Vanarama National League North club Blyth Spartans have completed a deal to bring former midfielder Lewis Horner back to the club.
Following his release by Hibernian, Horner spent the 2013/14 season with the Croft Park club after a short spell with Ebac Northern League club Newcastle Benfield.
The midfielder made his Spartans debut in a defeat at Chorley in September 2013 and went on to become a key part of a side that challenged for an Evo-Stik Northern Premier League play-off place that season.
His form with Spartans earned him an England ‘C’ Representative squad call-up for a game against a Northern League XI.
At the end of the 2013/14 season he was handed a trial with Inverness Caledonian Thistle followed and signed a one-year deal by then-Caley boss John Hughes.
He broke into the side in the 2015/16 season, playing at right back, and his form earned him another one-year deal.
Earlier this year he hit the headlines after receiving a suspended eight-match ban from the Scottish FA for betting on football.
He becomes the fourth new addition to Alun Armstrong’s Spartans squad as they prepare to take on a competitive National League North this season.
The former Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town striker has already signed defender Ian Watson and attacking midfielder Dale Hopson.
He then added former Gateshead goalkeeper Shaun McDonald to his squad on Wednesday night and has now secured the signing of former Croft Park favourite Horner.
Speaking to the Spartans website Horner said “I’m very happy to be back. I was here a few years ago and it looks like the club has certainly progressed since I was last here.
“Obviously, moving up the league has helped with that. Hopefully, I can help the lads this season in the National League North.
“I’ve had a few training sessions with the lads and I’m relishing the chance to fight for my place. There’s a lot of quality in this squad, so it’ll be a tough battle to get in the team and then stay there as well.”
Spartans boss Alun Armstrong said “He’s a huge asset for the club. When ‘Hooksy’ [Neal Hooks] told me that he wanted to come and train with us to keep his fitness up, we always hoped that we might get him.
“Obviously, we didn’t hold out much hope with him having come from a Premier League club in Scotland – albeit they got relegated. He’s been playing professional football up there though, so to get the lad tied down is a massive boost for the club.
“We’ve discussed it and the only places that we’re probably a bit light are in the middle and up top, but adding Lewis to the squad is going to give me a few headaches – as it strengthens an already really strong midfield.
“I’m delighted with the acquisition though, because it gives us something totally different. If you look at all of the midfielders, every one of them has got something different and that’s a massive boost for us as a club.”
Spartans kick off their National League North season with a trip to Alfreton Town on Saturday 5th August, three days before entertaining FA Trophy holders York City.
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Image: Bill Broadley (Blyth Spartans AFC)