Hartlepool United

Victoria Park

Capacity: 7,833 (Seats 4,180)
Address: Clarence Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8BZ
Telephone: 01429 272 584
Fax: 01429 863 007
Pitch Size: 113 x 77 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Pool
Year Ground Opened: 1908
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: Seneca Homes
Away Shirt Sponsors: Northern Gas and Power
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Home Kit: Blue and White
Away Kit: Pink With Black Trim

Cyril Knowles Stand
Cyril Knowles Stand
Niramax Stand and Town End
Niramax Stand and Town End
Rink End
Rink End
Looking Towards The Town End
Looking Towards The Town End
Niramax Stand
Niramax Stand
Cyril Knowles Stand and Town End
Cyril Knowles Stand and Town End

Victoria Park is a traditional compact ground that was greatly improved in the mid 1990's, with the construction of two new stands at one end and at one side. One of these the Cyril Knowles Stand (named after a former manager) was opened in 1995. It is a small single tier covered all seated stand, raised above the ground level. The other modern stand is the Town End which as opened shortly later. It is a covered terrace that is the home end. Opposite is the Rink End Stand which is a small covered all seated stand which houses away supporters. On the remaining side is the Niramax Stand  that 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, that clashes with the club colours. It was opened in 1968. 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 Rink End Stand 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 Victoria Suite near the entrance to the away end, which allows in 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 SKY TV, 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.

Ronnie Chambers adds; 'The Engineers Social Club five minutes from the ground opposite the police station, just off the town centre is okay, as is the Raglan Club just behind the visitors end. Usual club rules apply regarding entry for these. If you arrive a bit earlier then in the town centre beside the Camerons Brewery on Vicarage Gardens is the Causeway pub. Whilst next to the Brewery itself is the Brewery Tap'. Both these pubs are listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and serve a good pint of Camerons Strongarm.  

Richard Wakelin informs me; 'There is a micro pub 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 Teeside'.

If you require hotel accommodation in Hartlepool then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Hartlepool Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.


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 a fair sized car park at the ground, however as you would expect it fills up quickly, even though it charges £8 per car. 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:

Home Fans
Cyril Knowles Stand (Seats) Adults £20, Over 60's/Under 16's £10
Niramax Stand (Seats) Adults £20, Over 60's/Under 16's £10
Niramax Stand (Terrace) Adults £18, Over 60's/Under 16's £9
Hartlepool College (Town End Terrace) Adults £18, Over 60's/Under 16's £9

Away Fans
Rink End (Seats) Adults £20, Over 60's/Under 16's £10

Students and Under 19's can also qualify for a concessionary price in the home areas, providing that the ticket is purchased from the ticket office and a valid student identity card/proof of age  is produced on purchase.

Official Programme £3.

Hartlepool United FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Historically is has been Darlington, but with the quakers now well down the league pyramid, York City have now become the focus.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

17,426 v Manchester United, FA Cup 3rd Round, January 5th, 1957.

Average Attendance

2015-2016: 3,890 (League Two)
2014-2015: 3,736 (League Two)
2013-2014: 3,723 (League Two)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Hartlepool United v Blackpool
Football League Two
Saturday 26th December 2016, 3pm
James Sharman (Blackpool fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Victoria Park?

Victoria Park is new ground for me and a chance to watch some festive footy!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Excellent journey and the local Morrisons petrol station staff allowed us to use a staff space for the duration of the game. Very friendly and accommodating!

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Was going to go to the Wetherspoons which is about a half mile away in the town centre, but instead went to the Morrisons café which is right next door to the ground. Home fans very friendly, giving us directions to the away turnstiles etc..

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Victoria Park?

Victoria Park is very compact but neat. The away end wouldn't accommodate large followings so any future promotions could present a problem but room for development I'd say. Strange choice of seat colours in the Niramax Stand but on the whole Victoria Park is a nice ground which fits the level they are at, as a club.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Pies were nice, we treat ourselves to one despite being full from the lunch at Morrisons. Stewards were friendly. Toilets were warm which made a leant short refuge from the coastal breeze whipping in. Good atmosphere but home fans were fairly quiet although that might be explained by their current tough spell.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No issues, roads lead straight out to dual carriageway which hooks up with A168 eventually.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great day (getting three points always helps). Very impressed with the friendliness of the locals and despite some people telling me that Hartlepool is not the most pleasant of places, I thought it looked a decent place. We will return to Victoria Park.

