sport

Hartlepool bag Bates

Hartlepool United have signed former Middlesbrough defender Matthew Bates following his release from Bradford City.

The 27-year-old came through the youth ranks at the Riverside Stadium and made over 100 appearances for the club either side of loan spells with Ipswich and Norwich.

Bates, who has been plagued by serious knee injuries in the past, trained with Hartlepool at the beginning of last term after leaving Bristol City but the club were not in a position to make the player an offer and he instead joined Bradford on a short-term deal.

Pools boss Colin Cooper has finally got his man and will be looking to Bates for inspiration as he aims to challenge at the right end of League Two next season.