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.
Trevor Bennison - Treasurer
I can't claim to have as many years service as a Pools supporter as my colleagues on the Board, having a mere 30 years under my belt. I can say however I am just as committed and determined to carry out my role the best I can to benefit my fellow Poolies.
A founder member of the Trust, my background is 30 years in finance & accountancy followed by a further 7 years in Risk Management, Insurance and Governance so I feel I am a safe pair of hands to look after the Trust's finances.
My hope for the future is that the fans achieve greater involvement in the running of the Club with a seat on the Board. Nobody will look out for the interests of our club better than the fans who love it!
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.
Phil Dunn - Media
I have been a Pools regular since the day the Mill House Stand opened in 1970 and over those 47 years I’ve seen just about every game at The Vic, and many Away games too.
The well-publicised troubles at my Club a couple of years ago meant that something had to be done, and I was actively involved in the formation of HUST, as I believe that as Hartlepool United Fans, we should have a say in the running of our Club, a Club that we have invested lifetimes of support into.
I’m a family man who stands on the Mill House Terrace with my Dad and Brothers, Nieces and Nephews, all united not just by family ties, but a love of Pools. I’m an Area Hire Manager for the UK’s Market Leader in Modular Buildings, and for nearly 3 decades fronted The Passion Killers, performing over 2000 times in the area and of course recording the Pools anthem “Two Little Boys”, which made the UK Top 30 in 2005! I run regular half-marathons to keep fit.
My own role within The Trust has been liaising with the Media, collating Press Releases, and of course putting together Fund-Raising nights and presentations using my experience behind a microphone . I believe that one day Hartlepool United Football Club will be at least partly fans-owned, and have been delighted in recent months to see that The Club feel the same way. It’s too important, and is too big a part of Hartlepool people’s lives, for Pools to sail as close-to-the-wind again. I also firmly believe that Pam Duxbury and Sage are well on their way to getting The Club back on an even keel, after such a traumatic time.
Andy Wilson – Fundraising Director
I have been a Hartlepool United supporter for as long as I can remember, being involved in everything Hartlepool from such a young age including Junior Pools.
My recent experiences of organizing fundraising events including Sportsman’s dinners, race nights, golf days and more recently Hartlepool United based reunion events bringing back the squads of the 1990/91 and 2007 promotion seasons, as well as the squad of that memorable day at Cardiff in 2005.
My belief that the Supporters Trust is vital to be involved with the club and own a percentage of shares to form a representation of the fans of this great club is crucial. I believe that I can be an asset to promote this via the Hartlepool united Supporters Trust and also through future events I would like to promote. I have recently been involved in the creation of the first-ever Hartlepool United Former Players Association and this will be officially launched prior to Christmas 2017. I am hopeful that future events will be supported by the FPA, as well as being there to support former players if they need the support.
Mark Dobson - Co Opted 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 committment 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 invoved in the running of the Trust.
Outside of the Trust I am a self employed contractor in the Telecoms industry , currently managing a project rolling out 4G fibre upgrades for two of the biggest networks in the country.
I have been a Pools supporter since April fool’s day 1972. Ron Young scoring in a 1-0 win over top of the table Scunthorpe. This was the start of the Len Ashurst version of the great escape.
I have been intimately involved in setting up the Trust from day one and personally drafted and submitted the application to have the ground listed as an asset of community value which gives some protection on the ground against the sort of dodgy owners that we have experienced in the recent past.
I believe the Trust should act as a guardian of the supporter’s interests. We should challenge the club when we feel that a decision is not in the best interests of the fans and support the owners when it’s right to. On fan ownership. We should aim for a shareholding that gives us a strong voice and be ready to step in should the need arise.
On a personal level, I am a Regional Director of a large company and have been involved in both operation and financial management at senior levels for over 20 years.