Former Blackpool, Norwich City and West Brom star makes surprise transfer after 658 days without club

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A League One promotion winner with Blackpool is resuming his playing career after 21 months without a club.

Former Blackpool midfielder Wes Hoolahan has made a return to football after nearly two-years out of the sport.

Hoolahan was released in the summer of May 2022 by Cambridge United and did not sign for any team for the 2022/23 campaign and now halfway through this season he has found a new team. At the grand age of 41-years-old, Hoolohan has signed for Doncaster City, who play in the Central Midlands Alliance which is the 11th tier of English football.

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He has joined Doncaster along with several other former English Football League stars. It was announced that former Leeds United, Fulham and Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack would be joining along with ex-Celtic and Blackburn Rovers defender Charlie Mulgrew, who retired from playing in September 2023 but decided to go back on his decision.

All three players made their debut in a 3-1 win against Dearne, and they are now just seven points off of league leaders Dearne, as they look to climb up the English pyramid. Doncaster City was set up by agent Willie McKay in 2022 and his eldest son Mark is the chairman of the club.

Doncaster City represents the eighth club of Hoolahan's 23-year playing career. He began his career in his native Ireland with Shelbourne before moving to Livingston following four-years in the League of Ireland. He had a loan spell at Bloomfield Road in the 2006/07 season and that was later made permanent.

He helped Blackpool reach the Championship in 2007 after winning the League One play-offs with 16 goal contributions and followed it up with five goals and seven assists in the season after giving him 16 goals and 55 assists in 99 games for the Tangerines. Hoolahan departed the club for Norwich City with Matt Gilks and an undisclosed amount of money going in the opposite direction.

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The 43-time Republic of Ireland international would spend a decade at Norwich City, helping them go from League One to the Premier League. Hoolahan would make 352 appearances for the Canaries, the most in his career with 54 goals and 77 assists. His career would then see him have brief spells with West Brom and Newcastle Jets before a return to English football in 2020 where he spent two seasons at Cambridge United.

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