Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club Blyth Spartans have completed the signing of winger Jarrett Rivers, one of their 2014/15 FA Cup heroes.
Rivers wrote his name into Spartans folklore with a late winner in their FA Cup Second Round giantkilling against SkyBet League Two side Hartlepool United, a game shown live on BBC’s Match of the Day.
The former Middlesbrough academy player had also make an impact earlier in Spartans run with a late winner at Mickleover Sports in the Third Qualifying Round and the goal that turned out to be the winner in their thrilling 4-3 Fourth Qualifying Round win over Leek Town.
That FA Cup run ended with a brave 3-2 defeat at the hands of SkyBet Championship club Birmingham City, but not before Rivers played his part in helping the Croft Park club to a 2-0 half time lead by tormenting Blues full back Neal Eardley and setting up the first of Robbie Dale’s two goals.
His form in the FA Cup attracted the attention of a number of Football League clubs and it was Blackpool that won the fight for his signature.
Injuries hampered his stay at Bloomfield Road, as he made thirteen appearances for the Tangerines during his one-year stay.
He did manage to get his first goal for the club, with a goal at Port Vale in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
His release from Blackpool was confirmed in May and he has now chosen to return to his former club, where he will hope to help them acheive promotion from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League after Spartans were beaten to the title by Darlington last season.
Rivers originally joined Spartans from EBAC Northern League club Whitley Bay in July 2014 and went on to make fifty one appearances in his only season with the club, scoring twelve goals in the process.
Now he will look to add to that tally after rejoining the club, a move that left Spartans boss Tom Wade excited by the prospect of seeing his former winger back in action.
He said “Jarrett was playing his best football when he left us to go to Blackpool and I think although it was the right time to go, maybe it wasn’t the right club to go to.
“He had opportunities to go elsewhere on trial, at clubs higher up the pyramid but they didn’t want to take a look with him having a slight knock.
“We have been treating him at Blyth for around six weeks and we will help him find fitness and start playing with a smile on his face again.
“He has come home here, I think he knows that and it is a massive signing, a coup I think. With him on one wing and Robbie Dale on the other, it’s a frightening prospect”
And after rejoining his former club, Rivers is hoping to make more happy memories for the Northumberland club’s supporters.
He said “I can’t wait to get back playing again and everybody knows what this club means to me after the last time I was here.
“We had some great memories from the cup run, our form in the league that season and winning the Northumberland Senior Cup for the first time in ages.
“Now I am back I hope we can creat some more memories and go one step further than we did last season”
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)