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‘Unreal signing’ – Farsley Celtic bring in ex-Championship player

‘Unreal signing’ was just some of the words used by fans as Farsley Celtic bring in an ex-Championship player earlier this week.

James Hanson was released by Grimsby Town after they were relegated from the EFL down to the National League.

The 33-year-old, who ranks third in Bradford City’s all-time goalscoring list with 90, wanted to join a club nearer his roots.


We are delighted to announce the signing of experienced striker James Hanson.

The former Bradford City man has spent over a decade in the Football League, eight years of which were with the Bantams, before he most recently plied his trade for Grimsby Town.

In his time at Valley Parade, Hanson was a member of the 2012/13 League Two promotion-winning squad, scoring at Wembley in the play-off final as Northampton Town were defeated 3-0.

After signing for the Celts, Hanson said: “As you get a bit older you’re looking for somewhere a little bit closer to home. For the last three or four years, I’ve been driving long drives every day which hasn’t helped with injuries, so I made the decision in the summer that I wanted somewhere within an hour of home.

“Farsley fitted perfectly, I knew the assistant really well, Bettsy, and I knew three or four of the players anyway, so when I came here to train a couple of weeks ago I really enjoyed it.

“I enjoyed the gaffer’s ideas, the way he is with the squad and the team spirit that he likes to build, and you could tell that there’s going to be a really good chance of a good season.

“It’s a tight-knit group with great lads, so I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.”

Adam Lakeland added: “We’re delighted to capture a player of James’ quality, he’ll certainly make us stronger that’s for sure.

“If we’re being honest, James should still be playing in League Two, and there was interest in him from clubs in League Two and the National League, but the key for James was being closer to home.

“He now gives us some fantastic attacking options. I already believe we have one of, if not, the best number nines in the league in Jimmy Spencer, and now adding James into that we’ve probably got two of them.

“The pair of them will certainly be a real handful for defenders to play against, and obviously it gives us a number of different ways which we can play.

“if we’re going to try and improve on our 11th place finish last season then we probably do need to score more goals, and hopefully James is someone who can come in and do that.”

Everyone at the club would like to welcome James to Farsley!


Youth career
Huddersfield Town
Bradford City

Senior career
2006–2007 – Eccleshill United
2007–2009 – Guiseley – 71 games (36 goals)
2009–2017 – Bradford City – 283 games (77 goals)
2017–2018 – Sheffield United – 14 games (1 goal)
2018 → Bury (loan) – 17 games (0 goals)
2018–2019 – AFC Wimbledon – 29 games (5 goals)
2019–2021 – Grimsby Town – 52 games (11 goals)
2021– Farsley Celtic

Fans reacted as Farsley Celtic bring in an ex-Championship player, and it’s certainly gone down well online…

@CraigAndrew3: Go on Bettsy lad, getting Hanson in! That would be some front two back in the day!

@DarrenSmart10: That is some signing @adamlakeland

@stansmith1970: I can’t wait to see him play, one of my heroes from City.

@GTFC1979: Good luck to him there, when fit he always looked good for us but unfortunately spent 2 years here mainly injured.

@BradfordCityFC: Good Luck Big Jim – Always and Forever a BRADFORD LEGEND!! 👌

@Calvey94: If he stays fit that’s an unbelievable signing. Sad how fast his his career has gone downhill due to injuries

@CBLUHG: That’s an unreal signing

@RichardLadd_1: Good luck James. Shame about the injuries but hope you have a good season. Good pro

@PW2324: Some NLN CB’s in for a good battering.

@footy7tweets: One of my Bradford City heroes Hanson class signing for @FarsleyCelticFC good luck

@winters107: Great signing for you guys , bit injury prone , but still a great signing 👍

@MilligansJr: Good luck big Jim

@M473O: Wow good luck Hans

@ClaphamAndy: Quality player, hope he does well. CTID

@jimmtweet: Great signing ⚽️👍

@_Matthew_Ward: Big Jim back in Yorkshire. Sure he will be a great signing for Farsley. #bcafc

@TomDuncan1990: If he stays fit he is one hell on a signing

@Dazza25dj: What a signing that is

@DannyParkinson: Feel like my Football Manager save is coming alive! Great to see him back in West Yorkshire again #bcafc

@wja1966: Good luck to him, just hope he can keep injury free

@CraigAndrew3: What a signing for them!! Legend!

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