Player Of The Decade #6: Mark Tinkler
Our countdown of the top 10 players of the past decade continues, remember you can leave your comments and favourite moments in the comment box at the bottom of this article.
6. Mark Tinkler
A no nonsense midfielder who always chipped in with his fair share of goals, Mark Tinkler takes his place at number 6 in our chart. Tinkler wasn't afraid of going into a tackle and his defensive qualities allowed him to sit back and let the rest of the team play.
Signed from Southend in November 2000 he made an immediate impact at the club as they made the Division 3 play-offs and would be a huge part of the success Pools enjoyed in the first half of the decade.
He would be the holding midfielder that played the simple balls and allowed the likes of Tommy Miller, Darrell Clarke and later Antony Sweeney to attract to the best of their abilities. He was named Supporters' Away Player of the Year in his first full season and was named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2003 as his 13 goals helped Pools to promotion from the bottom tier.
He made the step up a division with ease scoring 6 goals in his first season. He played a key part as Pools made the play-off final the season after but struggled with injuries towards the end of the campaign.
That would continue in the next season as he made just 11 league starts, often as a centre-back, and struggled for form. One bright moment came at Bradford as Tinks headed home at the back post to give Pools a valuable 3 points at Valley Parade.
However he couldn't prevent Pools relegation to League Two and after the arrival of Danny Wilson he struggled to break into the first team. Following his release in the summer of 2007 he moved to Scottish side Livingston for a season before back to England with Whitby Town.
He will be most remembered for his stunning performances in the 02/03 promotion season where he'd be in total control of the game. He could attack, tackle and brought the best out of all those around him.
Our Favourite Moment
It's hard to pick a specific moment but his hat-trick against Wrexham in October 2002 is worth a mention as he demonstrated his attacking abilities to the full.
His hat-trick consisted of a sweet strike from the edge of the area, a half volley and a curling effort into the top corner. He could have scored even more that day in a fantastic all round display.
Click here for our Player Of The Decade page where you can find out more about the other players in our countdown