Jimmy O’Neill back at Stafford Rangers and cannot wait to get going
Jimmy O’Neill has returned to Stafford Rangers and says he cannot wait to get back on the pitch for them
O’Neill has re-joined the Boro after re-locating to the area he left at the end of last season to join Stratford Town, writes Luke Powell
Rangers announced the signing at the end of last week with a statement on the club’s website saying: “We are delighted to confirm we have reached an agreement to re-sign Jimmy O’Neill following his departure from Stratford Town.
“Jimmy is relocating back up to the area and expressed an immediate interest in returning to the Boro.
“He’ a great character on and off the pitch and is welcomed back with open arms as a firm fans favourite.”
The centre-back collected the chairman and directors’ player of the season awards at Rangers last term. He was an unused substitute in the 1-0 victory over FC United on Saturday and said he was really pleased to be back at the club.
He said: “As soon as my circumstances changed and I knew I was relocating there was only one place I wanted to go.
“I had a few people talk to me but as soon as I knew there was the potential here, I didn’t even consider anything else.
“The fans have always been great here and they were last year.
“I saw loads of them today with people coming over and saying ‘welcome back’ and that’s a good thing for a player to hear.
“It’s been a really warm welcome which is nice and Stafford have always been well supported, with a passionate following.”
Meanwhile, Joey Butlin has returned ‘back home’ after leaving Chasetown for promotion-chasing neighbours Walsall Wood.
Butlin spent five years at Oak Park before joining the Scholars in July 2020 and having two spells there, having left the first time to go to Hereford where he made an FA Trophy final appearance.
He previously played under Chasetown boss Mark Swann at Wood and at Hednesford Town when Swann was first-team coach.
Swann said: “While disappointed, Joey leaves with our best wishes and will remain registered to Chasetown.
“He has been unbelievably loyal to me throughout my management career and played for me at Walsall Wood, Hednesford and during my time here so obviously he will be a big loss to me and of course the club.
“During all those years he has turned down some very lucrative offers to stay loyal to me but at this time, Joey has his own personal reasons for leaving the football club.
“We wish him all the best and he will always be welcome at the Scholars Ground.”
Butlin – who had scored five goals for Chasetown his season – drops down a level to rejoin Wood, who nevertheless are eight points clear at the top of the Midland Football League halfway through the season.