Only two players have made more appearances for the club and three have scored more goals than Boro legend John Hickton.
A bargain £20,000 signing from Sheffield Wednesday, 'Big John' had spent the early years of his career playing in a variety of positions but was primarily utilised as a full-back by The Owls. He was perhaps unlucky not to be selected in their ill-fated appearance in the 1966 FA Cup Final.
Hickton joined Boro later that year, soon after the club's relegation to the Third Division for the first time. He would score on his debut - the first of 192 for the club and one of many iconic penalties - in a 3-2 win over Workington Town.
It took a crafty conversion by Stan Anderson to change this versatile defender to free-scoring forward. He finished the next six seasons as top scorer, and although his prolific record attracted the interest of the top clubs Big John proved too valuable to the Boro.
Jack Charlton's arrival brought about another conversion for Hicky, this time to battering ram-style target man, allowing him to bring others into play and let them score off him. Boro's success under Charlton owed much to Hickton's starring role, and he made his long-awaited First Division debut with us in 1974, scoring the opening goal in a 3-0 win against Birmingham City.
There are many reasons Hickton will never be forgotten - his bravery, his ability in the air, his goalscoring record. However, surely the most unusual is his 20-yard penalty run-ups!
Hickton enjoyed his Boro testimonial match in 1977, scoring a hat-trick against Sunderland, before trying his luck with Fort Lauderdale in the North Americal Soccer League. Unfortunately, a broken leg suffered shortly after heading Stateside effectively ended his pro playing career, although he would later turn out for Hartlepool United's reserves and Whitby Town.