It's perhaps testament to the character of outgoing Pools stalwart Micky Barron that he can conjure only positive words to describe his near two decades at Victoria Park.His departure last week as Reserve Team Coach ended a seventeen-year association with the Club which stretches back to 1996 and has taken in 374 games as a player and five seasons in the coaching set-up.
When then Pools boss Keith Houchen asked Middlesbrough if he could borrow their 21-year-old defender all those years ago he could scarcely have believed he was signing the player who would go on to be the Club's most successful captain.
A little wet behind the ears and more than a little cocky, Barron matured during a three-month loan spell at The Vic and went on to make a permanent move in the summer of 1997.
By 1999, he was wearing the skipper's armband with pride - he was a leader in every sense of the word both on and off the field, and the blue and white of Pools quickly got under his skin.
He was voted Player of the Year in each of his first two seasons, and went on to lead the side to two promotions from League Two and a League One Play-Off Final.
"If I'm being honest, I was probably a bit big-headed back then and didn't think I would be at The Vic for long," Barron recalled.
"I thought I'd be here for a year or two then move on but it never really happened.
"And I can honestly say that during my time I never really thought about leaving - I very quickly felt part of the fabric of the Club and even when I wasn't in the team I was still attached to what was going on and willing the lads to get a win.
"I was just happy to be coming in every day and doing something I loved and I certainly have pride in my time with the Club; I have made friends with staff, players and fans who I know I will keep in touch with for years to come.
"When people ask me about Hartlepool I will tell them all the good memories I've got from playing here and being around the Club.
"I think the biggest and best night of the whole time I was here is that one at Tranmere Rovers when we won in the play-off semi-finals and made it to Cardiff.
"Everything surrounding the Final was obviously brilliant, from the build-up to leading the team out, but making it there by winning at Tranmere was unbelievable and such a proud moment.
"I am also proud to have been Captain of the Club for such a long period, especially given all the success we enjoyed and when I reflect on my time at The Vic that is what I will remember.
"You look back on games and sometimes it's the small things you remember, like having some craic with a guy eating some chips on the far side while taking a throw-in or some comments shouted from the crowd!
"Hopefully all the fans knew that I was 100% committed to the cause in everything I did - even when I had a bad game, and I had a few, I would like to think people could see I was giving my all and they appreciated it."
Barron admits it will be strange to no longer be involved on a day-to-day basis at Pools but insists that he holds no ill-feeling and simply hopes the Club can bounce back from relegation quickly.
"Hartlepool will always be my club. I've brought my wife here, my kids have grown up connected with the Club and everyone associates my name with Hartlepool United.
"It's hard that I will no longer be a part of that but I still wish everyone here all the success in the world and hopefully they'll have a good go at it next season.
"I'm going to go away on holiday now to recharge the batteries after a difficult season and then see what opportunities come up in the future.
"But I'll certainly be keeping a keen eye on events at The Vic and hopefully I'll get to a few games and cheer the lads on."