Bradford Park Avenue stalwart James Knowles has agreed to stay at the Horsfall Stadium for the 2017-18 campaign.

Currently in his third spell at the club, centre back Knowles sits fifth in the all-time appearances chart for the reformed club.

The popular defender featured 26 times after rejoining Avenue midway through last season, leaving him on 217 appearances in total.

Knowles was a key figure in a defensive line which sured up hugely as Mark Bower’s men somehow avoided relegation, and he even chipped in with two goals including a memorable 95th minute winner away at Stockport County.

“Knowlesy played a big part in last year’s survival, so we’re pleased that he has agreed to stay at the club for another season,” manager Bower said.

“He is a good defender and his quality on the ball fits in with the style of football that we want to play.

“We feel his attributes compliment the squad well and we are confident that he can further enhance his legendary status at the club with another good season.”

Knowles returned to Avenue last October, joining from Farsley Celtic where he had been playing under his former boss at Bradford, John Deacey.

He rejoined the club two years after leaving for the second time, joining ex-Avenue teammate Tom Greaves at FC United of Manchester.

The strong defender originally left Bradford in March 2013 to join Conference side FC Halifax Town, but rejoined the club just a few months later.

Knowles, who goes into the season on 217 appearances for the club, could be expected to climb to third in the all-time list with Neil Grayston and Richard Marshall just ahead of him on 228 and 224 appearances respectively.


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