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Witton Albion sign ex-Crewe, Rotherham, Port Vale, Bury player

Witton Albion sign ex-Crewe, Rotherham, Port Vale, Bury player Tom Pope, who more recently turned out for Midland League side Congleton Town.

His new side, who finished 6th in the Northern Premier League Division One West last season, said: “Witton Albion Football Club are pleased to announce the signing of striker Tom Pope following his departure from Congleton Town.

“37 year old Pope also has experience of league football with Rotherham United, Bury and Port Vale and becomes the second new recruit at the U Lock It Stadium.”

The 37 year old started out as a Crewe Alexandra Academy graduate, before turning professional with the club in 2005 after impressing at non league side Biddulph Victoria in 2004–05.

He was loaned out to then-Conference North sides Lancaster City and Stafford Rangers in 2005–06, before he spent 2006–07 on loan at Barrow, also of the Conference North.

He earned himself in the Crewe first team picture in 2007–08, before becoming the club’s top scorer in 2008–09 with ten League One goals.

Then became Rotherham United’s joint-record signing when he made a £150,000 move in June 2009. He scored five goals in the 2009–10 campaign, before he was loaned out to Port Vale in January 2011.

The loan was made a permanent one in time for the start of the 2011–12 season, he netted 33 times and was voted League Two Player of the Year as he helped the club to secure promotion out of League Two in 2012–13. He was voted Port Vale’s Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014.

He signed with Bury in June 2015, and remained with the club for two seasons before rejoining Port Vale, then claimed the club’s Player of the Year award for a record third time in 2018 and the following year he became the second highest goalscorer in the club’s history.

He scored 115 goals in 343 league and cup appearances before leaving the club in May 2021. He was released at the end of the 2020–21 season and went on to play for Congleton Town.

For Congleton, he scored 20 goals in 49 appearances throughout the 2021–22 season, collecting ten man of the match awards, then scored 28 goals in 56 games in the 2022–23 campaign, including five from six games in the club’s run to the semi-finals of the FA Vase; he won six man of the match awards and was sent off on two occasions.

Congleton said on his exit: “Thank you for the memories @TomPope69507931 ⚽️🐻🏆

“Last season was one to remember and we are thankful for your dedication, professionalism and leading the team out into battle for two seasons.

“Once a Bear, Always a Bear”

Here’s what fans said as Witton Albion sign the ex-Crewe, Rotherham, Port Vale, Bury player…

@DerekBuckley12: Excellent signing and great for the younger players to have someone with Tom’s experience to play alongside.

@terryhardyBFC: Always put a shift in at buryfc. Our last game was against port vale before being kicked out of the league. His first half performance was outstanding. Good luck to witton and Tom pope.

@bigdirk008: Game changer, some signing that

@MxndaJay: Best of luck Popey! 💜

@WAFCUTA: Great signing!!!

@JohnyE5: What a signing that is

@BillyBu14454990: You just know that this guy will do a job for you.

@Bororich76: Feed the Pope. He’ll score loads for ya.

@philchatterley: You have a living legend rocking up Witton! You have just signed goals!!

@BryanShingler: Statement signing this! Love it

@cloudydrxm: Amazing signing this season is gonna be lit 🔥

@wayne26213307: More clubs than tiger woods😂. All the best TP 👍

@officialANixon: Feed the Pope – legend. Will bang them in for you.

@valiantrobbo: Feed the Pope and he will score ⚽️👍

@tedw_14: Fantastic signing

Paul SBubble: All the best Tom ,Great season last year you gave us Congleton fans one to remember. Hopefully see you in the next round of the F.A. Cup give you a send off you deserve.. All the best to you and Witton next season. Feed the Pope and he will score

Steven Cawley: Popey.. in red n white stripes lol .. Great player for clubs he played for ..and even better won’t give in yet on his football

Liam Bailey: He’ll take up 2 defenders every time at that level. Won’t get bullied. Proper old fashioned CF! Get yourself some nippy forwards/wingers and they’ll thrive off him.

Thomas Shipley: Brilliant signing for you. Vale legend

Dave Hulse: All the best Popey 👊⚽️👍

Ian Stanley: Excellent signing

Steve Preece: Simply, a fantastic footballer.. Great signing. I’ll be looking out for your results. Utv

Mark James Kelly: Best wishes Popey, the legend lives on

Glen Baddeley: Pains me to say it as as Stoke fan but he is a good signing for you, he will be a rung higher in terms of ability and he will boss the defense.

David Hughes: Good luck tom can’t wait 4 your testimonial at vale FEED THE POPE N HE WILL SCORE

Alan Dean: Just the centre forward we need big and strong to hold the ball up great signing welcome Tom

Derek Buckley: Excellent bit of work to pull this off. His experience could prove invaluable to the younger players.

Stûàrt Yàtès: Feed the goat and he will score, great servant for #buryfc good luck Popey. Hope to see you back at Gigg, never thought I’d say that again! 👍👊❤️

Richard Bean: Total and utter Vale Legend. Go Your Holiness

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