Peter Hartley Player Profile
Debut: Leyton Orient (H, 0-1), 17/08/2013
Peter Hartley was confirmed as one of Graham Westley’s summer acquisitions shortly after the 2013/4 campaign started, with Boro’ paying an undisclosed five-figure sum to land their man from Hartlepool United. A resilient defender capable of operating at centre back or left back, Hartley arrived able to provide the versatility that Westley was looking for.
The player came with a reputation for a tough tackle and good aerial ability and his signing saw him step back up into League One just weeks after Hartlepool were relegated down a division to League Two. But it was a fellow North East side, Sunderland, with whom he started his career.
He signed a youth contract at the Stadium of Light in 2000 and turned professional in 2006, but first team opportunities were always out of reach. It was with Chesterfield in 2008 where Hartley first got the chance to establish his Football League credentials in a loan spell that lasted for a handful of months. But it wasn’t enough to convince his parent club.
After he was released by Sunderland at the end of the 2008/9 campaign, Hartley moved to Hartlepool United and started out as left back in his debut season, before reverting back to centre back in 2010/1. He continued his development with the club, eventually becoming its captain in 2012/3 and receiving a League One Player of the Month Award nomination in February 2013 for his outstanding performances.