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Craig Hignett

A naturally gifted attacking midfielder, Craig began his first team career with Crewe Alexandria after being released by Liverpool. He hit more than 40 goals in over 100 appearances for the Gresty Road club before joining Middlesbrough in a £500,000 deal in 1992.

He went on to become a Boro legend and was a key part of the side that won promotion and then reached two cup finals and suffered relegation in the same season, 1996/7.

Under Bryan Robson he initially formed part of the “Midget Gems” partnership alongside England striker Nick Barmby, before the arrival of Brazilian Player of the Year Juninho heralded one of the most exciting eras in the club’s history.

Craig moved to Aberdeen on a free transfer in 1998 but an £800,000 move to Barnsley followed shortly afterwards. He scored 28 goals in 66 league appearances for the Oakwell side, including a goal in the 4-2 play-off final defeat to Ipswich Town.

Blackburn Rovers snapped him up in a £2.2m deal in 2000 and he helped the side to promotion and won a League Cup winners’ medal in 2002.

Since hanging up his boots Craig has been assistant manager at both Hartlepool United and Middlesbrough before returning to Pools for a spell as manager in 2016/17.

Having been a manager as well as a player, I know how important it is to have an agent who has extensive experience of the whole of the football pyramid. The lads at SMI have been there and done it as players and they seem to know everyone in the game, from the very top Premier League clubs to non-league level. What’s even more important is that you can see the way they command respect everywhere they go.