Bristol Rovers news as Tom Lockyer gets ‘all-clear’ and striker returns to club

Tom Lockyer of Luton Town celebrating scoring in Championship play-off semi-finalTom Lockyer of Luton Town celebrating scoring in Championship play-off semi-final
Tom Lockyer of Luton Town celebrating scoring in Championship play-off semi-final | Getty Images
All the latest Bristol Rovers news involving current and former first-team players.

Bristol Rovers summer is beginning to take shape as players sign contract extensions and pre-season friendlies are announced.

Grant Ward joined Josh Grant in signing a new deal with the club, with news of a two-year contract announced at half-time during the FA Cup final. Joey Barton described it as a ‘no-brainer’ and now Rovers can look to bring in new players.

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Tranmere Rovers full-back Josh Dacres-Cogley has been linked recently, and he is understood to be on a long list of transfer targets that Rovers are assessing. Sheffield United forward Will Osula is also another the Gas are said to be looking at, though they will have to persuade the Blades to loan him to them, as they have a preference of a Championship move.

Rovers recently announced that they will play Championship outfit Swansea City on Tuesday, July 25, with a 7.00 pm kick-off at the Swansea.com Stadium. It is their second match announced, with their pre-season schedule beginning on Friday, June 30, with a friendly against Melksham Town.

Despite it being the off season, there are still a good few stories surrounding the club, with former players and coaches involved in transfers and other things. Here’s your Bristol Rovers round-up:

Hometown return for former Rovers striker

Andy Williams has returned to his hometown club Hereford. His contract at Walsall expired, and he had dropped down two divisions to sign for the Bulls.

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The 36-year-old played 38 times for the Saddlers last season, and will now link up with former Birmingham City defender Paul Caddis.

At the Gas, Williams made 101 appearances with nine goals and seven assists. He was part of the Rovers team that reached the FA Cup quarter-finals, and spent two-seasons-and-a-half at the Mem.

National League move for Phillips

Kieran Phillips has secured a move to the National League with Kidderminster Harriers. Phillips was spoken about highly amongst supporters and was tipped for a breakthrough at the Mem, but left last summer and joined Lee Mansell at Gloucester City.

Phillips has made the move to the National League and joined Kidderminster, who are newly promoted. He scored 16 goals as the Tigers reached the play-offs, but Gloucester lost to Brackley Town on penalties.

Baldwin’s penalty doesn’t prove costly

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Despite missing his penalty, Jack Baldwin will be a Scottish Premiership footballer next season. Ross County came back from a 3-0 deficit to pull it back to 3-3, and then took Partick Thistle to penalties where they won 5-4.

Baldwin has been in Scotland since leaving Rovers in 2021, and has amassed 64 appearances for them. He was captain in more than a dozen of their matches this season and has settled in well, but will be hoping to avoid a relegation battle next season.

Lockyer given ‘all-clear’ after scare

Tom Lockyer will take his place with Luton Town in the Premier League next season after being given the

‘all-clear’ by medical staff. The 28-year-old collapsed in the Championship play-off final and was said to have had an atrial fibrillation.

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"I’ve had the operation to fix it and it shouldn’t happen again," he said.

"There’s not really any reason to say why that happened.

"I’ve been given the all-clear - it is what it is and I just want to draw a line under it now and move on.

"I’ve had my full heart checked and double checked with all the scans and tests they can do on a heart, and they’ve all come back positive."

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