George Boateng was an astute signing when he was snapped up from Aston Villa in the summer of 2002, playing a key role in the Carling Cup success. 

The experienced Dutch midfielder, who had played more than a century of times for Villa, was seen as a replacement for Paul Ince and became an immediate regular. 

Boateng's first two seasons yielded no goals, but he eventually broke his Boro duck in his third campaign at the Riverside when he netted three times. 

He was a key figure in the run to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and in the final of the Carling Cup where we would clinch our first major piece of silverware, in a season where he would also finish as the club's Supporters' Player of the Year. 

Having missed three months of the beginning of the season in 2005 - including missing important Uefa Cup clashes against Grazer AK and Sporting Lisbon - he returned by being part of a strong partnership with his fellow countryman Bolo Zenden. 

Being an influential figure in the route to Carling Cup glory, Boateng was also integral in the run to the Uefa Cup final, featuring in the famous triumphs over Basel and Steaua Bucharest and the final itself. 

Gareth Southgate was elevated from captain to manager at Boro in 2006, and it was Boateng who was handed the armband in his place. 

In 2008, he would link up with recently-promoted Hull City. A short stint with Nottingham Forest was sandwiched between spells with Skoda Xanthi and T-Team, where his career finished in 2013.