Having been a staple of the Boro side who rose from the depths of near extinction during the 1980s, Colin Cooper went on to earn England recognition before returning for a second stint. 

Cooper, who started life as a left back, was part of the group who clinched back-to-back promotions under Bruce Rioch to earn Division One status. 

Winning caps for England Under-21s alongside his Boro teammate Stuart Ripley - and appearing in our maiden Wembley appearance in the ZDS Cup final - Cooper rejoined Rioch at Millwall in 1991, with his first game for the Lions against Boro at Ayresome Park. 

Under new boss Mick McCarthy, Cooper moved inside to centre back where his reputation and value increased rapidly. 

With his stock rising, Cooper caught the attentions of several top clubs and signed for Nottingham Forest 1993 where he was part of the side who won promotion to the Premier League. 

As Forest finished third in the top flight and secured European football, Cooper received a call-up for England and played in the games against Brazil and Japan in 1995 before being named club captain after Stuart Pearce's departure. 

His last act for Nottingham saw them pip Boro to the First Division title in 1998, with both clubs promoted to the Premier League and Cooper returning to Teesside for his second spell. 

Establishing himself as a regular in the backline again at Boro, he lost his place in the heart of the defence and had a short stint on loan with Sunderland. 

Cooper hung up his boots in 2006 and moved into the dugout to become reserves coach and stepped up to be first team coach at Boro. 

He later had a managerial stint in caretaker charge of Bradford City and then at the helm of Hartlepool United.