DARLINGTON football club has confirmed a former youth development officer has left the club.

Mick Tait, Darlington's youth development officer of four years, was reported to have left the club last year.

While neither Mr Tait nor the club would confirm or deny the rumours at the time, last night Darlington FC finally confirmed Mr Tait was no longer with the Quakers.

However, they could not provide further details of the situation.

A spokesman simply said: "Mick Tait is no longer with the club."

And Mr Tait said he could not comment at this moment in time.

Mr Tait played for Darlington from 1990 to 1994. He later returned to the club in 2002 as manager, initially on a caretaker basis. His reign lasted a little over 12 months, during which time the club moved from its former Feethams ground to the Darlington Arena.

After he was replaced as Darlington manager in 2003 by David Hodgson, he returned as youth development officer.

Mr Tait, 51, had a long playing career which started at Oxford United in 1974. During his 22-year career he played a total of 760 league games, a figure which has been beaten by only 12 other players in the history of the Football League.

His career also included two spells with Darlington's rivals Hartlepool United. He became player-manager of Hartlepool in 1996 and hung up his boots two years later, before he was sacked in 1999.