited.”

New chairman Gary Coxall replaces Ken Hodcroft, who has left the club after 18 years after IOR’s decision to sell.

Coxall was today due to be presented to the media for the first time since taking charge.

And Honour - who spent time on the coaching staff last season after Colin Cooper resigned as manager in October - has praised outgoing IOR for the years they spent in charge at Clarence Road.

“I am just like every other fan - I want to see the club doing well,” added Honour.

“I have had the privilege of being involved with the club in some form or another for the best part of 25 years.

“But deep down I am a supporter and want to see good times back at the football club.

“I know IOR had a bit of a rough ride in recent years, which coincided with poor performances on the pitch.

“But I remember the bad old days when we couldn’t attract top players and the ground was a ramshackle.

“We were a bit of a joke but IOR came in and helped transform the image of the club both on and off the pitch.

“They took us to the heights that Pools supporters could only dream of.

“Ken Hodcroft and IOR deserve credit for that - they turned it into a more professional football club.

“If somebody said to me, on the day I signed in 1985-86 that the club would one day knock on the door of the Championship, you’d think it was far-fetched.

“But they made it happen and made a lot of Hartlepool supporters dream of the big time.

“The last couple of years, that had gone sour a bit and when performances on the pitch are poor, along with relegation, then it is the board that gets the wrath.

“If these new boys can have a similar impact as IOR did in their early tenure then we will be delighted” added Honour, who does co-commentary for the club at home matches at Victoria Park.

JPNG’s finance director Peter Goldberg has also joined the board of directors at League Two Pools, alongside Russ Green who is to remain as the club’s chief executive.

The club’s new owners have clients in Dubai, the UAE and UK. They specialise in construction and IT.