Ron Harnish – Chairman
I am Ron Harnish the elected Chairman of the supporters trust.
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 at the beginning as the club was in the perilous position of going under and I felt that we, the fans, had been ignored for far too long and 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 the success of other clubs that had been 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.
As the present owners have publicly stated that this is the way forward, then this is an opportune moment to move forward together to achieve this aim.
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 through the fans in the community.
I urge all Pools fans far and wide to join the trust and get involved, whether as an individual member, board member or corporate sponsor, this is the best way forward to ensure the future of our great club.
John Cooke – Vice Chair
I have been a Pools supporter since the 1956/57 season so am well versed in the ups and downs of the Club I love.
I retired from full-time employment some 10 years ago. For part of my employment, I was responsible for advising school and college Boards of Governors on how they should exercise their responsibilities which gives me a good insight into how the HUST Board should properly operate.
I believe that the creation of HUST is the best way to create a positive, productive and lasting relationship between the fans and the owners of HUFC. As a HUST Vice Chair I would ensure that its democratic processes were adhered to and that communications with its members are timely and transparent.
Jo Grylls – Secretary
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!
As Secretary, my role is all about ensuring the smooth functioning of the Trust and associated administrative tasks, responsible for effective management of the Trust, seeing that the Trust’s business is conducted with probity, accountability and in accordance with its standards and regulations. 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 Supporters Direct, HUST and the Club.
John Hawksworth – Membership Secretary
I have been part of the trust since the early days and spent the formative period raising the profile of the trust, I was fortunate to take early retirement from roles in retail and catering management and have extensive experience in business development. My role in the trust is to enrol new members onto the database, send confirmation and trust certificate, update members with minutes of meetings, any trust initiatives, and relevant trust information.
My other role is the trust merchandise liaison, ensuring that the delivery of quality trust clothing is posted out to members across the world.
My hope for the future is that the trust has a seat on the board and an active role in the clubs future.
Mark Dobson – Board Member
I have been involved with the Trust from Day One, and have played an active part in raising the profile of HUST. Unless television money is more evenly distributed ( which I can’t see happening any time soon ) I think it is inevitable more clubs from Tier 3 downwards will end up in fan ownership. Whether it is full ownership, or in partnership with private investors, I believe HUST can play an active part in running Hartlepool United, and make it a true community club.
I was Co-opted onto the Board in January 2017, after a couple of people had to relinquish their positions because of other commitments. My initial remit was to resolve issues we were having with the website. Although it was functional when we had 100 members, as we push for 1000 it became clear a complete overhaul was required.
While co-opted Board Members do not have the same rights and responsibilities as full Board Members, it is a great way to get involved. You can be actively working on a Trust Project and also attend Board Meetings, so you get first hand experience of how the Trust functions, without having to make the full commitment that the elected members do. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who thinks they can bring some specialist skills to the table or who just wants to be more involved in the running of the Trust.
I was elected as a full member in Nov 2017
Outside of the Trust I am a self employed contractor in the Telecoms industry .
Mark Goodman – Board Member
My name is Mark Goodman and I have been an avid supporter of Hartlepool United FC for as long as I can remember.
I have attended home games as a season ticket holder for the last twenty years and I have also travelled to many away fixtures during this time with some lifelong friends I have made through supporting Hartlepool United.
Supporting Hartlepool united can be a roller-coaster experience but I wouldn’t change a thing as this all adds to the great experience of supporting Hartlepool United. Some of my great memories are the play off final at Cardiff, the night we beat Tranmere on penalties to make it to Cardiff and that unforgettable win away at Darlington. I was particularly proud of our performance and victory over Stoke in the FA Cup back in 2009. Some memories aren’t so good such as our relegation from the football league and Hartlepool United’s’ off the field struggles.
I want to ensure the future of Hartlepool United so my daughter has a local team to support and for her to also experience the amazing experience I have had.
Richard Ward – Board Member
I have been following Pools for over 25 years having first gone to matches with my Dad and Brother in the early 90s, and I am a season ticket holder in the Town End. I joined the Supporters Trust as a member early on and was approached to get involved by the Board in December 2017 to help with some of the written and media work that is required. I was officially co-opted to the Trust Board in January 2018. With Pools having been in such a precarious state I’m desperate that we can all work together to see a bright and secure long term, sustainable future for football in the town, so that as my boy grows up he too can follow Pools, and not the Magpies like his Mum! I believe that our club’s level there is a real need to ensure community input into the running of clubs and that this should start with fans influence and involvement that HUST can facilitate.
Michael Weir – Board Member
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.