Hartlepool United v Cheltenham Town
Football League Two
Saturday 12th November 2016, 3pm
John Dickerson (Cheltenham Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Victoria Ground?

It has been over 30 years since I last saw a match at Victoria Park, so very overdue a re-visit!

How easy was your journ ey/finding the ground/car parking?

I took the train from my home in Carlisle to Newcastle. Then changed there for Hartlepool. Hartlepool Railway Station is only a ten minute walk away from the Victoria Ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I went to The Jackson Ward pub for lunch. Very reasonable prices. £1.95. for a pint. Then onto Century Supporters Club Bar at the ground itself.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Victoria Park?

It has certainly improved a lot, from the last time I visited. 30 years ago the away end was just an open standing terrace. Now the away end is seated and under cover. However if there is a big away support then the supporting pillars can get in the way of your view.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Cheltenham Town were poor and lost 2-0. The pies though were cracking! Police, stewards and home fans were great and very friendly.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Short walk back to the railway station for the journey home.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Good day out and Victoria Park is a tidy ground. Everyone around the club were friendly.

Hartlepool United v Carlisle United
Football League Two
Saturday 29th August 2015, 3pm
John Stubbs (Carlisle United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Victoria Ground?

I was looking forward to this game as it was a local derby and Carlisle don't really have many of them. Victoria Park is a brilliant little stadium in my opinion and on that day it was buzzing with atmosphere.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The journey to Hartlepool was very easy as it was finding the ground, we parked on a street around five minutes away from the ground so it was handy.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We just headed straight to the ground and got a burger and a pint there so it wasn't to bad. The home fans were not to bad some were very friendly.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Victoria Park?

I had already been to Victoria Park before so I knew what it was like, a very old fashioned football ground and very unique.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was brilliant really end to end football however we got the win. The atmosphere as I say was really good, both sets of fans made sure they could be heard. The stewards were great and really friendly, The facilities were good nice little all seater for the away end.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was really easy until our car broke down and we didn't get home until 10:30pm!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a really good day out watching the boys play very well and get the 2-3 win that they deserved.

Hartlepool United v Oxford United
Football League Two
Saturday 28th November 2015, 3pm
Rob Pickett (Oxford United fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Victoria Park football ground?  

I had not been to Hartlepool in over 25 years. Oxford were on a good run and, as a northern exile, I decided to get the train and attend.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

Easy - direct trains to Hartlepool from York and ground is a five minute walk away.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

Stopped at The Rat Race bar on the station - a superb little real ale bar with no lager!!! Full of old geezers like me. Spoke to a few genuine home fans whom were willing to have a good moan.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Victoria Park?

It was a very windy day so I had wrapped up. Victoria Park is old fashioned but functional. In away end you need to choose your spot. Main Stand looks good at the ground. But you can see the ground and area has developed from 25 years ago.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

Decent game, with Hartlepool having the better of the first 50 minutes. But Oxford are in form and got a good winner. I did remark, to a Hartlepool fan, that when you are near the bottom the "rub of the green" does not go you way. We, at Oxford, know this all too well.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy - quick walk to station and pint at the bar before heading homewards on the train.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Good day out - even with the poor weather. Hartlepool showed enough that they can pull away from relegation. It is very pleasant to have a short-ish walk from the railway station to the ground these days.

Hartlepool United v Exeter City
League Two
Saturday, May 3rd, 2014, 3pm
Steve Ellis (Exeter City fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to this ground?

This was my third visit to Victoria Park, and for once it was nice to go to the last game of the season and enjoy it with survival sorted out the previous week.

2. How easy was your journey?

The journey was very easy, leaving at 6am on the official supporters coach arriving at 1pm

3. What did you do before the game?

On arrival at the ground I bought my programme for £3, before heading down to the Jackson Wharf pub, which is about 10mins walk away from the ground with drinks reasonably priced.

