Hartlepool United have paid tribute to tragic midfielder Michael Maidens on the ninth anniversary of his death.
Born in Middlesbrough, he started his career as a trainee with Pools, and made his first-team debut on 21 September 2004 as a late substitute in a League Cup match at Crystal Palace.
A month later, on 30 October 2004, he made his league debut in a 1-0 home win over Port Vale.
He scored Hartlepool's goal of the season in 2005-06, a curling effort in a 3–1 victory over Huddersfield Town.
He signed a professional contract at the Vic in July 2006, and, after making 25 appearances, was loaned out to Conference sides York City and Blyth Spartans.
On 19 October 2007, Michael was a passenger in a vehicle which lost control and collided with a metal post near a roundabout on the A174 near Lazenby, North Yorkshire. He died instantly.
The club retired his number 25 shirt as a mark of respect, and to this day it remains unused.
This week, the ninth anniversary of the popular young player's death, the current Hartlepool first-team and youth squads paid tribute to the tragic star.
They gathered next to the Memorial Bench at the club’s Durham training ground, and laid flowers in tribute to Michael.
Manager Craig Hignett, who played alongside him in 2006-07, told the club's official website: "I remember Michael for being a talented footballer and a lovely lad to boot.
“I know not many of the players who are here now played with Michael, but as a club we will make sure that he is never forgotten.
“I had the pleasure of doing some of Jeff Stelling’s Men United March alongside Michael’s brother earlier this year, and it was nice to share some memories about him."