Defender leaves Darlington

Stephen Harrison has become the second player to leave Darlington in as many weeks, as work commitments will prevent him from playing in all fixtures next season.

He was an almost permanent fixture at right-back during Quakers’ march to the Northern League title, but he has followed Darren Richardson in leaving the club.

But as most away games in the Evo-Stik First Division North including a two-hour journey, midweek away games would have become a problem for the 31-year-old, so he has been unable to agree a contract and has departed the club amicably.

Manager Martin Gray explained: “From my point of view, I need stability and players that can be available as much as possible. Away games might’ve been a problem for Harra, so he couldn’t sign a contract.

“He’s been brilliant to have around the club in every way – on the pitch and off it.

“He had a good work ethic because he was brought up the right way at Sunderland. He was there from nine to the age of 19 and he’s been a top player in non-league for the last ten years. He’s won four titles for different clubs in that time and he’ll continue to be a top player for someone else."

Meanwhile, Darlington have arranged a friendly at home to Sunderland on Saturday, July 20.

The Black Cats will send their under-21 development side to Heritage Park, though Quakers understand they may also include a handful of senior players.

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