EDDIE BLACKBURN, the former Hartlepool United goalkeeper, has died.

He made 175 appearances for Pools from 1984-1987 and was a fans' favourite at the Victoria Ground.

Blackburn also played for Hull City and York City. He lived in York and died on Friday aged 61.

A statement from Pools read: “The Club is extremely saddened to hear the news that former goalkeeper Eddie Blackburn died on Friday at the age of 61.

“The County Durham born star became a cult hero with Pools supporters as much for his enthusiasm for the game and the Club as his consistent and dependable performances on the pitch.

“Everybody at Hartlepool United is saddened by Eddie’s passing and would like to convey sincere condolences to all of his family and friends.’’

Blackburn left Pools and moved to Sweden for six months, before his playing days were ended by an ankle injury. He worked as a school caretaker in York.