Hartlepool to officially open Neale Cooper Stand tomorrow

The Neale Cooper Stand
The Neale Cooper Stand

Hartlepool United will hold a special ceremony to mark the official opening of the Neale Cooper Stand.

The stand was named following the Dons legend’s death in May and an unveiling ceremony, attended by Neale’s daughters Amy and Ellie, will be held at Victoria Park tomorrow.

Neale Cooper

Cooper, who managed the Pools twice, between 2003 and 2005 and again between 2011 and 2012, passed away after falling down stairs at a block of flats in Aberdeen.

He featured in the famous Aberdeen squad that won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983.

The old Mill House Stand has been renamed following a sponsorship deal with East Durham College

Hartlepool’s chief executive Mark Maguire said:” This is a huge deal for the Club on so many levels

“Commercially, the fact that East Durham College have agreed to take out significant sponsorship further underpins what we hope will be a long-lasting relationship.

“We are also really grateful that EDC have accepted our request to rename the stand after Neale Cooper, whose loss has affected so many people in recent weeks.

“The stand will be known as The Neale Cooper Stand sponsored by East Durham College and we hope Poolies will join us in thanking EDC for their flexibility as we honour the memory of one of the Club’s greatest managers.”

The Neale Cooper Stand

The unveiling ceremony will be held during Hartlepool’s pre-season friendly against Sunderland.

Tributes to Neale will be read out and flowers laid in front of the stand by representatives from both clubs.

There will also be a minute’s applause in honour of Neale.

Mark Maguire added: “We have taken our time to work out the best way of paying tribute to Neale and wanted to be guided by his family

“I’m delighted that members of Neale’s family have accepted an invitation to the match where we intend to formally open the stand with friends from East Durham College.

“It will be a poignant occasion when we can show Neale’s family exactly what he meant to everyone in Hartlepool and also make sure they know we will always cherish the memories he helped create.”