Ritchie Humphreys, the player who made more than 500 appearances for Hartlepool, has been elected as the new chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).
Humphreys, 35, who is now at Chesterfield, succeeds Clarke Carlisle, who has retired from professional football.
Humphreys said: "I am honoured to have been elected by my fellow members of the management committee and look forward to taking up the position of PFA chairman at the AGM in November.
"I am fully committed to the role that the PFA plays across all areas of football and will make every effort to continue the great work which Clarke has put in during his time as chairman."
Humphreys first made an impact at Sheffield Wednesday in the Premier League, but in 2001 he moved to Hartlepool and began 12 years at the club in which he made 548 appearances.
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: "We congratulate Ritchie on his selection as chairman and feel sure his vast experience as a player and management committee member make him eminently suitable for the position.
"We look forward to working together in the future development of the PFA and also wish to thank Clarke Carlisle for his outstanding contribution to the PFA as a player, management committee member and chairman and wish him every success in the future."
Carlisle also offered his support to his successor.
He said: "I have known and worked with Ritchie over a number of years and feel confident that he possesses the necessary skills and experience to take on this role. I wish him all the best and I am sure he will play a real part in shaping the PFA for the future."