HARTLEPOOL United assistant manager Craig Hignett has handed in his notice at The Vic to take up a post at neighbours Middlesbrough.
The former Boro favourite joined Pools in the summer as assistant to Colin Cooper but has today left the Clarence Road club to take up the post of assistant head coach at the Riverside.
Boro boss Aitor Karanka has been searching for a Number 2 since taking over at the club and Hignett is that man.
It will come as a shock to Pools fans and a brief statement on the club’s website said Boro had informed Pools chief executive Russ Green that Hignett would not be working his notice period and would start at his new club tomorrow.
A statement on the Pools website read: “The club wishes to advise that late this afternoon assistant manager Craig Hignett has handed in his notice.
“Middlesbrough Football Club have advised the club’s chief executive Russ Green that Craig will not be working his notice period for Hartlepool United and will be starting work at Middlesbrough on Tuesday 4th March.
“The club has no further comment.”
Hignett is a former Boro, Blackburn and Barnsley star and even enjoyed a short spell at Pools in 2007 at the latter stages of his career.
The 43-year-old had previously been a coach at Middlesbrough while also working as a radio summariser before joining Pools in the summer.
A Boro statement read: “Boro have tonight confirmed the appointment of club legend Craig Hignett as assistant head coach to Aitor Karanka.
“He brings a wealth of experience and Boro thanked Hartlepool United for their cooperation over the appointment.”
“The club also thanked Jamie Clapham for assisting Karanka since he joined the club in October. Clapham will now return to his previous role of Senior Professional Development Phase coach, looking after Boro’s U21 side.”
* See Tuesday’s Hartlepool Mail for the full story.