Victoria Park: Hartlepool United

Clarence Road, Hartlepool, County Durham, England, TS24 8BZ
Reading Tom / Flickr.com

The Vic, as it’s known to Hartlepool supporters, is built on ground that used to be a limestone quarry that was owned by the North-Eastern Railway Company. Founded as Hartlepool United Football Athletic Company in 1908, Hartlepool have played their home games at Victoria Park during their entire history. The club absorbed the assets and liabilities of West Hartlepool Football Club, who had won the FA Amateur Cup in 1905, when it was dissolved in 1910. They were elected to the Football League in 1921, spending the 37 years that followed in the Third Division North.

Victoria Park opened its doors in 1886 as the home of West Hartlepool Rugby Football Club, who played their matches there until 1908 and then briefly returned between 1998 and 1999. The land was originally a limestone quarry before it was developed for a rugby stadium. It was named as a celebration for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria and was soon registered as The Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company Limited.

Stats

Victoria Park Stats
Year Opened1886
Capacity7,856
Average Attendance3,125
Record Attendance17,264 (Hartlepool v Man United (1957))
Pitch Size103 x 70 (7210)
NicknameThe Vic, Viccy Park
OwnerHartlepool United F.C.
Clubs HostedHartlepool United F.C., West Hartlepool R.F.C.
First FixtureHartlepool United v Newcastle United (02/09/1908)
Hartlepool United Stats
Year Founded1908
NicknamePools, Monkey Hangers
Club MascotH'Angus the Monkey
RivalsYork City, Darlington
KitBlue & White Stripes (Home) / Yellow (Away)
Training GroundMaiden Castle
Shirt SponsorThe Prestige
Team OwnerRaj Singh
Record GoalscorerJoshie Fletcher (111)
Record AppearancesRitchie Humphreys (543)

Victoria Park Photos

Victoria Park Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Victoria Park is very ‘traditional English’ in its design, meaning that their are four individual stands along and the sides and ends of the pitch. The Town End Terrace welcomes 1,775 supporters, whilst the Niramax Stand can welcome 1,617 people seated and 1,832 standing. The Cyril Knowles Stand has an official capacity of 1,599, whilst the Rink End’s capacity stands at 1,033.

Hartlepool United Ticket Prices

There are different prices for tickets depending on where in the ground you want to go and how old you are, but apart from that it's pretty standard stuff, and the price doesn't vary too much. Have a quick look below:

  • Adults: £18.00 - £20.00
  • Concessions: £9.00 - £10.00

How To Get Hartlepool United Tickets

As is so often the case in the modern era, the club’s website is the best place to look for match tickets. If you fancy taking a chance then you can always try to get one on the get on the day of a match, with the fact that they rarely sell out their games meaning that you’ll be in with a good chance of getting one.

You can get tickets on the turnstile, over the phone or in person from the ticket office. Just be aware there is a £1.50 charge for card payments.

Where to Buy

Getting To Victoria Park

Train - The good news for those wishing to travel by train to watch Hartlepool United play is that Hartlepool Railway Station is just ten minutes or so walk from the ground. It’s always worth booking your tickets in advance if you’re hoping to save a bit of money on the cost.

Bus - The number 1, the 36, the 3, 3A, 6 and 20 are all buses that stop within a quick walk of the stadium, so they’ll be the ones that you’ll want to look out for if you’d rather get the bus to the stadium than walk.

Car - Those of you using a car to get to Victoria Park will use the A689 or the A179 to do so, depending on which direction you’re coming from. Obviously there are plenty of signs directing you once you get close enough to the ground.

By Air - Durham MME Airport is the closest to Hartlepool at about 15.1 miles, but it’s not exactly a main airport. Instead, you might want to look to the likes of Newcastle Airport if you’re flying in for the match.

Taxi - Hartlepool boasts a number of private taxi companies, so you’ll be looking at around £5 for a journey in one of them from the town centre to Victoria Park.

