After two spells spanning 16 years, the club can confirm that Gary Liddle will leave Hartlepool United upon the expiry of his contract this month.
Originally signing for the club in August 2006, the 35 year old has made 364 appearances in total for blue and white and currently sits at ninth in our all-time appearance list.
Liddle first joined Pools from Middlesbrough after featuring in their youth side and winning the 2004 FA Youth Cup. He stayed with Pools for just under six years in his first stint, eventually departing for Notts County in May 2012.
After County, Liddle went on to feature for Bradford City, Chesterfield, Carlisle, and Walsall. Then, in 2021, Liddle returned to the club. Originally joining on loan from Walsall, before he re-joined permanently for the 2021-22 season and featured prominently for the club in promotion from the National League.
“I always knew I’d have to leave one day and here I am leaving for the second time. I do so with a huge sense of achievement. It’s been a whirlwind 2 and half years packed with highs, lows and covid of course in that first season, but 2 and half years filled with a huge amount of success and a personal sense of accomplishment.”
“At 33 years old I was welcomed back to your club and it was like I had never left. What transpired over the next 18 months ended with the proudest day of my 15 year career in Bristol. To see the club regain not only its football league status but also its connection with its fans again was huge. We weren’t the best team in the league, far from it, but whatever is was that we lacked on the pitch was soon made up with the support in the stands at the Suit Direct Stadium.”
“After league status was comfortably secured last season I hope the club can push on again in the coming season under the new manager. It’s hard to leave but I’m also proud to leave the club again as the football league club it is.”
“I should explain that I made this decision before a new manager was appointed and I’d like to wish Paul Hartley every success for the future, it's an incredibly exciting time for Pools.”
“Thanks again everyone and good luck for next season and beyond”
Chairman Raj Singh commented:
“Everyone at Hartlepool United would like to wish Gary all the very best for the future. We thank him sincerely for his service to the club. He has been a remarkable servant and true professional both on and off the pitch.”
“We have discussed the clubs future plans and in context we understand Gary’s reasons. He has an opportunity to join a club on a long term deal with security for himself and his family at this stage in his career. He leaves with our best wishes and he will always be welcome at the Suit Direct Stadium.”