Tributes paid to ex-Hartlepool United defender Bill Green after his death at age of 66

Former Hartlepool United player Bill Green has died at the age of 66.
Former Hartlepool United player Bill Green has died at the age of 66.

Tributes have been paid to former Hartlepool United defender Bill Green after his death following a short illness.

Green began his professional career with Pools in the late 1960s and made 137 appearances before leaping two leagues to join Division Two side Carlisle United for around £35,000 in

Sunderland players join in the minute's applause for Bill Green before Tuesday night's match at Carlisle United.

Sunderland players join in the minute's applause for Bill Green before Tuesday night's match at Carlisle United.

1973.

The tough centre half played top-flight football for both the Cumbrian side and West Ham United before enjoying spells with Peterborough United, Chesterfield and Doncaster Rovers.

Green, who was still working in the game as head of recruitment for Premier League Southampton, died on Monday at the age of 66.

A minute's applause was held for him the following day before the start of Carlisle United's Carabao Cup tie with Sunderland.

Hartlepool United have also paid tribute to him.

One of the club's few players to climb the league ladder during a grim decade, Newcastle-born Green broke into the first team at 18 and became captain at just 20.

A Pools spokesperson said: "Everyone at Hartlepool United would like to offer sincere condolences to Bill’s family and friends at this sad time."

After retiring as a player in 1984, Green was manager of Scunthorpe United from 1991-93 and took caretaker charge of Sheffield Wednesday for one match in 2002 while the Owls

were finalising the appointment of Hartlepool United boss Chris Turner.

He later took on scouting roles with Wigan Athletic and Derby County before spending seven years with Southampton.

Ross Wilson, Southampton's director of football operations called him a "club legend" and added: "Throughout the last week we have been in daily contact with Bill's wife and his son and,

although the situation has been stark, the final news was tough to take as our worst fears were confirmed.

"Not only have we lost a top professional, we have lost an absolute gentleman.

"Bill was so loyal to our club, in every way. He always put the club first in all of his actions and, for that, he was so respected by our staff.

"His moral compass was strong and we will all continue to remember his words and his advice to guide us in future years."

Funeral details have still to be revealed.