Parking Near Victoria Park

There is a decent enough sized car park at the ground with limited spaces on match days, but failing that you’ll find on-street parking easily enough. Just make sure that you keep an eye out for local parking restrictions and try your best not to fall foul of them.

Millhouse Car Park is located behind The Niramax Stand.

Useful Resources

Victoria Park Hotels

Hartlepool is on the coast so there are plenty of options for a place to stay:

OYO The Douglas Hotel - £50+

2 Grange Road, Hartlepool, TS26 8JA
This guest house offers 17 rooms, so it’s a small but pleasant place to stay if you’re heading to Hartlepool for the football. There’s a restaurant on-site, as well as a bar and lounge area where you can relax. There’s even a banquet hall should you wish to have a feast whilst you’re there. Guests can take advantage of free Wi-Fi and you’re ideally located in the heart of the town. You’ll find Victoria Park about ten minutes walk away. More details.

The Marine Hotel - £70+

5 7 The Front Seaton Carew, Hartlepool, TS25 1BS
If you’re having a trip to somewhere like Hartlepool then why not stay on the front? That’s what The Marine Hotel allows you to do, with 28 rooms on offer for visitors. It’s within a stone’s throw of the beach, boasting a restaurant and bar area. You can get breakfast if you wish to and you’re really close to all of the various sites that Hartlepool promises its guests. This includes the likes of the Monkey Statue and the museum. More details.

Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel - £90+

B1281, Btwn Castle Eden & Blackhall, Hartlepool, TS27 4PA
Though this hotel is the furthest from the centre of Hartlepool, it offers certain things that the other hotels on our list can’t. There’s a garden, for example, which gives you the chance to enjoy some peace and quiet. You can get breakfast and do your laundry on-site, whilst the restaurant is a good place to go for a bite to eat. A pricier experience than the other hotels, but sometimes you’ve got to spend a bit more to get a bit more. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Victoria Park

If you're looking for somewhere in this coastal town to sink a pint and sing a few sea shanty's (or not), check out one of these little gems:

1908 Sports Bar

Best Western Grand Hotel, Swainson St, Cleveland, Hartlepool, TS24 9AA (01429 266345)
The 1908 Sports Bar is actually located within the Best Western Grand Hotel, meaning that the atmosphere is not quite as raucous as other locations around the town. Even so, the usual selection of drinks are available and there’s decent food on offer. It is perhaps best described as family friendly, so the ideal place to head if you’ve got kids with you. There are plenty of big screen TVs up that will show any important live sport that’s on.

The Dugout Sports Bar

29-30 church street, Hartlepool, TS24 7DH (+44 7456579248 )
The sort of place that attracts large groups, The Dugout is essentially one big room with screens adorning most of the walls. There’s no real ale on tap, which is indicative of the fact that it’s a sports bar that caters to easy crowds rather than specialist ones. The atmosphere is great for the big matches, plus there’s a pool table available for the times when there isn’t any sport on or you want to wile away a bit of time before kick-off.

Hornsey's Bar

2 Seaton Reach, Coronation Drive, Hartlepool, TS25 1NY (01429 266066)
With an outdoor area that overlooks the beach, there’s something about Hornsey’s Bar that makes you feel as though you could be in Spain or Portugal when the sun is shining. It’s open until 11pm every day of the week apart from Sundays and Mondays, when it closes at 10pm. There’s a pool table or two, decent food and loads of drink choices for customers to get involved in, plus a wealth of screens on the walls around the venue to show the best in live sport.

Facilities

Premier League and even Championship grounds are of a certain quality, which can’t necessarily be reached by clubs lower down the English Football League pyramid. You can’t expect phenomenal conditions, therefore, but Victoria Park has everything most football supporters would want in the way of facilities.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.00
  • Cup of tea: 2.00

Hospitality

You have a couple of options when it comes to match day hospitality; you could opt for an executive box for up to 12 guests, including a 2 course meal, half time refreshments, and seats in the CK stand. Otherwise you could go for the Maidens Restaurant enjoying a 2 course meal and possibly a half time visit from players.

