Pools star thrilled at Sunderland ‘replay’ for testimonial

TESTIMONIAL ... Hartlepool veteran Ritchie Humphreys.

TESTIMONIAL ... Hartlepool veteran Ritchie Humphreys.

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TESTIMONIAL man Ritchie Humphreys today said he was “thrilled” to be given an action replay of one of the highlights of his 10 years at Hartlepool United.

Pools take on local giants Sunderland at Victoria Park on Tuesday, August 2.

And the “friendly” comes seven and a half years since a blue and white invasion of the Stadium of Light for a FA Cup third-round derby.

Almost 10,000 Poolies went to Wearside in January 2004 when Neale Cooper’s heroes were beaten 1-0 by a second-half Julio Arca goal.

Pools certainly gave the Black Cats a fright, with keeper Mart Poom making two brilliant saves to deny Eifion Williams.

And Humphreys said it was fitting the Premier League outfit are the opposition for his big night.

Humphreys said: “That is definitely up there in my most memorable games ever.

“Everything from watching the draw in the dressing room at Burton Albion when all of the lads were jumping up and down, to walking out at the Stadium of Light in that tremendous stadium.

“We took a fantastic away support up the road as well – it was brilliant to see Pools fans filling out the whole end.

“It was a great game and we acquitted ourselves well, had a few chances and hit the post.

“But Arca produced a bit of magic that won them the game.”

Full story in Tuesday’s Mail