Date: 29th May 2009 at 12:17pm
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Former Hartlepool United striker Ritchie Barker has been forced to retire from football with a knee injury at the age of 33.

Barker left Pools for Rotherham last October but missed the last 5 months of the season with this injury and the former Mansfield striker has chosen to call it a day.

While not always a popular figure among some Pools fans, Barker’s contribution to Pools promotion winning side was immense. After signing from Mansfield he grabbed 9 goals in 18 games as Pools won promotion from League Two.

Barker himself scored the goal that sealed promotion in Pools 1-0 win over Wycombe and he played an important part in the 07/08 season, finishing top scorer with 16 goals as Pools consolidated themselves in League One.

After finding himself on the bench at the beginning of last season he was allowed to leave the club but fans won’t forget his crucial goals and 100% effort during his time at Victoria Park.

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