We’re delighted that Michael Gough Jnr, nicknamed the Don Bradman of Umpiring, has agreed to be HUST’s new honorary president from January 2021. Michael has been a long-term supporter of HUFC and HUST since our inception. Since first umpiring for Bishop Auckland 3rds, Michael has gone on to be one of the most respected cricket umpires internationally, officiating at the very highest level.
“I have been a massive supporter of Pools since my Dad took me when I was a young boy. My job of course takes me around the world, but I still always follow the games, listening whenever there is commentary available. Family keep me updated too. Pools are really important to us.
“I will do everything possible to promote the Trust during my term and I firmly believe that having a Trust that is democratic, properly ran and audited is the way forward for the stability of our Club.”
Michael adds “I would encourage every Pools supporter to join the HUST. It’s your opportunity to have your own voice and opinion heard regarding the future of our club. The Club means so much for so many people, so please join up as we want our Club to be around for many years to come. Up the Pools!”
Ron Harnish – Chair
Over the years I have followed Pools home and away, spending many hours with fellow Poolies discussing how the team and club was being run and how we could change things for the better.
I became involved with the Trust back in 2015, as the club was heading to the perilous position of going under and I felt that we, the fans, had been ignored for far too long. Along with others I thought that if there was a chance to change things for the better, then we had to try and do it.
The formation of the Trust was the obvious route after looking at successes of other clubs in a similar position. I believe we have a great opportunity to improve the relationship with the club, to the extent of involvement all the way to board level and that is what we should strive for.
We are a community Trust and I hope you have seen some of the projects we have been involved in and we will continue on this path to improve the clubs profile with the wider community of Hartlepool.
I urge all Pools fans far and wide to join HUST and get involved, whether as an individual member or corporate sponsor; I firmly believe this is the best way forward to ensure the future of our wonderful club.
My role of Chair is to oversee and implement the overall strategic aims of HUST, as well as acting as the main liaison between HUST, the Football Club and other Supporters groups.
Julia Newton – Joint Vice-Chair
I have been a supporter of the Football Club for close to 40 years and a season ticket holder for a significant number of years. I also joined as a member of the Trust when it was set up and I fully support the ambition to work in partnerships, to develop a successful football club that benefits the town and the community.
I have a background in finance and am currently working in Human Resources where I have gained extensive project management experience. Skills include working with people, good organisation, integrity and reliability.
I have been involved in a number of HUST events previously, including the Kick It Out campaign and selling raffle tickets at the 2019 charity match. Along with my husband I also attend hospitality events at the club with lifelong friends made supporting Pools.
As well as helping share the leadership responsibilities of HUST, a key focus of my role is to develop relationships further between HUST and other Supporter groups, as well as promoting HUST to those HUFC supporters that may not recognise what the key aims of a Supporters Trust are.
Lee Crowe – Joint Vice-Chair
My primary aim whilst working with the Trust is to continue the work of the current board in forging a deeper relationship with other supporters groups and, of course, the club. I feel it is vitally important that we have better dialogue across the fan base of our great club, for the best possible match day experience and in order for greater impact and traction during discussions with the club, when our members see opportunities for improvement.
For my day job I am a director and owner of the 13 Apparel clothing company, which marries up a variety of skills, such as hard work, marketing, design and finance.
I first attended Pools in 1994 (we finished two points above Darlington, which is the only notable thing that season) so being part of the board of HUST allows me to play my part in sustaining the club for years to come.
My role as Vice-Chair is to contribute to the leadership of HUST, supporting and acting upon ideas that can develop the Organisation further using the professional skills I have developed over the years.
David Jolly – Secretary
I’ve been a member of the Trust since mid-2017 and a board member as of December 2020. I think it’s fair to say there hasn’t been a dull moment during that time…! Having been a Hartlepool fan since I was ten, I am incredibly passionate about the club and have supported us through thick and thin – even if it did mean getting up at 4:30am to watch us on TV against Woking when I lived in Sydney!
My working background is in marketing and communications but I have a broad range of skills, having also worked in customer service, data entry and software development – so, basically, anything that’s slightly nitty gritty!
