Striker James Gray, whose contract with Southport was terminated by mutual consent last week, has signed for Northern Ireland Premiership side Glenavon.

The 24-year-old, a former Middlesbrough youth player, began his career with Darlington in the 2011/12 season.

He left the Quakers by mutual consent in January 2012, but moved from one crisis club to another, joining troubled Kettering Town on non-contract terms in March 2012.

The following August he signed a one-year contract with League Two side Accrington Stanley following a successful trial spell.

He made a scoring debut and went on to make sixty-eight appearances for Stanley and score 13 goals.

In March 2015, he went on loan to Northampton Town until the end of the 2014/15 season and after being released by Accrington, signed for Wrexham at the start of the following season.

Despite being born in England, Gray represented Northern Ireland at under-16, 17, 19 and under-21 levels. His father Phil is an ex-Northern Ireland international.

He made nineteen appearances for the Dragons, scoring 7 goals, before moving to Southport last May.

Gray made just nine starts and fourteen appearances in total, netting 2 goals, and failed to impress current boss Steve Burr, following the sacking of Andy Bishop in September.

Glenavon player-manager Gary Hamilton said: “I’m obviously delighted to get a young player like James, with Football League experience, on board. He has a hunger to do well and put himself in the shop window. Hopefully he will do a good job for us until the end of the season and if he attracts the interest of EFL clubs then it will mean he has done the business for us as we push ahead to try again for a European spot”.


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