4. First impressions on seeing the ground?

Like most old grounds it's very traditional in its looks with supporting pillars in the stands but in general like any ground where some painting is needed it looks well maintained

5. Comment on the game, atmosphere, refreshments, stewards and toilets? 

With both teams having nothing to play for the game was contested by two young teams, Exeter playing no less than seven academy players with a further four on the bench, the game played in good spirit, Exeter running out as 2-0 winners. There was not much atmosphere as all the noise I heard came from the 184 travelling fans. The bar in the ground is open until kick off and again at half time selling only bitter, lager or cider at a very reasonable £3, not sure on the prices from the main refreshment hut as didn't use it. Stewards were excellent, helpful and you would hardly know they were there. Toilets just to the side of the away stand are clean.

6. Comments on getting away after the game:

Very easy getting away after the game, the coach parked just opposite the turnstiles and getting back into Exeter just after midnight

7. Summary of the day out:

What can I say, fantastic day all round all ending with a 2-0 to end the season.

Hartlepool United v Southend United
League Two
Saturday, August 10th 2013, 3pm
John & Stephen Spooner (Southend United fans)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground:

First visit to Victoria Park, Hartlepool.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We drove from North Wales (exiled Southend fans) via M56, M62, M1, A19, 320 miles round trip, clear roads taking three hours journey each way. We stopped at Wetherby Services enroute, which was busy but clean and efficient.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We took a packed meal with us and sat in car after walk round outside of ground. Home fans we met whilst collecting tickets from their office were particularly friendly, talking of Hartlepool's relegation last season and discussing merits of Southend's manager Phil Brown who did play for Hartlepool in his younger days and pointing out pubs worth visiting.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground was easy to find by following Town Centre signs and then the floodlights came into view. We found a small car park at the rear of the Niramax Stand. The ground is clean neat and compact, the away end is standing with barriers to lean on which I feel is better than cramped seats particularly when weather is cold.

The popular Niramax Stand has a seated top part with no backs to the seats and a standing paddock room in front. The away end is all seated and with only 200 or so Southend fans it was easy to find a seat with a fair view to avoid the stand supports. The electronic scoreboard between the home and and Niramax sSand counted down the minutes and is easily viewed by away supporters, which is not always the case at other grounds. The pitch was like a bowling green, being the opening game of this new season 2013/14.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The Hartlepool mascot “Angus” the monkey climbed into the away end to meet the Southend fans before kick off. A welcome gesture and he was greeted with friendly handshakes from kids and adults alike. Southend took the lead after 5 minutes so home fans enthusiasm was dampened and then just before half time Southend's Barry Corr was sent off to ensure a tense 2nd half for us away fans. The away stand was noisy for the last few minutes as we survived the sending off, to gain a 2nd successive win.

The stewards were good and allowed some standing at the back of the stand. There was a cold breeze from the North Sea blowing in to the back of the stand.

The chips were the biggest I have seen at any football ground and the hot dogs appeared to be a foot long!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was easy to get away from the ground and main roads were clearly sign posted.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day and winning our 1st away game of the season. The weather was pleasantly warm except for the breeze at the back of the away stand.

Attendance: 3,479
Result: Hartlepool United 0-1 Southend United

Gateshead v Southport
Conference Premier League
Saturday, March 30th 2013, 3pm
Callum Greig (Gateshead fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Well due to the fact that our pitch is damaged due to faulty drainage and lots of bad weather in the North East we have had to play our 'Home' games at different venues. These have mostly been at Victoria Park, but some others have been held at Blyth, York, Boston (Yes crazy!) and Carlisle. I was and wasn't looking forward to the game knowing what we are like when it comes to important games this was a game that we really needed the three points to take us away from the relagation zone. Southport were also in the danger zone at the time so we really needed the points to get away from them.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The journey was very easy there, I only live in Peterlee which is about 8 miles away from Hartlepool, car parking was rather poor however and we had to park next to the Hartlepool Marina which was a good 15 minute walk from the ground. There is a Morrisons and a Pub nearby but i've heard they don't take too friendly too people parking there.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Turned up around 2:15pm and walked upto the ground. Did my usual and bought a programme and had some banter with some of the other supporters, we always make match predictions that turn out wrong!. Didn't go to any pubs though however although a few people said the 'Millhouse' pub was very nice, and welcoming towards our fans.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

