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They Played for Both Clubs: Middlesborough

Chris takes a look at a combative midfielder from Wanderers' recent past

Ben Radford /Allsport

Jamie Pollock was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1974. Known as a tough-tackling and combative central midfielder, he made his name at Middlesbrough in the early to mid 1990s.

He began his career at Boro, where he became a mainstay in the centre of their midfielder during an up-and-down time in the club's history. He was part of the squad who in 1992 competed in the inaugural season of the Premier League. It was Middlesbrough's first season in the top flight since relegation in 1988. The club had gained promotion to England's top flight by finishing second in the old Second Division. Pollock was unable to prevent the club from experiencing relegation yet again, finishing in 21st place.

In the 1994/95 season, under the management of former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson, Pollock and chums finished as champions, ahead of Bolton Wanderers who themselves finished third and who needed a memorable 4-3 win over Reading in the Play Off Final to be promoted alongside Boro. At the end of the season Middlesbrough moved to their new ground, the 30,000 seater Riverside Stadium.

Pollock was named in the 1994 PFA Team of the Year alongside familiar names such as Neil Cox, Alan Stubbs, Jason McAteer and some bastard called Aldridge.

They consolidated their position in the Premier League the following year, finishing 12th. I'm sure we all remember that Wanderers were relegated, finishing bottom of the league. Pollock chose to end his time at Middlesbrough following the end of the season, exercising his freedom of movement upon contract expiry to join Spanish La Liga side CD Osasuna. He had made 155 appearances for Boro, scoring 18 goals.

After six months and just two appearances in Spain, Jamie Pollock was signed by Bolton Wanderers for a fee of £1m. He joined one of the most talented squads in the club's history, forcing his way into a midfield full of familiar names such as Alan Thompson, Per Frandsen, Scott Sellars and Michael Johansen in a season that brought the First Division title to Burnden Park. Pollock again experienced a move to a new ground when Bolton took occupation of the 25,000 seat Reebok Stadium.

He formed a key midfield partnership with Frandsen in the centre of midfield, though was unable to prevent the club from returning to the First Division having been relegated on the final day of the season following a defeat to Chelsea.

He was sold to Manchester City in March 1998 for £1m following 52 appearances and five goals for Bolton.

He was made captain at City during a turbulent time in the club's history which saw them relegated to the Third Division for the first time. He managed a further season at City before leaving in 2000 having made 60 appearances, scoring five times. He is remembered at the club for a bizarre own goal in the penultimate game of the season at Maine Road against Queen's Park Rangers (you can see it - HERE).

After leaving Manchester, he moved to Crystal Palace - then under the management of Alan Smith. Pollock's new side finished 21st in the First Division, with him crossing paths with a young Scottish striker by the name of Dougie Freedman.

Steve Bruce took over at Palace in April of that year before leaving in November during Pollock's final season at the club, though he found himself on the periphery of the side. He spent a month on loan at Birmingham City in 2001, but announced his retirement from the game in March of 2002 having been released by Palace and being without a club since. He was aged just 28.

Since his retirement, he has dabbled in non-league management, being the manager of non-League club Spennymoor Town until 2007,after his previous club Spennymoor United went bust in 2005.