Darren Thornton, Nantwich Town

Nantwich Town has signed fans’ favourite Darren Thornton who had left earlier this year to join Bradford Park Avenue.

Thornton skippered the Dabbers last season after joining from Curzon Ashton and played a pivotal part in their excellent start to the season.

Due to a change in family circumstances, he was forced to leave the club and subsequently signed for Bradford Park Avenue in the Conference North.

Darren then joined Shaw Lane Aquaforce near Barnsley, of the Northern Premier League Division One South, two months ago.

But his heart was with Nantwich, and Thornton was due to be in the Nantwich squad for today’s 3-3 draw away at Stafford Rangers.

A rule regarding player registration meant he was not allowed to play.

His first game will now be away to Grantham Town on September 10.

Nantwich boss Phil Parkinson said: “Daz gives everyone a massive lift, he was skipper here last year.

“Daz has been chomping at the bit to get back here.

“The fans adore him. The only issue for him is his work now.

“Anything he can contribute will be massive for us, be it in the changing room or on the pitch.

“I’m sure he will play a massive role for us this season.”

Thornton is not the only new signing by Parkinson.

Also joining the Weaver Stadium is striker Ryan Brooke.

And he made an immediate impact, scoring on his debut today in the away draw at Stafford.

Ryan Brooke, Nantwich Town signingBrooke (pictured), originally from Middlewich, was a youth product of Oldham Athletic and had loan spells at Barrow and AFC Telford United.

He signed for Altrincham in 2012, then moved to Curzon Ashton in 2013 and became a fan favourite.

He has been signed on a contract until the end of the season.

Boss Parkinson said: “I think it’s been glaringly obvious since Liam Shotton left the football club, it has left a massive void in that centre forward position.

“We’ve tried different players in there, but I think it was proved to be the right decision with one touch and one goal from Ryan.

“That’s what we need from our centre forward, when the chances come along they need to putting them in the net.

“He’s somebody who should be playing regular football.

“He fits the demographic of what I’m looking for to bring to the club.

“I just feel really lucky to be able to bring Ryan here because Curzon are a really good team.

“He’s been there a few seasons. It was a massive wrench for him to leave.”

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