After Andy Aitken left, Boro were without a manager in name for 16 months so the responsibilities fell to secretary John Gunter.

He had joined the board in June 1893 after the club reverted to amateur status. When he took over first team affairs in 1909 he enjoyed a successful start, lifting them from mid-table to help them finish ninth in 1908-09.

But his reign was also marked by some heavy defeats, including a 7-3 hammering by Bradford at Ayresome Park on Christmas Day 1909 and a 5-0 home defeat to Bury six weeks later.

He stepped down in June 1910 to be replaced by Andy Walker.