Long-serving Ritchie Humphreys has been released from Hartlepool United after it was decided that the option in his contract would not be taken up.Humphreys has been with the Club since the summer of 2001 when he was signed by then boss Chris Turner following a brief spell at Cambridge United.
Since then he has gone on to play a central role in one of the most successful periods in Pools' history and become one of the most popular players to ever pull on the blue and white stripes.
In 2005/06 he became the first player to start in 200 consecutive league games, a run which eventually came to an end on 234 when he was named as a substitute at Hereford United the following season.
He also went on to overtake the legendary Watty Moore as the Club's all-time record appearance-maker in February 2011 when he made his 473rd outing in a win at Exeter City.
High drama has never been far away when it comes to Humphreys, whether it be his extraordinary penalty shootout miss at Cheltenham in 2002, his redemption with the winning penalty to send Pools to the Play-Off Final in 2005 or his stunning curler at Accrington in 2006 that set the Club on course for a record-breaking unbeaten run.
Unsurprisingly, accolades arrived thick and fast for the player who has always given 100% for the Club, as he scooped Player of the Year prizes in 2002/03, 2005/06 and 2007/08.
During the Centenary Season in 2008 he was also named as the Player of the Decade for the 2000s and overall Player of the Century in a historic vote carried out among supporters, while in 2010/11 he was granted a Testimonial Season and enjoyed a wonderful friendly against Sunderland.
While also excelling as a player, Humphreys has also begun to turn his eye to coaching in recent years and just last month was thrilled to gain his UEFA A Licence qualification.
His time at Pools comes to an end with Humphreys having played an incredible 544 games for the Club in all, scoring 37 - often spectacular - goals along the way.
He leaves with the best wishes of everyone at Hartlepool United for the future and we would like to thank him for his outstanding efforts over the last twelve years.