JOE Allon likened Hartlepool United staying up to winning the lottery – with “born winner” Ronnie Moore the mastermind behind the revival.
The pair go back a long way, with Allon scoring the winner for Swansea City in a 2-1 win over Moore’s Tranmere Rovers side almost 30 years ago.
Pools won the lottery in staying upJoe Allon
Moore was named as the new Pools boss in mid-December and oversaw nine wins in the second-half of the season.
A run of form that saw Pools climb from propping up the rest of the Football League to finishing third-bottom – four points clear of safety in the end.
Having spent eight months out of work after being sacked by Tranmere Rovers following a breach of betting rules, Moore grabbed the opportunity at Pools with both hands to save the club from the drop and restore his reputation.
And Allon has heaped praise on the man in the dugout at The Vic.
The Pools legend told SportMail: “It was well documented how Ronnie lost his job at Tranmere and it was an absolute disgrace that he ended up getting sacked because of it, but it was to Hartlepool United’s advantage.
“Ronnie came in and in a very limited and short space of time, turned it around. His hands were tied in terms of recruits, how many players are going to be attracted to a club bottom of the fourth division?
“But he instilled the belief in the players and managed to bring some players in.
“Those players deserve credit and the ones that were already there too as it can be difficult when you are getting beat every week.
“You can get into a rut but you have to stay professional and not throw the towel in.
“Ronnie has had a lot balls to juggle and he has juggled them all and they were the six winning balls as Pools won the lottery in staying up.
“It would have been a tragedy if the club had gone out of the Football League, just look at Darlington and what can happen.”
Allon describes the experienced 62-year-old as a “great fella” and says he will go down in the club’s – and town’s – history.
The 48-year-old added “Ronnie didn’t used to be the best looking to start with but he has certainly aged another 15 minutes off this six month stint!
“I first played against him in 1988 when I was at Swansea and he was playing for Tranmere Rovers.
“I won’t remind him that I scored the winner in a 2-1 win but he was a robust character then and you could see he was a winner.
“He has always been a popular guy at every club he has been at and he will go down in Hartlepool folklore.”