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Humphreys exit surprises Cooper

Former manager Neale Cooper described Ritchie Humphreys as "a true Hartlepool legend" following the midfielder's release.

Last Updated: 21/05/13 at 11:18

Neale Cooper: Surprised at Pools decision

Neale Cooper: Surprised at Pools decision

Humphreys, 35, who made a club record 542 appearances for Pools, will end his 12-year spell at Victoria Park following the club's decision not to take up an extra year's option on his contract.

"The news surprises me," Cooper said. "He's a true Hartlepool legend is Ritchie. He did ever so well for the club over the years.

"You cannot get a more consumate professional. But he was also a very good coach and I know that was something he wanted to get into."

Former Sheffield Wednesday striker Humphreys joined Pools in 2001 and played a key role under Cooper during the Scot's first spell in charge of the club, who were beaten by the Owls in the 2005 League One play-off final.

"He was an excellent player for me," Cooper added. "He could play in numerous positions, wide left midfield, central midfield, left-back, striker and he never let you down.

"He always gave his lot and is a lovely guy as well. He was a real fans' favourite. I think they named a street after him in Hartlepool and you can't get much better than that."

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