HARTLEPOOL UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB has appointed Andy Steel, Vice Principal of Hartlepool College of Further Education, to its board of directors.

Club chairman Raj Singh invited Mr Steel, a long-standing Pools fan, to the board ahead of next season’s National League campaign with a brief to assist the club with commercial and community matters.

“I have said publicly in the past that we need to add strength to the board,” said Mr Singh. “In particular, I felt it was important to find somebody with Hartlepool connections as we continue to strengthen relationships within the town.

“Andy is a fan of the club, a respected local figure and has great connections through his role with the College and through running the business forum over a number of years.’’

Mr Steel, who has been involved with Hartlepool College of FE for almost 30 years, admitted: “I’m really pleased to be on board.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me and it would be great if I could offer something to help the club’s push to get back where it belongs in the upcoming seasons.

“I want to try and help better engage the club with the community and also look to get more businesses involved in supporting Pools on and off the pitch.

“I firmly believe that Pools should be the hub for the community and, like many people, I was very concerned when I thought the Club was going to disappear last year.

“That wasn’t only down to missing the football but also because of the huge and positive impact the Club has on the town as a whole, which people perhaps didn’t realise until it was on the brink.

“I want to try and help make sure that we never get in that position again.”