As I've already been to Victoria Park before (I have a friend who supports Hartlepool), I knew what to expect, however it's a overall very nice ground. Our attendances are usually quite low in the 500-700 range and for this game a 35 mile away 'home' trip, They only was 406 people at the game. We were given the Cyril Knowles all seated stand, which holds around 1000 it was a very nice stand, which had plently of leg room and so on. The Southport fans were given the other side of the ground, And they were around 60 of them. I love old style grounds and the Vic is a very nice ground too. It has four standsl An old style terraced stand called the 'Town End' a mixture of terracing and seating called the 'Niramax stand' and a very nice seated end called the 'Rink End' overall its a good ground. Perfect and typical football league ground.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game itself was rather crazy, We had 47 points at the time, And were in 18th place only 1 point away from the Relagation zone, However Southport were also in the same position too, And they had exactly the same points and were 20th. I knew it would be hard game and it was just that, They scored on the 57th and 63th minute and we were very poor, We looked lackluster and tired and didn't deserve anything of the game, We just couldn't get going.... However in the 88th minute 0-2 down one of their players was sent off and we put on a crazy attacking show we scored a goal in the 91st minute and 96 minute of added time to draw 2-2, We were going crazy it was a great feeling. The game itself was poor until the end. I didn't buy any pies however,  I got some very nice chips at half time for £1.50 they were loads of chips and I actually couldn't eat them all!

The facillites were nice and I am very grateful and Hartlepool lending us their ground for a few home games. The atmosphere was very good. Our Gateshead Stadium features a running track which kind of ruins the atmosphere a lot. The 'Heed Army' were singing away like usual and i've never seen them so happy on the 96 minute. However at the last minute our players and there players (and staff) had a heated exchange and some pushing but nothing serious or major. The stewards were generally relaxed and fine.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting out of the ground was fine we just had to walk, Back to the marina which took a good 15 minutes. Got a bit abuse from the Southport fans who looked very angry at their team, But I just ignored them, Best way really!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

An overall crazy day; playing a 'Home' game 35 miles away from home, And drawing 2-2 after scoring 2 late minute goals, Can't say fairer than that! And even a good pitch brawl at the end.

Hartlepool United v Preston North End
League One
Tuesday, November 29th 2011, 7.45pm
Paul Willott (Preston North End fan)

It's a long drive from Kent to Hartlepool; so its a good job I quite enjoy long distance driving. Otherwise this would have been a nightmare!  If, at the end of a long drive, there is the anticipation of 90 minutes of League football, then all the better.

In fairness, the long drive up the A1, switching onto the A19 went fairly smoothly, losing only some 40/50 minutes due to a heavy goods vehicle having flipped onto its side.  Once approaching Hartlepool from the South, along the A689, you will easily be able to see the ground to your left once you are in the vicinity of the town centre.      

I had taken the decision to make this an overnight stay, as I didn't relish an all night stint behind the wheel back to Kent, so having deposited my bits and pieces and freshened up, I made my way on foot to Victoria Park.       

For those of us who are averse to these more modern football stadia that resemble industrial units, then this really is an oyster! On a bitterly cold night, with a stiff breeze whipping in off the North Sea, how my heart raced with warm anticipation at the sight of those floodlight pylons illuminating the ground; beacons guiding you towards the entertainment to be offered; and I felt my step quicken the closer I got. I wonder why many others sense greater excitement when walking towards those bright floodlights of older fashioned grounds, as opposed to the modern all enclosed style stadia?

Once inside, that sense of excitement rose at the sight of the green pitch, and smell of warm food. Negative points though sadly have to be awarded for the complete lack of meat and potato pies, but all re-awarded with a bonus for the most immense hot-dogs which were truly awesome. 

Some folks will point to the pillars in front of the away stand as a reason to complain, but for me, an evening in a lovely old ground such as Hartlepool, I cherish everything, including the pillars that 'block' your view. That Preston North End managed to win (first win in nine attempts) was just an added bonus to a fantastic evening in a lovely ground that is a symbol of an age slipping by.   

So for me, a Preston North Ender living in exile down in deepest Kent, it was worth every minute of the many hours spent on the A1 for such an experience, and will live with me for years to come.

Hartlepool United v Sheffield Wednesday
League One
Saturday, October 1st 2011, 3pm
Teresa Jewell (Sheffield Wednesday fan)

Another early start for me catching the 8.45 train from Manchester to make sure I was meeting my family at Midland Station to travel by coach through inter owl. The coach as always was late no change there. Travelling to the ground was easy with no problems and the police guided us into Hartlepool to park right at the side of the ground with the other coaches and buses.