This is why I’ve taken up the role of Secretary as it will see me being responsible for the management, functioning and accountability of the Trust, as well as undertaking other admin roles. Like every other board member though, I will be more than happy to work on any other task to ultimately help the club. UTP.
Nick McNaughton – Corporate Membership
I joined the Trust Board in 2020 to help continue the great work previously done and to help reach our next goals. Having worked within the world of small business and growth for the past 6 years following a degree in Events Management, my role within the Trust is to engage with our key local business community.
Living outside of the town has made me appreciate the social and financial impact the club has on its fan base. As a father I want to ensure the club I share with my son is in the best possible position on and off the pitch, I believe the Trust has the same goals.
Michael Weir – People Officer
I have been attending matches since 1990 and, despite the pain it can cause, I want to continue to do this, hopefully with my son when he is old (but not wise) enough to attend with me.
In my profession, my focus and passion is building relationships and developing people. With this it is important to be able to build relationships and to offer constructive criticism and advice. I will continue to help develop our relationship with the club, including supporting with any people focussed strategies and give any support that the Club might need. This focus has given me the opportunity to support the Football Club with development of some people strategies including policies and procedures .
My role includes the membership secretary responsibilities. I want to help communicate to fans the importance of having a Trust; these organisations are there to support the club, with fan engagement central to a sustainable future and support with maintaining and developing our membership numbers.
In addition, my role also incorporates community work, in particular around Diversity and Inclusion. I’m particularly proud of my role in reaching out to those who might not think Pools is for them and look to build on this further.
Alastair Shepherd – Communications Officer
I first watched Pools back in 1984 and I got to enjoy the glory days of 90/91 – that kind of raw emotion and joy never leaves you despite 30 years of ups and downs since. I’m currently a season ticket holder despite living in Liverpool and sit up in the Neale Cooper stand, often with my daughter.
We’re incredibly lucky and thankful that Raj stepped in when he did but there are challenges ahead and I really believe that putting fans at the centre of decisions will stand us in good stead for years to come, to the benefit of both owners and supporters.
Our club is blessed with loyal, passionate fans, whichever side of the ground they sit or stand and I’m here to help HUST with communication, which we want to be very much a two way thing. I am a director of an architectural practice by day; with offices around the country clear communication has been key to thriving in difficult circumstances.
I have overall responsibility for HUST social media and the website, also supporting with member communications and developing and acting on new ideas in which to engage members, HUFC supporters and the wider community.
Jo Grylls – Community Engagement Officer
My love for Pools and a wish to see it become a sustainable and community orientated club led me to become involved with the Hartlepool United Supporters’ Trust. I believe in the aims and goals of the Trust, and I believe that all fans are an integral part of any football club, investing their time and money to follow their Team through thick and thin!
Communication and liaison is a big part of the role, building relationships with the Club, community and other agencies and playing a key role in the dialogue between Football Supporters Association, HUST and the Club.
My current role is to help promote HUFC as a community orientated Football Club, developing and supporting events that also help encourage as many people in the wider community as possible feel safe and comfortable attending Victoria Park.
Paul Larter – Community Engagement Officer
As a lifelong Pools fan, the idea of a Supporters’ Trust is something I’ve always been in favour of, and I joined as soon as it was established. Only a couple of years ago the club was in dire straits and survival was not certain. It was clear to me that fan representation was critical to the club’s future. I am still very strongly of the opinion that a supporters’ Trust is vital to our club’s future success.
Fans are a fundamental part of any football club, so whilst the club is currently performing well on the pitch, and hopefully in safe hands off it, having a strong Trust can still be of great advantage. Recently HUST has shown that we are serious about investment and gaining a seat at the table, but we have also shown that we can support the local community. The two things are intertwined as we look to build the club back up again.
I currently work as a mechanical design engineer, with experience as a project manager. An important part of my work is to put thoughts and ideas forward to groups, something which I think can be of value to the board.
I support with the community aspect of HUST, presenting ideas of how to engage with the local community and help promote HUFC as a welcoming environment for all supporters.
We also have four co-opted members. We have a specialist and qualified accountant and a legal professional, as well as two members co-opted to support with fundraising and financial matters.