Hartlepool's Ritchie Humphreys has saluted Sunderland boss Steve Bruce after confirming the sides will meet this summer.
Humphreys has spent the last decade with Hartlepool and the Black Cats will visit Victoria Park to celebrate Humphreys' testimonial season on August 2, five days before the opening game of the League One season.
Humphreys said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be playing Sunderland for my testimonial game. It's going to be a fantastic curtain-raiser to the beginning of the season.
"I want to say a very big thank you to Steve Bruce and to Sunderland for agreeing to play in my testimonial. It means a great deal to me and I can't wait for the game to come now."
Bruce added: "Ritchie has been a fantastic servant for Hartlepool and to achieve what he has at one club in the modern game is absolutely terrific.
"He has set a great example to his fellow professionals and we're delighted to be able to honour his career by taking part in his testimonial."