7,865 (Seats 4,180)
Address: Clarence Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8BZ
Telephone: 01429 272 584
Fax: 01429 863 007
Pitch Size: 110 x 73 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Pool
Year Ground Opened: 1908
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Blue and White
Victoria Park is a traditional compact ground. On one side is the Cyril Knowles Stand, named after a former manager (now called the Camerons CK Stand in a corporate sponsorship deal), which was opened for the start of the 1995/96 season. It is a small single tier covered all seated stand, raised above the ground level.
Opposite is the older Neale Cooper Stand (also named after a former manager and now called the Niramax Stand in a corporate sponsorship deal). Opened in 1968 it has covered seating to the rear and open terrace to the front. This stand does not run the full length of the pitch and has an odd mix of orange and green seating, which clashes with the club colours.
At the Town End, which was opened a couple of months after the Cyril Knowles Stand, is a covered terrace that is the home end. This is now known as the Prostate Cancer UK. Opposite is the Smith & Graham Stand (Rink End) Stand which is a small covered all seated stand which houses away supporters. The ground has a set of four tall traditional floodlight pylons.
Derek Hall adds; ‘All real Hartlepool fans nickname the club Pools (not The Pool). This goes back to the pre-1967 days when the boroughs of (old) Hartlepool and West Hartlepool became amalgamated as just Hartlepool. It was because of the existence of the two very separate towns that the club was actually called Hartlepools United in the first place. That said though, I’d prefer to see us called The Monkey Hangers!’
Ben Fuggles advised me to ‘bring a jumper even in August!’ He was right. The wind whipping the North Sea goes right through you, so wrap up well unless there is a heat wave. Away fans are in the Smith & Graham Stand (aka Rink End) at one end of the ground, where up to 967 can be seated. Unfortunately there, are a few supporting pillars in this stand, which may hinder your view, especially if there is a large away following. However the acoustics of the stand are good even for small numbers, meaning that plenty of noise can be generated. Food on offer inside the ground includes; Frankfooter Hotdogs (£3.50), Cheeseburgers (£3.50), Beefburgers (£3), a range of Pies; Mince and Onion, Steak, Chicken Balti, Meat and Potato (all £3) and Chips (£2.50 Large, £1.50 Small).
If you wonder why Hartlepool are referred to as the ‘Monkey Hangers’ then it is because the residents of Hartlepool are famously said to have hanged a monkey that was washed up from a ship that had sunk during the Napoleonic wars, because they thought the monkey was a French spy. The Club take this to good heart and of course who else would they have as their club mascot? H’Angus the monkey of course!
There is the Centenary Bar near the entrance to the away end, which allows visiting fans. At the same end but at the opposite corner, is the ‘Corner Flag Supporters Bar’ which also welcomes away fans. The entrance fee is 50p, but this basic bar has a good friendly pre-match atmosphere and televised sports, however, it does not serve any food. There is also a small bar located behind the Cyrill Knowles Stand. A little further beyond the Miramax Stand on Raby Road is the Millhouse Inn. It too shows football on television and also offers food. Popular with away fans is the Jackson’s Wharf Pub near the ground. It has good food and real ale on tap. This pub is over the road from the ASDA store, to the left of the old sailing ship.
Otherwise, the ground is not far from the town centre where there are plenty of pubs to be found. These include; beside the Camerons Brewery on Vicarage Gardens, the Causeway pub. Whilst next to the Brewery itself is the Anchor Tap Room.’ Recently opened on Tower Street is intriguingly named ‘Hops and Cheese’ real and craft ale bar. The Causeway and the Anchor Tap Room are both listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Richard Wakelin informs me; ‘There is a micropub on the railway station platform called the Rat Race Ale House, which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. It only serves real ale (no lager or keg) and only holds about 20 people. There is no bar as such (the patron disappears into a room and re-emerges with your pint), nor music or television. There are also no toilets inside (you are given a key to the station toilets). It’s rapidly gaining cult status on Teesside’.
The current Hartlepool stadium doesn’t have long left in its current state. It either needs major revamp or for the club to relocate. Given the club and council, who own the ground, have been discussing all of the options earlier this year something big is coming for the future of the Hartlepool stadium. What does that look like? Well, it will incorporate a substantial leisure facility alongside other commercial and hospitality units to boost the local area; the idea being the football club and local area will mutually benefit from the entire development.
Victoria Park, which is named after Queen Victoria, was originally built to be the home of a rugby club. It wasn’t until some 22 years later that Hartlepool football club moved in. WW1 saw a bomb attack obliterate the main stand, which meant rebuild work was needed. Unfortunately, cash flow issues meant they actually used a wooden ‘stop gap’ stand until the eighties! It wasn’t a one off though; Hartlepool were always behind the curve on the development of their stadium. They were the last club to have floodlights installed too. The mid nineties, however, did see some cash thrown around as two stands were completely revamped. Changes since then have been few and far between.
From the A19 take the A689 towards Hartlepool. Stay on this road following the Town Centre signs for 2.8 miles, over two roundabouts. Go straight over the next two sets of lights, passing Hartlepool College on your right. The next left takes you to the stadium. If you miss the turning (as I did), go past ASDA on your left, left at the next roundabout and then left at the next traffic lights for the ground. There is limited car parking at the ground for away fans but these need to be booked in advance with the Club by calling 01429 272 584 (option 9).and they cost £5. Near to the Millhouse Pub (TS24 8AP ) off Raby Road (behind the Niramax Stand) is a car park which charges £3 on matchdays. Otherwise, there is some street parking albeit a bit of a distance away, as a residents only parking scheme is in operation on matchdays around the ground.
Post Code for SAT NAV: TS24 8BZ
Hartlepool Railway Station is a ten minute walk from the Victoria Park ground. Leave the station and go straight up a short approach road. At the end of the approach, turn right and head up Church Street towards the large church. At the end of this road is a bridge and junction with the A689. Go straight across the junction and the ground is in front of you on the left hand side of the road.
Thanks to Richard Brackstone for providing the directions.
Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:
Camerons CK Stand (Seats): Adults £20, Concessions £10, Under 16’s £5
Niramax Stand (Seats): Adults £20, Concessions £10, Under 16’s £5
Niramax Stand (Terrace): Adults £18, Concessions £9, Under 16’s £5
Prostate Cancer UK Stand (Town End Terrace): Adults £18, Concessions £9, Under 16’s £5
Smith & Graham (Seated): Adults £18, Concessions £9, Under 16’s £5
Concessions apply to Over 60’s, Under 19’s, Students and Under 19’s and Members of the Armed Forces.
Official Programme £3.
Hartlepool vs Darlington rivalry: This rivalry has brought about several flash points across the years as the two sides have faced off an awful lot. They’re only separated by 25 miles so it’s more than points at stake. Nowadays, Darlington are a couple of divisions south of Hartlepool so the games have become few and far between with a lot of the meaning lost.
Hartlepool vs York City rivalry: York and Hartlepool are more than twice the distance apart of Darlington and Hartlepool but Victoria Park isn’t the most pleasant atmosphere York players face. They too now find themselves out of the football league with meetings much reduced but there was a time when Hartlepool vs York City was each team’s biggest game.
For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.
17,426 v Manchester United
FA Cup 3rd Round, January 5th, 1957.
2018-2019: 3,124 (National League)
2017-2018: 3,350 (National League)
2016-2017: 3,788 (League Two)