By Jon Couch
Ronnie Moore has already completed one ‘Great Escape’ at Hartlepool United – now he’s thrown his hat into the ring in a bid to help the club in its ultimate survival act.
The 64-year-old made up a 10-point deficit to help Pools escape relegation from the Football League in 2014-15, only for the club to eventually drop into Non-League for the first time in their history two seasons later.
Wily Moore himself his dipped his toe in National League waters with a brief spell in charge of Eastleigh last season but is currently looking to get back into the game after narrowly missing out on a number of big appointments.
One place he is always welcome, however, is Victoria Park and, on Saturday, he was back at his old stomping ground as Hartlepool entertained Wrexham in a what was billed as Save Pools Day, where a crowd of over 6,800 turned up to help raise funds for troubled north-east club, who must hand over £200,000 by Thursday or risk entering administration.
At the same time, the 2-0 defeat on the field means relegation-threatened Pools are now without a win in the league since November 21 – a run which heaps pressure on manager Craig Harrison.
And Moore, who watched the game from the Press box, says he would be willing to lend the young boss a helping hand if his services were required.
“It’s hard for him,” said the former Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham United manager of Harrison’s situation. “I have sympathy for Craig.
“It is very difficult to get things going in the dressing room when they players do not know if they can pay their mortgage. He has come out of Welsh football and this league is unforgiving.
“There are league clubs who have been here years – it took Lincoln City six years to get out. That just goes to prove it is one of the hardest leagues to get out of in the world.
“He is maybe looking for a little bit of help. Maybe he needs a little bit of experience to help him along because he doesn’t have that at this level.
“And hopefully whoever comes in will allow him to do that. I am always looking to get back into work.”