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Page last updated at 17:49 GMT, Wednesday, 15 September 2010 18:49 UK

Ritchie Humphreys to get Hartlepool United testimonial

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Humphreys 'honoured' by testimonial

Hartlepool United captain Ritchie Humphreys will have a testimonial after nine years at the club.

The 32-year-old midfielder has made 454 appearances for Pools, scoring 33 times and led them to promotion in 2002/03 and 2006/07 and relegation in 2005/06.

The League One club will later announce several special events to mark Humphrey's testimonial season.

He told BBC Look North: "Ten years at a club is not really heard of these days so I'm absolutely honoured."

Humphreys has seen many highs and lows since he joined Hartlepool United from Cambridge in 2001.

His first taste of high drama at the came at the end of his first full season when he missed a penalty in the play-off semi-final at Cheltenham, ending Pools' hopes of promotion.

He said: "It was a massive down for myself and for the club because it was the third successive season we'd failed at that stage."

However, he then led the side to promotion to the then Second Division in 2002/2003, scoring 11 times in the process and being named in the Professional Footballers' Association's divisional team of the year.

Humphreys said: "To bounce back the following year with automatic promotion was fantastic and it carried on from there."

My career's not over yet, so you never know if there's going to be another promotion

Hartlepool United captain Ritchie Humphreys

He was on the brink of leading Hartlepool to the Championship in the 2004/2005 season, scoring a match-winning penalty in their play-off semi-final with Tranmere Rovers.

But Pools went on to lose in the final 4-2 to Sheffield Wednesday after extra time.

Humphreys then saw his team relegated to League Two the following season but they went back up to League One on the first try and have stayed there since.

He said: "It's been an event-packed 10 years. There's been some highs and lows but generally it's been good times."

He became the first Hartlepool player to start in 200 consecutive league games, his record ending after start number 234.

He was named player of the year in the 2002/2003, 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 seasons, and had a seven-game loan spell with Port Vale in 2006.

With no plans to retire as yet Humphreys is optimistic there could be more good times ahead: "Those two promotions were very, very special... but my career's not over yet, so you never know if there's going to be another."



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