BILLY SHARP SIGNS IN CLUB RECORD DEAL
- by Chris Mortley
He's back! And it's the news that every Doncaster Rovers supporter has been longing to hear - Billy Sharp has today joined the Club on a permanent 3-year deal from Championship rivals Sheffield United, for a Club record transfer fee of £1.15 million.
Doncaster Rovers have beaten off reported competition from last season's Premier League side Burnley and League One Runners-Up Leeds United to secure the signature of the 24 year-old striker.
Already a terrace hero at the Keepmoat Stadium, Sharp immediately earned himself a place in the hearts of Rovers fans with his tireless performances and, of course, his incredible form in front of goal. In his season-long loan spell with the Rovers last season, Sharp was a contender for The Championship's Golden Boot award. The Sheffield-born striker netted 15 goals in 33 appearances in the red and white hoops, including vital match winners against the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City among others.
At last term's End of Season Awards, Sharp scooped two huge accolades, including the Players' Player of the Season and the Golden Boot Award as Sharp established himself as an integral part of the Rovers - both on and off the pitch.
Sharp began his career at his boyhood club Sheffield United before making the move to Scunthorpe United where his form in front of goal earned him nationwide recognition as well as breaking a host of club records. Sharp netted an incredible 56 goals in 95 appearances for Scunthorpe United over two seasons, with the Iron securing promotion to The Championship in 2007. The same season, Sharp broke the 45-year record previously held by Barrie Thomas for the most amount of goals scored in a season; netting 30 goals.
In July 2007, Sharp rejoined Sheffield United for a fee in the region of £2 million; however the striker was denied a run of games for his beloved Blades resulting in some football fans questioning Sharp's ability at Championship level.
However he answered those critics in the best way possible; joining Doncaster Rovers at the beginning of the 2009/10 season and going on to make the number 5 shirt iconic for all Rovers fans. His goal celebrations became as loved as the player himself, as Sharp scored goal after goal after goal in the red and white hoops. In December 2009, Sharp was named the PFA Player of the Month with the striker's name becoming one of the first on the teamsheet. An injury to his knee in the derby victory against Barnsley at Oakwell brought Sharp's season to a premature end - however Sharp is now firing on all cylinders and ready to enjoy a full pre-season under Sean O'Driscoll ahead of the 2010/11 season.
Everybody associated with Doncaster Rovers Football Club is delighted to welcome Billy back to the Club, where he will now wear the number 10 shirt.