Transfer flop makes Bristol Rovers confession as he searches for 19th club

Stefan Payne is now a free agent after leaving non-league Welling United. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)Stefan Payne is now a free agent after leaving non-league Welling United. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Stefan Payne is now a free agent after leaving non-league Welling United. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images) | Getty Images
He was a Bristol Rovers player for just five months but the 31-year-old was keen to shown his admiration to the Gasheads.

Former Bristol Rovers striker Stefan Payne for the first time in his career is on the search for a new club this season.

The 31-year-old has played for 18 clubs in his career, and is now on the search for his 19th, with no plans for this pre-season. His last club was Welling United, but he departed the London outfit having helped them survive in the National League South.

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Payne has been in the non-league for the last two seasons having played for Chesterfield, Havant & Waterlooville and later Welling United. He did have five seasons as a player in the football league however with several different clubs.

He posted on Twitter: “The first year in my career pre season has started and I’m without a club and I must say I am absolutely enjoying no yo-yo test, bleep test or 1k runs.”

A few Bristol Rovers fans commented, and he responded with: “I actually love my Bristol Rovers Fans you know.. come on you Gas heads.”

Payne’s time at Bristol Rovers was short, and he made 27 appearances in total, scoring three goals. He was brought in from Shrewsbury Town by Darrell Clarke, but just six months in to his spell at the Memorial Stadium, he was loaned back out to his former club.

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His other teams in the Football League include Barnsley, who plucked him out of non-league when he was excelling at Dover Athletic. Payne also turned out for Gillingham at the start of his career and Aldershot Town, as well as Tranmere Rovers and later Grimsby Town, before joining Chesterfield in 2021.

He also played for Braintree Town, Sutton United, Macclesfield Town, Ebbsfleet United and AFC Hornchurch in the early years of his 13-year playing career. His career highlight includes being a runner-up in the EFL Trophy in 2018, meanwhile he also played in the Championship nine times for Barnsley.

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