RITCHIE Humphreys will not be hanging up his boots following his release from Hartlepool United.
The 35-year-old fully intends to carry on playing into next season and even beyond.
And there are sure to be no shortage of suitors for a player who was among Pools’ better outfield performers last season.
The club released the news yesterday morning that their record-appearance holder was being let go after 12 years at Victoria Park.
The timing of their announcement was somewhat strange given that Humphreys is currently in the United States on a family holiday.
Indeed, he was awoken at midnight and spent the majority of the night answering phone calls and text messages.
Humphreys was thought to be shocked to learn of his release in such a manner.
Humphreys barely missed a match from November onwards and often won plaudits from former manager John Hughes.
But with the Scot sacked and assistant Micky Barron having also been shown the door, Humphreys’ exit is perhaps less of a surprise.
The Pools legend will return to the UK later this week before beginning the search for a new club.
Signed by Chris Turner following a brief spell at Cambridge United, Humphreys went on to make 542 appearances for Pools, scoring 37 goals.
He surpassed Watty Moore’s appearance record in February, 2011, when making his 473rd outing at Exeter City.
That summer he enjoyed a testimonial match against Sunderland and went on to play his 500th match in January of last year.
He has also been voted the club’s Player of the Century.
League Two York City has already been mooted – he could well be back at Victoria Park next season.