Bernard Joseph Slaven arrived at Ayresome Park in October 1985 from Albion Rovers, for whom he had been top scorer in Scotland the previous season. 

Bernie had was working as a part-time gardener and wrote to every club in England's top two divisions requesting a trial, Boro boss Willie Maddren picking him up for an extremely canny £25,000.

He made his debut at Leeds and scored in his first home match against Bradford City. 

In a career that straddled the liquidation saga and all the turbulence this entailed, Slaven was a model of consistency, finishing top marksman for six consecutive seasons. 

His combined attributes of good close control, great positional sense and accurate finishing meant the Wolfman was assured a place in the pantheon of Boro legends.

A self-confessed selfish striker, Bernie regarded it as criminal to pass to a team mate if he had a half chance himself.

However, the stats speak for themselves. His 15 goals in Division One in 1988/89 was only bettered only by Alan Smith and John Aldridge and included a fabulous hat-trick at Coventry in a 4-3 win. That’s without mentioning the vital goals he scored as the club won back-to-back promotions, including a priceless strike against Chelsea in the Play-Off final first leg in 1988.

His performances came to the attention of Jack Charlton and Bernie was selected to play for the Republic of Ireland, qualifying thanks to his Irish grandfather. 

He scored on his international debut, and was in the Republic squad for Italia 90. He eventually played seven times for Ireland.

Goalkeeping legend Steve Pears said of him: "He didn't strike the ball, he passed it into the net."