Simon Ainge kicks off our round-up of players to have both sides on their CV’s.
The defender-come-forward had two spells with the Shaymen, the first being in 2008 after joining on loan from rivals Bradford City, and then the 29-year-old joined on a permanent basis in five years later after his release from Luton Town. Ainge made over 60 appearances for Halifax during his two spells before joining the Sulphurites in 2016, after a year with Bradford Park Avenue. The Shipley-born lad has also played for Cambridge United and Guiseley, where spent the best part of three years.
Ainge had a resurgence in his career since joining Harrogate being primarily used as a striker for Simon Weaver’s side. The unorthodox has bagged himself 35 goals for Harrogate Town and has since had a loan spell with Wrexham before joining Darlington in 2018.
A man who needs no introduction to the Shaymen faithful is Lee Gregory. The former fans favourite is another player to have donned the yellow and black of Harrogate and blue of Halifax Town. The current Stoke City striker was only with the North Yorkshire side briefly back in 2009, after joining on loan from Mansfield. Gregory then joined the Shaymen on loan in 2010 before making his move permanent in 2011 and spent three years with Halifax making over 100 appearances.
Another fan favourite to have been on the books for both sides is Neil Aspin. The Gateshead manager spent a total of ten years in the dugout with the two clubs – four years with Harrogate and six at Halifax. Aspin consistently kept the North Yorkshire side in the top half of the Conference North but then joined the Shaymen after deciding he couldn’t take the club any further with the budget on offer.
The 51-year-old then joined Halifax in 2009 and enjoyed a fruitful six years at the Shay guiding his side from the Northern Premier League Division One North to the Conference Premier in the space of four years, before being dismissed following a defeat at Guiseley after 10 games in Sept 2015
Aaron Hardy is another player to have played for the two Yorkshire sides, albeit very briefly for tonight’s opponents. The defender joined Harrogate back in 2008 after being released from Huddersfield Town, a club where he had been at for six years. Hardy only made a handful of appearances during his one-year spell with the North Yorkshire side before following Aspin to Halifax.
Our round-up of is finished by Martin Foster, who made just under 100 appearances Halifax Town over a three-year period, when he signed from Forest Green Rovers in 2004. Before joining Harrogate in 2009 Foster played for Oxford, Rushden & Diamonds, Tamworth and Eastwood Town over the two years after leaving the Shay. During his spell with the Sulphurites Foster made just shy of 50 appearances in his sole season.
A few other players have played for both sides, and they feature below:
Non-exhaustive – Nat Brown, Craig Nelthorpe, Luke Dean, Luke Ashworth, Danny Forrest, Timothy Hotte, Paul Pettinger, Tom Platt, Nick Richardson, Joe Ironside.
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