Former Scottish international, Rob McKinnon is an absolute legend amongst the Hartlepool United support. As a full-back not only was he blessed with a huge amount of skill and composure, but he played every game with passion and determination. It was no surprise to Poolies when he left to join Motherwell in the Scottish top flight and they certainly didn't begrudge him the opportunity. Even now he is active within supporters groups and travels down for games with his family when time allows. This only acts to reinforce his status, you will quite simply never hear a Poolie say a bad word about him.
Here is what he had to say....
My first match was at home to Cardiff city back in 85/86 season, welsh fans were causing mayhem in the stand!
My favourite match has to be the promotion match against Northampton town. Also one I will always remember is the 0-6 home defeat against Doncaster and me being cheered by the fans as I was still giving my all and they appreciated that.
What was the character like in the Changing room?
The dressing room was a fantastic mix of characters with the likes of Paul Baker, Joe Allon, Paul Dalton and Brian Honour all enjoying a wind up! John Tinkler used to bite all the time and was such a funny guy. John McPhail and Mick Smith were the father figures and Paul Olson was a funny Yorkshireman.
Best player whilst at Pools...
The best player at pools during my time is very difficult as every player especially in the promotion squad were quality. However two people stand out, both wingers who were so talented, Paul Dalton and Brian Honour. It made my job so much easier with Brian and Dalts playing in front of me. Brian was such a battler but had great skill and Dalts could beat players like they weren’t there. Both quality players and great human beings.
My toughest opponent during my Hartlepool time was a winger from Tranmere called Morrissey, he was very fast and tricky.
My best memory was the town after we got promotion, seeing the pride and joy in their faces was amazing, I went into my local pub with my family (The Warrior) and we were treated like royalty! And so you should have been (Stu).
Are you still in touch with anyone from back then?
I still keep in touch with Brian Honour mostly by text and he keeps me up to date with what’s going on at pools.
Your last pools match...
My last pools match was in January 1992 against Ipswich Town in the FA Cup at Portman Road. We drew 1-1 and played really well. A very emotional day for me as I had an idea I was leaving.
Plans for the future...
My plans for the future are to enjoy my family life while running two very demanding businesses and trying to get the balance right!
Your best Pools manager...
The best manager I played under at pools is a very difficult question...
Obviously Cyril was top class and very hard on players. Looking back he just wanted the best from his players.
I loved Bob Moncur and Pop Robson because of their pedigrees as top class footballers.
Billy Horner signed me so I am grateful for that and John bird was actually very clever but just didn’t get the results.
Alan Murray took the promotion team over the line with good man management.
1. Kevin Poole
2. Keith Knobbs
3. Alan Kennedy
4. Mick smith
5. John MacPhail
6. John Tinkler
7. Brian Honour
8. John Tinkler
9. Paul Baker
10. Joe Allon
11. Paul Dalton
Yes we know John Tinkler is in there twice, but he really was that good!