CHRIS Turner today labelled Ritchie Humphreys “as one of the best signings I’ve ever made” but admitted it may have been time for the legend to leave Hartlepool United.
Turner pulled off something of a coup when he captured Humphreys in the summer of 2001.
And his fellow Sheffield lad did the business on the park, helping Pools to the play-offs in his first season and then promotion in his second.
“Immense,” said Turner, who is now chief executive at Chesterfield. “That’s what Ritchie has been for Hartlepool United.
“His contribution to the club has been fantastic, on and off the pitch.
“I’d say his signing, and that of Chris Westwood, was one of the best signings I’ve made.
“I knew of him from his days at Wednesday and when he walked into the office, I knew straight away that he’d do a fabulous job for the club.
“I think that season Kevin Henderson scored something like 19 goals that season and while Ritchie did not get as many he was a perfect foil for him.
“Things just took off from there.
“He’s one of the best professionals I’ve ever seen in football – first onto the training field and last off it.
“Ritchie is a fantastic example to every footballer. I used to say to young players ‘that’s what you must look to emulate’.
“He’s given 12 great years of service to Hartlepool United but there is probably a time when it’s right for players to leave a club.
“It’s happened here with Jack Lester leaving Chesterfield.
“There is a time to move on.
“But I’ve read reports on Pools this season and I’ve seen that Ritchie has often been the best player.
“That’s a great compliment to the lad that at the age of 35 he’s still playing well, that he’s still committed.
“I sincerely hope he can get another club because he clearly wants to carry on playing.
“I think he’d make a great player-coach for someone.”