Ray Hankin was appointed at Feethams on February 24, 1992 after Frank Gray paid the price for the cl...
A dramatic slide to the foot of the Third Division sealed Gray’s fate, with chairman Dick Corden explaining that a 3-0 defeat at Torquay United the previous Saturday was the final straw. "It was a diabolical performance and we felt something had to be done," he said.
Gray and his assistant Tony McAndrew were dismissed after an 8am board meeting with Hankin promoted from his position as youth team coach, becoming manager until the end of the season with veteran midfielder Mick Tait acting as right hand man.
However, Hankin, who had managed Northallerton Town before moving to Feethams in 1991, was unable to prevent Darlington’s relegation from Division Three.
Speaking to The Northern Echo in 2011, he said: "We were bottom of the league. The chairman said they'd review the situation at the end of the season. The players really gave it everything. I suppose they just weren’t good enough."
Hankin had been appointed by Corden, who subsequently became chairman of Guisborough.
In 1987 Hankin was part of the Guisborough side that reached the first round of the FA Cup. They met Bury in a game played at Middesbrough’s Ayresome Park, however, Hankin was sent off in infamous circumstances.
Referee Tom Fitzharris - the same chap that was once struck by an apple thrown at a Darlington match - booked Hankin for refusing to wear a captain’s armband. The combative striker then received a second yellow for the manner in which it is alleged that he shown his displeasure. "I didn't call him anything. I wish I had done now, " said Hankin.
Bury won 1-0 thanks to a goal scored in the second minute by Phil Parkinson, who is now manager of Bradford City.