HARTLEPOOL United legend Ritchie Humphreys has been released by the club in a move that will shock Pools supporters.
SportMail revealed last week that there was doubt over the players future after it was announced Sam Collins and Andy Monkhouse had been retained.
During the centenary season in 2008 Humphreys was named as the player of the decade for the 2000s and overall player of the century in a historic vote carried out among supporters.
In 2010/11 he was granted a testimonial season and enjoyed a friendly against Sunderland.
His time at Pools comes to an end with Humphreys having played an incredible 542 games for the Club in all, scoring 37 - often spectacular - goals along the way.
On the club’s website it stated “He leaves with the best wishes of everyone at Hartlepool United for the future and we would like to thank him for his outstanding efforts over the last twelve years.”
Humphreys has been with the club since the summer of 2001 when he was signed by then boss Chris Turner following a spell at Cambridge United.
He has gone on to play a crucial role in one of the most successful periods in Pools’ history and become one of the most popular players to ever pull on the shirt.
In 2005/06 he became the first player to start in 200 consecutive league games, a run which eventually came to an end on 234 when he was named as a substitute at Hereford United the following season.
He also went on to overtake the legendary Watty Moore as the Club’s all-time record appearance-maker in February 2011 when he made his 473rd outing in a win at Exeter City.
Humphreys scooped player of the year prizes in 2002/03, 2005/06 and 2007/08.
While also excelling as a player, Humphreys has also begun to turn his eye to coaching in recent years and just last month gained his UEFA A Licence qualification.