Private Hire

Clubs of relative modesty tend to be quick to offer areas out to private hire, with Hartlepool United being no exception. Whether you want to use one of the boxes or even the pitch itself, an arrangement is likely to be reached for the right price.

The Vic is one of the premier conference venues in Hartlepool. It has excellent facilities including rooms that can house up to 120 people, whilst the meeting rooms can be turned around to accommodate anything from theatre presentations to classroom-style get togethers.

Stadium Tours & Museum

As things currently stand, there’s no museum at Victoria Park and you also can’t do a tour of the ground. Of course, both of those are the sorts of things that can change relatively quickly.

About Hartlepool United

Yaffa Phillips / Flickr.com

Known to most football fans as the team supported by Soccer Saturday’s Jeff Stelling, Hartlepool also have famous fans in the form of the musician Meatloaf and the film director Ridley Scott. In 2002 Hartlepool United’s mascot, H’Angus the Monkey, was actually elected as mayor of Hartlepool after the man who portrays him, Stuart Drummond, decided to run as an independent under the slogan ‘free bananas for schoolchildren’.

Away from the whacky and cooky side of life in Hartlepool, the club has led a solid if uninspiring existence since its formation in 1908. Brian Clough began his managerial career at The Vic, despite saying ‘I don’t fancy the place’ when offered the job. Up until 1968 the club was still officially called Hartlepools United. It dropped both the ’s’ and the ‘United’ that year when West Hartlepool, Hartlepool town and the village of Hart were all incorporated into one borough. The ‘United’ was restored to the team’s name in 1977.

In 1905, West Hartlepool were the FA Amateur Cup winners, which was relatively prestigious at the time. Indeed, only the FA Cup proper was seen as being more prestigious, which opened up the ability to have a professional team in Hartlepool. When West Hartlepool Ruby Club went bust, it meant that there was an empty stadium ready for a new club to fill. The Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company was therefore formed, representing both West Hartlepool and Old Hartlepool.

Over the years of the club’s existence, it has bobbled around the various lower divisions of the English Football League. They played in the Second Division for the third time in the club’s history in 2002-2003 after finishing in second place in the lower tier, but problems and relegation soon followed. This included a decline into non-league football for a period, which finally came to an end when the club won the National League Play-Offs in order to get back into League Two.

Victoria Park History

John Lord / Flickr.com

West Hartlepool Rugby Football Club bought the area that the ground now stands on from North-Eastern Railway Company in 1886. They did so with the specific aim of opening a ground suitable for rugby matches to be played on, naming it in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The rugby club went busy in 1908, leaving the ground vacant for a new tenant. A football team was formed and took over ownership of the site.

The Main Stand on Clarence Road was destroyed by a zeppelin bomber during the First World War, with a small wooden stand being built in its place. A new stand was built in its place in the 1980s in the wake of the Bradford Stadium fire and the new regulations that were introduced as a result. Hartlepool were the last Football League club to install floodlights at their stadium. In 1986, both Hartlepool and Middlesbrough played their opening games of the season at the ground after Middlesbrough became locked out of their own ground due to going into liquidation.

The ground has twice been used by West Hartlepool Rugby Football Club with the most recent time being from 1998 until 1999. In 1996 the stadium changed its name from The Victoria Ground to Victoria Park because of the amount of work that had been done to it over the years. One claim to fame came in 1986 when Middlesbrough and Hartlepool both played their opening matches of the season on the same day at the ground because Middlesbrough were locked out of the home stadium after going into liquidation.

Future Developments

Hartlepool United gained promotion back to the Football League at the end of the 2020-2021 season. As a result, numerous changes were planned for Victoria Park, with more in the pipeline should the club maintain its place in the Football League. Obviously if that happens then we’ll update this section, but if we do then you won’t read this sentence, which is weird.

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