Both sets of fans mixed well with no trouble at all outside of the ground and you had a choice you could go to Morrison's supermarket or McDonalds for food. We chose to pop in Morrison's and the into the ground.

The ground is old small and certainly not geared up for large away supporters. One of things I liked was seeing a ground with a proper Kop terraced area. Leading to a good atmosphere.

The catering was a little hut that housed 3 girls who were really friendly, but I think they struggled with my Yorkshire accent. The prices were spot on and the pies were to die for (highly recommended). They even served chips again spot on. Do note if you by fizzy pop they take the lid away from you. There was a separate area for alcohol painted with a yellow line, which you couldn't step out off. The other facilities were modest for a small ground, but clean. 

According to a steward the away area is supposed to hold 900 people, although I would probably challenge that. With Wednesday's large travelling support, the stewards looked uneasy, as they clearly don't often have to deal with so many away fans. Or supporters that caused so much noise. Yet they were friendly throughout.
The game was not bad not the best both sides having chances, but Reda Johnson scored the only goal of the game for Sheffield Wednesday. Madine came close a few times right in front of us.

Result: Hartlepool 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1
Attendance: 6,800

Hartlepool United v Charlton Athletic
League One
Tuesday, February 15th 2011, 7.45pm
Andy 'Addick' (Charlton Athletic fan)

I have followed Charlton to around 60 odd grounds or so, and this was to be my first visit to Hartlepool. The ground is easy to find - just head up the A19 and follow signs to Hartlepool and keep on going until you see the floodlights. There are plenty of places to park nearby. In fact there was hardly anybody around an hour before kick-off. We went for a drink in a nearby pub which was very quiet. In fact I was beginning to wonder if the game had been cancelled. It turned out the attendance on the night was only just over 2,000.
The ground is smart and clean but tiny. It was a strange experience watching league football in a small ground that was about a quarter full. We could hear the noise we were making because the away stand only has about six rows of seats and has a low roof, but we could barely hear the home fans at all. Perhaps the infamous north-sea wind was in the wrong direction. I liked it though as the Pool faithful were all friendly and amiable and the stadium had a nostalgic feel about it despite having been modernised.
The stewards were all very friendly and efficient, with none of the officious insistence on sitting down that you often get at some other stadiums. There is a tiny snack bar for visiting supporters called the Hungry Monkey. It is not big enough to cope with any sizeable away following. You can swiftly see why it is called that because even with the modest following from South London on a cold Tuesday night they swiftly sold out of the much-hyped pies!  A tray of chips had to suffice and to be fair they were chunky and hot and there were plenty of them. There is an equally small 'bar; although sadly it was closed throughout our visit meaning the away section was alcohol-free. Apparently, according to the steward, it opens if the guy turns up and not if he doesn't!
An unusual feature is that the Hartlepool VIP lounge is situated in a separate building behind the away end so that the VIPs make their way to and from their seats through the away section. That could be 'interesting' for them with some away supporters (not us, obviously!)
Ah, the game itself! As is now customary for Charlton under Chrissy Powell, we didn't turn up for the first half at all. The away fans sang 'gap in the middle, we've got a gap in the middle' in case 'Sir' Chris hadn't noticed. Pool scored from a free kick for a foul near the corner of the penalty box that the ref kindly let them take from close to the "D" and although Elliott pushed it onto the bar, "Bob" Monkhouse" had time to put the kettle on before picking his spot to smash home the rebound whilst the Addicks' defence stood around watching.
There was a slight improvement in the second half but after "Bernie" Eccleston had equalised for us, we swiftly conceded Hartlepool's one and only corner of the game from which "Rod" Liddle headed home unchallenged at the far post. Pool must be wondering why they didn't force a few more corners and help themselves to a hatfull of goals.
A late flurry saw us hit the bar, but it was one of those nights when we didn't really deserve a draw. As we wandered away from the ground we had to accept that Pool weren't very good but that they had beaten us.
The only game I have ever been to that was easier to get away from afterwards was Doncaster Belles vs Charlton Ladies. It's a long drive home.

Why not write your own review of Victoria Park Hartlepool United and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 16th January 2017

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