Monkey Hangers sack Wilson

Hartlepool fans were shocked at the sudden departure of Hartlepool United boss Danny Wilson. It is believed the 48-year-old left the club Monday following a meeting at Victoria Park, but full details of his departure have yet to be released.

A club statement said he had left the services of the club and thanked Wilson for his hard work.

Hartlepool are unbeaten in four league matches but their 1-1 draw against strugglers Hereford United on Saturday left them just seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Director of Sport Chris Turner has been placed in temporary charge of the first team ahead of Friday night's match at home to Southend United.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright and Mayor of Hartlepool Stuart Drummond were among the first to comment on Wilson's sacking.

Mr. Wright said: "It's come as a huge shock to me. The last thing we need going into Christmas is instability. I thought Danny was a great manager, but we should be higher in the table than we are. It's been a disappointing season so far, especially with it being the centenary year. We should really be pushing for promotion. Hopefully success is just around the corner because when the club does well the town picks up."

Mayor Drummond, who described Wilson as a "top bloke", said: "He's one of the most successful managers we've ever had. It's actually amazing how quickly things can turn around in football. I guess you could say the club seems a bit flat at the moment. Hopefully Danny should be remembered for the promotion season and the unbeaten run. There was a real buzz about the town and it shouldn't be forgotten. It's pleasing to know that Chris Turner has been put at the helm, we're certainly in safe hands with him. I guess there's never a dull moment as a Poolie."

Chris Turner was the former player and coach of Sheffield Wednesday but played 195 times for Sunderland as well as Manchester United. Turner is one of relatively few former goalkeepers to make the leap into football management. He started his coaching career at Leyton Orient as joint manager with John Sitten, before moving to Leicester City and later Wolves, where he was appointed youth team coach.

His first solo managerial position came at Hartlepool in 1999. Turner took over when Hartlepool were bottom of the Football League, saved them from relegation and turned them into promotion contenders. They gained promotion at the end of the 2002-03 season but Turner had moved back to his old club Sheffield Wednesday six months before the success was achieved under his successor Mike Newell.