Striker Glen Hargrave has departed the club for a new beginning with Newcastle Benfield. Glen joined The Hoops in the summer of 2022 as part of Paul Foster and Paul Bryson’s Birtley rebuild.

Opening his account on his debut in a 1-1 draw at Brandon United, Hargrave went on to form a formidable partnership with Aidan Rutledge, the pair scoring over 80 goals in the 2022/23 season and fired Birtley into the second division play-offs. Hargrave scored two goals on his home debut against Easington Colliery.

Starting both games in the play-offs, Glen was a huge part of our promotion winning side. Hargrave and Rutledge (2) were again on target as Birtley hosted Blyth Town in a chaotic game which saw three visiting players dismissed. The main league season was rounded off with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Ryton & Crawcrook Albion at the Arrowmark, thanks to a brace from Callum Smith as well as goals from Glen Hargrave and Matty Ward.

Hargrave finishing the season with 22 goals and 12 assists from 32 league appearances. Starting both games in the play-offs, Hargrave registered another assist in the final.

Hargrave and Rutledge formed a terrifying partnership and registered 80 goals in 22/23.

Moving into the 2023/24 season and Glen continued where he left off by scoring two goals in the opening day 4-1 win at Redcar Athletic, including scoring our first ever goal in Northern League Division One. His late winner in the 4-3 at Guisborough in December will certainly be a contender for the best moment of the season.

On Glen’s departure manager Reece Chapman commented “It’s disappointing to lose Glen for the upcoming season, but he goes with our very best wishes. We’ve spoken a couple of times over the break, and I appreciate some of his reasons for moving. Glen has played a big role over the last two years, and I know that the club as a whole will always appreciate his efforts. I hope he continues to score goals this season and beyond – well apart from the times we face him.”

Continuing Chapman paid tribute to some of Glens’ successes “there’s many moments that stick out, the partnership he developed with Aidan Rutledge to secure our promotion to NL1, leading us into our first NL1 campaign whilst forming new strike partnerships, some of the long distance strikes he’s scored, I could continue.”

Hargrave celebrates a double in the season opener at Redcar.

Everyone at the club would like to wish Glen and his family well for the future. We look forward to welcoming him back to The Arrowmark when Benfield travel to DH3 in early August.