TOMMY WRIGHT has explained the poignant reason behind Tom Elliott leading out Darlington on Saturday against his former club.

Elliott was made captain for the day away to Nuneaton Borough, the club he left last summer before joining Darlington, and wore Quakers’ captain’s armband for the first time.

Darlington won 2-1 to ease their relegation worries, Elliott starting the match at left-back.

However, the venue and opposition were incidental to him taking the status from usual skipper Terry Galbraith.

Wright explained: “Tom’s grandad died on Friday, so he had a hard week coming into the match. He didn’t train on Thursday and I know he was emotional going into the game.

“I contacted Tez about it and made the suggestion to him and he was happy for it to happen. Tez is the captain, but I wanted it to come from him to Tom.

“I’ve done it before, I think it’s a way of showing a bit of support when a player is down, and being captain of the club for the first time is a proud moment and one Tom will remember.”

Reece Styche started the campaign as captain, and after he was sold to Alfreton the honour was taken by Simon Ainge until he was injured at which point Stephen Thompson succeeded him before Galbraith became skipper in January.

Elliott, who has missed only one match this season, was part of a reshaped four-man defence on Saturday, one that was lacking the injured Will Smith for the first time since he joined on loan from Barnsley in December.

He may return to action in time for Wednesday’s game at Blackwell Meadows with Chester.

Wright explained: “Will got a dead calf in training on Monday, he had a fitness test on Friday morning and was 30 per cent down in his power in his calf, so Barnsley pulled the plug on him for Saturday.

“He is due to train on Monday so hopefully he’ll be okay for Wednesday.”