Ex-Hartlepool United defender announces retirement to take up League Two coaching role

Gateshead have confirmed that Hartlepool United legend Michael Nelson has left the club to take up a role as assistant manager at SkyBet League Two strugglers Stevenage.
Michael NelsonMichael Nelson
Michael Nelson

The 39-year-old spent time on trial with the Heed during the summer before officially joining the club in a player-coach capacity.

And the veteran defender went on to score one goal in 14 appearances as he shared defensive duties with former Newcastle United centre-back Mike Williamson.

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However, his time at the International Stadium has come to an end after the National League North club received an official approach from Stevenage on Thursday evening.

And Nelson subsequently announced his retirement from professional football on Instagram.

Nelson will now take up a role as number two to Boro manager Graham Westley as they look to help the club in their battle against relegation in League Two.

Gateshead chairman Neil Pinkerton paid tribute to Nelson for his work over the first five months of the season and wished him well for his future career in the dugout.

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He said: “We received an approach from Stevenage yesterday evening regarding Michael's services, and we were aware of his pre-existing relationship with their manager Graham Westley.

"Michael is currently working towards his UEFA A licence, of which we have been very supportive of in terms of time away from the club, and we weren't going to stand in the way of him trying to further his managerial aspirations - but only if it wasn’t to the detriment of Gateshead Football Club.

"The club would like to thank Michael for his efforts both on and off the pitch for Gateshead Football Club this season and wish him the very best in his future endeavours."