Former Bradford City, Carlisle United and Walsall defender will leave Hartlepool United

Hartlepool United legend Gary Liddle will leave the club at the end of his contract it has been confirmed.

By Joe Ramage
Monday, 6th June 2022, 11:26 am

Liddle, who turns 36 next week, has spent almost a decade of his career at the Suit Direct Stadium across two spells including 38 appearances for the defender this season.

Liddle was a member of the Middlesbrough youth side who achieved great success in winning the FA youth cup in 2004 - a side which also included the likes of David Wheater, Lee Cattermole and former Pools boss Matthew Bates.

But it is with Pools where Liddle would get his opportunity in senior football as part of Danny Wilson’s promotion winning side.

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Gary Liddle will leave Hartlepool United when his contract expires. (Credit: Federico Maranesi | MI News)

Liddle made over 250 appearances for the club during his first stint over a period of six years before joining Notts County in 2012 prior to Pools’ relegation to League Two.

The experienced defender spent two years at Meadow Lane before enjoying spells at Bradford City, Chesterfield, Carlisle United and Walsall ahead of his return to Pools in 2019 where he eventually helped the club regain its Football League status.

But although Pools have appointed their new manager in Paul Hartley, Liddle’s second coming with the club is coming to an end despite being offered a new deal to remain at the Suit Direct Stadium.

Liddle was handed the captains armband by teammate, and friend, Nicky Featherstone for the 2-1 win over Harrogate Town in March which marked his 700th appearance in senior football.

Gary Liddle has made over 350 appearances for Hartlepool United across two spells with the club. (Credit: Mike Morese | MI New)

The 35-year-old also led the club out at Selhurst Park during the FA Cup fourth round tie with Crystal Palace in front of almost 5,000 travelling supporters.

But Liddle’s future will now be away from the club he has taken to his heart.

Asked about his future in April Liddle told The Mail how he would have happily retired with Pools but the defender believes he still has more to offer in football than to bring an end to things just yet.

“I want to be here, definitely,” Liddle told The Mail.

“It’s a club where I’d happily retire at this football club. Whether that be next season or the season after or whenever that may be down the line, I don’t know.

“Obviously there’s people out of contract, the likes of Mols and Timi and people like that, who have got their own contracts to sort out who are a lot more important than I am. So as soon as those things are sorted the better.

“All I’ve tried to do this season is make myself available,” Liddle added.

“When I have played I’d like to think, in the most part, I’ve performed.

“I’ll hopefully be here next season and be able to kick on again but I’m pleased I've been fit for most of the season.

“I’ve enjoyed this season. Ultimately the main thing was that I wanted to help this club be in this league, not just for this season but for the coming seasons as well, and I’m pleased to have played my part in it.

“I’d still love to play definitely.

“I feel as though I’ve done well enough to show that I can mix it in this league. Whether it might not be starting every week next season I’m not too sure.”