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Quorn AFC sign ex-Leeds, Portsmouth, Charlton, Ipswich, Sheff Wed, Crewe forward

Quorn AFC sign a well known ex-Leeds, Portsmouth, Charlton, Ipswich, Sheff Wed, Crewe forward, returning to the club he first joined.

He started his career with United Counties League Premier Division North outfit Quorn, a club in his home county of Leicestershire, before moving to league football with Crewe Alexandra.

His performances during Crewe’s 2006–07 campaign, where he was named in the League One “Team of the Year” despite Crewe’s finishing only mid-table and scoring against Manchester United in the League Cup saw him come to the attentions of bigger clubs and consecutive £1m-plus transfers to the Championship followed, as he joined Charlton Athletic and then Derby County.

He had made over 200 league appearances, and scored his 50th career league goal, and career first top-flight goal, in the Premier League, with a 76th-minute strike against Fulham on his debut for Blackpool.

Quorn revealed his career timeline, showing off just how well their player got on after leaving them having spent his youth days there before returning for the 2021/22 season.

Quorn (2000-2003)

Luke began his career as a semi-professional footballer at non-league level with Quorn before being spotted by Crewe’s assistant manager Neil Baker.

Crewe Alexandra (2003-2007)

Varney signed for Crewe Alexandra from non league Quorn in 2003 for £50,000. Varney made his Crewe debut five months later in a 3-1 away defeat to Wimbledon. It was Varney’s performance against Manchester United in the League Cup that gained attention from bigger clubs as during the weeks following the game, which saw Varney score the goal the force extra time.

Charlton Athletic (2007-2009)

Varney completed a move to Charlton Athletic for £2 million in May 2.007 with a percentage of the fee going to Quorn, rising to £2.5 million depending on appearances. Charlton manager Alan Pardew commented that ‘Luke is an exciting young player and perfectly fits the mould of a Chariton player’.

Derby County (2009-2011)

He signed for Derby County on loan on 27 November 2008 with a view to a £1m transfer in January 2009. On 6 December he scored on his home debut for Derby’ in a match against Crystal Palace.

Sheffield Wednesday (2009-2010)

After suffering from various niggling injuries, illness and a loss of form, Varney joined Sheffield Wednesday on a month’s loan on 20 March 2009.

Blackpool (2010-2011)

On 27 August 2010, Varney joined newly promoted Premier League club Blackpool on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal n the region of £500,000. He scored his second league goal on 3 October 2010 as Blackpool defeated Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield with Varney’s first half goal proving to be the winner, in a performance which saw him named in the week seven 2010-11 Premier League Team of the Week, alonside teammate Charlie Adam. In November, after Varney scored four times in his opening 11 appearances, Blackpool confirmed their desire to sign Varney on a permanent deal in the January 2011 transfer window.

Portsmouth (2011-2012)

It was confirmed on 6 July 2011, that Varney would join Portsmouth for a fee of £750,000. He scored his first league goal for Portsmouth on 6 August 2011 against Middlesbrough.

Leeds United (2012-2014)

After a number of weeks of rumours his signing for Leeds United was confirmed by manager, Neil Warnock on 23 July 2012. Varney scored his first Leeds United goal in his debut against Bodmin Town to make it 1–0 to Leeds and the game finished 4–0. Varney was allocated the number 11 shirt for the 2012–13 season on 3 August. He made one and scored one in his competitive debut for Leeds in the first game of the season against Shrewsbury Town in the League Cup on 11 August. In Leeds’ 3–0 League Cup win against Southampton, Varney was famous for a miss which was described by Neil Warnock as ‘miss of the century’, when he missed a wide open goal from 2–3 yards out. Warnock later apologised for coming across “as a dinosaur, although I’m not sure which one.”

Blackburn Rovers (2014-2015)

Following Leeds 1–1 draw with Ipswich on 28 January 2014, then Leeds manager Brian McDermott revealed that Varney had refused to play for Leeds for the game, due to an offer coming in from league rivals Blackburn and him not wanting to get injured. On 8 February 2014, Varney joined Blackburn Rovers on loan until 11 May 2014 with a view to a permanent move. On 16 May 2014, Varney was released by Leeds United. On 1 July 2014, Varney signed a one-year deal with former loan club Blackburn Rovers after his release from Leeds United.

