Newton Aycliffe FC have confirmed that defender Darren Craddock has signed for neighbours Shildon.
The centre-back has put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal to take him to Dean Street.
It ends a two-year stint with his hometown club, after the former Hartlepool defender joined ahead of the club’s first campaign in the Northern League first division.
The 28-year-old leaves Moore Lane Park with a heavy heart.
He said: “I would like to thank the club for helping me enjoy my football again. It’s a fantastic club with fantastic people and I’m sad to leave.
“I have nothing but good things to say about the club and the people than run it.
“It was a privilege to play for my hometown club and I wish them all the best for the future.”
Craddock’s career began with Hartlepool, where he made 33 first-team appearances and played at the Millennium Stadium when the Pools lost to Sheffield Wednesday in a dramatic League One play-off final.
He then moved to York – initially on loan – and played 71 times in total.
A move into the semi-professional game followed in 2008, taking in spells at Newcastle Blue Star, Whitby and Blyth Spartans.
But when Aycliffe completed their meteoric rise to the top tier of Northern League football, Craddock joined up with Allan Oliver’s men and made an instant impact.
He netted on his first competitive appearance – a 6-1 thrashing of Stokesley – before making it two in as many games with a last-minute leveller in a 2-2 thriller against Ashington.
However, his early goalscoring prowess was not a sign of things to come, but it was at the other end he shone.
He remained on two goals for the rest of the season but he was named player of the year, players’ player of the year and supporters club player of the year after a number of impressive showings.
Craddock finally ended his goal drought with the winner in the 2-1 victory over West Auckland and added his fourth and final goal in spectacular fashion during the 4-0 drubbing of Bedlington.
In total he made 83 appearances for the Royal Blues – all of them starts – in his two year spell. He will return to Moore Lane Park next year in the red of local rivals Shildon.