GARY Liddle admits he will leave Hartlepool United hoping they can push on from the success the club has gained over his second spell at the club.

As the club enters a new era under Paul Hartley, Liddle has revealed that his decision was made before the Scotsman’s appointment and he will join Northern Premier League side South Shields next month once his contract comes to an end.

The 35-year-old was offered fresh terms to extend his stay for another season. However, Liddle has chosen to end his time at the club after 364 appearances across two spells at the club and link up with Shields boss Kevin Phillips at Mariners Park.

“I always knew I’d have to leave one day and here I am leaving for the second time” he said.

“I do so with a huge sense of achievement. It’s been a whirlwind two-and-a-half years packed with highs, lows and covid of course in that first season, but two-and-a-half years filled with a huge amount of success and a personal sense of accomplishment.”

After a six year spell in the first-team until 2012, Liddle returned to the club initially on loan in December 2019 before joining the club in the summer. He played a major role in the side that secured promotion back to the Football League last summer.

Liddle continued: “At 33 years old, I was welcomed back to your club and it was like I had never left. What transpired over the next 18 months ended with the proudest day of my 15-year career in Bristol.

"To see the club regain not only its Football League status but also its connection with its fans again was huge. We weren’t the best team in the league, far from it, but whatever it was that we lacked on the pitch was soon made up with the support in the stands at the Suit Direct Stadium.

“After league status was comfortably secured last season, I hope the club can push on again in the coming season under the new manager. It’s hard to leave but I’m also proud to leave the club again as the football league club it is.”

Despite his injury problems, Liddle made 38 appearances for the club as they stayed up in League Two at the first time of asking.

With a move down the divisions lined up, Liddle admits his protracted move to Shields has been in the works for a while. “I should explain that I made this decision before a new manager was appointed and I’d like to wish Paul Hartley every success for the future, it's an incredibly exciting time for Pools” he said.

 “Thanks again everyone and good luck for next season and beyond.”