Connect with us


Ilkeston Town sign former Premier League player in trio of new signings announced

Ilkeston Town sign former Premier League player Leroy Lita in a trio of new signings announced by the non league side last week.

Leroy Lita joins having last played for Southern League Premier Division Central club Hednesford Town, where he couldn’t stop scoring.

He was a product of the Chelsea youth system but failed to make a first-team appearance for the club; and in 2002, he moved to Bristol City and later represented Reading, where his form helped him earn a place with the England under-21 side.

He later played for Middlesbrough, Swansea City, Barnsley, Yeovil Town, in Greece for AO Chania and in Thailand for Sisaket, with loan spells at Charlton Athletic, Norwich City, Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday, Brighton & Hove Albion and Notts County.

He then moved into non league football and has been with the likes of Margate, Salisbury, Chelmsford City, Nuneaton Borough, Stratford Town and Hednesford Town, scoring 18 goals in 22 matches for the latter.


Goalkeeper Rhys Davies, 23, has signed on a permanent deal having most recently been with National League North side Boston United.

Welshman Davies once commanded a £250,000 transfer fee when he left Newport County to join Leicester City in 2017, spending three years with the Foxes and featuring in their EFL Trophy campaign in 2018/19, saving a penalty against Rochdale in one of their ties.

After leaving Leicester, he went on to spend time with Belper Town and Kettering Town before joining Boston last summer.

Also joining on a deal until the end of the season is vastly experienced striker Leroy Lita. The 38-year-old has netted 21 goals in 27 games for our SPL Premier Central rivals Hednesford Town since joining last year, including a four-minute hat-trick against AFC Rushden & Diamonds earlier this season.

Lita needs little introduction to followers of English football, having made over 450 professional appearances which included over 60 in the Premier League with Reading and Swansea City, as well as extensive Championship, League One and League Two experience with clubs including Bristol City, Norwich City, Middlesbrough, Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday.

Also confirmed as signing for the Robins on a permanent deal until the end of next season is Henri Wilder, who joins from Alfreton Town for an undisclosed fee. Wilder has impressed with the Robins whilst on loan for the last two months and who will join permanently once that loan expires on Saturday.

Robins chairman David Hilton said: “I’m delighted to have all three on board.

“Rhys seems a great lad, is technically good and has plenty of experience at higher levels despite only being 23.

“Leroy is obviously well experienced and we feel he offers another great option for us. Considering he’s played in a side struggling all season with goalscoring opportunities limited, he is still high in the scoring charts. I’m excited to see his return for us knowing we have such great creativity.

“Henri has been magnificent both on the pitch and in the dressing room. He’s a class act who loves the club and I’m delighted he will sign permanently once the loan expires.

“I’d like to thank Wayne Bradley and Alfreton Town for their professionalism and assistance with this one.”


Dempsey Arlott-John
Silvio Bello
Jared Bird
Leroy Lita
Daniel Bradley
Oliver Brown-Hill
Remaye Campbell
Rhys Davies
Finn Delap
Thabang Dube
Declan Eratt-Thompson
Kieren Fenton
Reece Fyfe
Montel Gibson
Zak Goodson
Thomas Hilton
Christopher O’Grady
Lamine Sherif
Babatomiwa Solanke
Harrison Solomon
Jack Thomas
Kalern Thomas
Lee Tomlin
Alexander Troke
Ben Turner
Charlie Wakefield
Jamie Ward
Henri Wilder
Joseph Wilson
Tyree Wilson
Harvey Woodward

Youth career
1999–2001 – Chelsea

Senior career
2002–2005 – Bristol City – 100 games (38 goals)
2005–2009 – Reading – 100 games (32 goals)
2008 → Charlton Athletic (loan) – 8 games (3 goals)
2008–2009 → Norwich City (loan) – 16 games (7 goals)
2009–2011 – Middlesbrough – 82 games (20 goals)
2011–2014 – Swansea City – 21 games (2 goals)
2012 → Birmingham City (loan) – 10 games (3 goals)
2013 → Sheffield Wednesday (loan) – 17 games (6 goals)
2013 → Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) – 5 games (1 goal)
2014–2015 – Barnsley – 24 games (2 goals)
2015 → Notts County (loan) – 6 games (0 goals)
2015–2016 – AO Chania – 15 games (3 goals)
2016 – Yeovil Town – 8 games (1 goal)
2017 – Sisaket – 21 games (5 goals)
2018 – Margate – 4 games (0 goals)
2019 – Salisbury – 6 games (2 goals)
2019–2020 – Chelmsford City – 14 games (2 goals)
2020–2022 – Nuneaton Borough – 33 games (8 goals)
2022 – Stratford Town – 11 games (3 goals)
2022–2023 – Hednesford Town – 22 games (18 goals)

International career
2005–2007 – England U21 – 9 games (6 goals)

This is what fans are saying as Ilkeston Town sign a former Premier League player in trio of new signings announced…

@Bobsyred: Leroy lita at Ilkeston town?…… 😲😲 what a signing for that level

@ThomasF94732139: Leroy 💷 lita 🐍🐍

Wow !!!
Leroy Lita is a phenomenal signing at this level.
Guaranteed goals
We mean business
Welcome to the party all 3 of you
Enjoy the ride

@FrannyFrancisP: Legends team 🔴⚪️

@boonycarlsberg: Leroy Lita, Jamie Ward, Chris O’Grady, Lee Tomlin, Ben Turner. This is like a Forest Champs Manager season from 10 years ago #NFFC

@PhilipJCartwri1: Great signings, really pleased to see Henri Wilder make the deal more permanent. Means we can now galvanise the 4 at the back into a first choice defence. The other 2 signings……Just WOW, could be the final pieces of the jigsaw for us to put a Top 5 push together.

@ReissNFFC: Leroy Lita now, just absolute vibes 🥰

I did say that Owners @DavidHilton77 and @andy_nally will be on the case.
They’ve never let us down.
Outstanding additions to an already strong squad. ✊
#DemBoysInDE7 🔴⚪️⚫️

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Championship