Ipswich Town (2016-2017)

On 20 February 2015, Varney joined Ipswich Town on loan for an initial one-month period with the option to extend this loan until the end of the season, having made 11 appearances for Blackburn Rovers, all from the bench. He was injured in the Playoff Semi-Final game against Norwich City but remained at the club before signing permanently in December 2015, taking the number 42 shirt. He scored once, a last-minute winner in his final game for the club, a 3–2 home win over MK Dons on 30 April 2016. He signed a new contract in August 2016 before it was then cancelled in January 2017, allowing him to join Burton Albion.

Burton Albion (2017-2018)

Varney scored his first goal for Burton in a 1–1 draw with Barnsley on 29 April 2017. He was released by the club at the end of the 2017–18 season, following their relegation. In August 2018, Varney was released by Burton Albion.

Cheltenham Town (2018-2020)

Varney joined then League Two side Cheltenham Town on 28 September 2018 after appearing on trial and scoring in a reserve team friendly against Hartpury College a few days earlier. Varney made his Cheltenham Town debut as a sub against Lincoln City on 29 September 2018. Despite scoring 7 goals in 23 games across the 2019–20 season, he was released by Cheltenham Town at the end of the season.

Return to Burton Albion (2020-2021)

On 12 August 2020, he returned to Burton Albion as a player-fitness coach on a one-year deal. On 12 May 2021 it was announced that he would be one of 12 players leaving Burton at the end of the season.

Return to Quorn (2021-)

On 23 June 2021, Quorn announced via their twitter account that Luke Varney had re-signed for the club he began his career at.


2000–2003 – Quorn
2003–2007 – Crewe Alexandra – 95 games (27 goals)
2007–2009 – Charlton Athletic – 57 games (10 goals)
2008–2009 → Derby County (loan) – 7 games (1 goal)
2009–2011 – Derby County – 5 games (0 goals)
2009 → Sheffield Wednesday (loan) – 4 games (2 goals)
2009–2010 → Sheffield Wednesday (loan) – 19 games (4 goals)
2010 → Sheffield Wednesday (loan) – 20 games (5 goals)
2010–2011 → Blackpool (loan) – 30 games (5 goals)
2011–2012 – Portsmouth – 30 games (6 goals)
2012–2014 – Leeds United – 45 games (6 goals)
2014 → Blackburn Rovers (loan) – 12 games (0 goals)
2014–2015 – Blackburn Rovers – 11 games (0 goals)
2015 → Ipswich Town (loan) – 10 games (1 goal)
2015–2016 → Ipswich Town (loan) – 18 games (1 goal)
2016–2017 – Ipswich Town – 15 games (3 goals)
2017–2018 – Burton Albion – 33 games (1 goal)
2018–2020 – Cheltenham Town – 56 games (21 goals)
2020–2021 – Burton Albion – 4 games (0 goals)
2021- Quorn

Fans reacted as Quorn AFC sign up the ex-Leeds, Portsmouth, Charlton, Ipswich, Sheff Wed, Crewe forward…

@morninggoblin: Great player for @crewealexfc wish you all the best Luke 😊

@AaronBasford: what a bloke

@americanxbliss: WHAT A DAY!

@groundhopper202: Wow 👏🏽

@aitchyrobinson: That’s lovely news 🙂

@BWakefield07: Not sure if he’s experienced enough for this level…

@ash_c88: Loved him and Maynard upfront

@TheTomStanford: I absolutely love Rev, you’ve got a good one there. One of the nicest guys around, he sat in the stands away at Northampton and was so happy to chat

@leedshippriest: Back to his true level, one of many shite Colin Wanker signings #LUFC

@SpezialSoundsy1: I had a feeling this would happen. Big scenes this

@SJM_70: Errrr wow!

@AshFazzer16: luke varney, what a guy

@BatesyV5: Jesus fucking wept.

@grumpy_bob: Lucky devils! Great guy to have in your dressing-room, as well as on the pitch 👍🙂

@T0m_Burton: @chloe_d1306 sensational

@chloe_d1306: Worrah signing

@McClumsy84: Luke Varney finally reaching his appropriate level. As a meat-substitute. 😊

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