The road to Gary Pallister’s glittering career began when he was traded for a set of strips for local side Billingham Town.
His move from Billingham to Boro saw him become one of the country’s most-sought after players, forming a strong partnership alongside Tony Mowbray in the heart of the defence.
Pallister and Mowbray were the defensive lynchpins of Boro’s successive promotions under Bruce Rioch, with his form rewarded with international caps for England while still a Second Division player.
He moved on to Manchester United in 1989 for a then record fee of £2.3million, scooping numerous pieces of silverware during his time at Old Trafford.
Forming another formidable defensive partnership alongside Steve Bruce at Manchester United, Pallister won four Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one Football League Cup, a European Super Cup, one European Cup Winners’ Cup and four FA Charity Shields.
Along with several team honours, Pallister earned plenty of individual ones, named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and being named in PFA Teams of the Year for the Third Division, Second Division, First Division and Premier League.
He returned to Boro when former Manchester United team-mate Bryan Robson brought him to the Riverside in 1998 for £2.5million.
Pallister called time on his playing career in 2001, playing 249 games for Boro and scoring seven goals.