Bristol Rovers academy product Eliot Richards returns to former club for fourth spell

Midfielder Eliot Richards served Bristol Rovers well for half a decade. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)Midfielder Eliot Richards served Bristol Rovers well for half a decade. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)
Midfielder Eliot Richards served Bristol Rovers well for half a decade. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images) | Getty Images
He made over 100 appearances over five seasons for Bristol Rovers after coming through their academy

Former Bristol Rovers midfielder Eliot Richards has returned to Welsh side Merthyr Town.

The 30-year-old has been without a club since leaving National League side Barnet in the summer.

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He had suffered tears of his anterior cruciate ligament as well as his meniscus which kept him sidelined.

Richards though is back at Penydarren Park and will be hopeful of helping them retain their Southern League Premier status, the same division as Bristol-based side Yate Town.

They are currently second from bottom and occupy one of the relegation spots, with 11 points picked up from an available 57.

"I’m absolutely delighted to get this deal over the line and get Eliot back at the Football Club,” said manager Dean Clarke after securing the services of Richards.

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"Eliot is a player I know well, having spent time with the club before.

"He’s a great professional who will offer a lot for us going forward. He’s a player that wants to learn and improve, which is always a key ingredient in our recruitment. "

The New Tredegar born playmaker began his career at the Mem and came through their youth system.

He made his debut in professional football in February 2010, replacing Andy Williams whilst Rovers were in League One.

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Richards had a knack for scoring and scored a hat-trick in a 7-1 win over Burton Albion, in his five seasons with the club, he scored 22 goals in 129 appearances.

After being sent out on loan to Exeter City though, he was released at the end of his contract after relegation to the Conference.

Moves to Tranmere Rovers and Cheltenham would follow, but he eventually had to drop into no-league football, joining Bath City on loan before spells with Weston-super-Mare and then Merthyr Town.

A loan to Hereford would follow, before a third spell with the Martyrs, but then Barnet came calling ahead of the 2020/21 season. He would only go on to make five appearances after his multiple injuries.

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