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Rovers complete Stokes swoop

17 June 2016

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Rovers are delighted to announce the signing of proven goalscorer Anthony Stokes.

The 27-year-old frontman joins on a three-year deal following his release from Scottish champions Celtic.
A Republic of Ireland international, Stokes started his career at Arsenal, making his debut in a 3-0 victory at Sunderland in October 2005.
Following a hugely successful loan spell with Falkirk, where he scored 16 goals in 18 games, Stokes joined Sunderland for £2m in January 2007 and helped the club secure promotion to the Premier League that season as champions.
The Irishman spent two-and-a-half years with the Black Cats, which included loan spells with Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, before he moved to Scottish Premier League side Hibs in August 2009.
The striker was a revelation north of the border, scoring 24 goals in 48 games, including the fastest goal in SPL history, after just 12 seconds against Rangers.
His goalscoring exploits hadn’t gone unnoticed and Scottish giants Celtic came calling in August 2010.
Stokes continued his prolific form in front of goal, scoring 77 goals in 192 games during his time at Celtic Park, where he won four Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and the Scottish League Cup.
Highlights included a hat-trick in an SPL record 9-0 victory over Aberdeen, a brace in Celtic’s 3-1 Europa League victory over Stade Rennes, two assists and the man-of-the-match award in the 2013 Scottish Cup final and his 100th goal in Scottish football in a 5-1 win against Partick Thistle in March 2014, which helped clinch the league title.  
After falling out of favour under manager Ronny Deila, Stokes returned to Hibs on loan in January 2016, scoring on his debut in a 3-1 win over St Mirren.
By the end of the campaign, Stokes had scored five goals in 14 league games and wrote himself into Hibs folklore by netting twice in the Scottish Cup final against Rangers, which was their first triumph in the competition in 114 years.
At 27, it is widely believed that the hot-shot’s best years are still ahead of him and Rovers fans can look forward to seeing Stokes in action at Ewood Park until the summer of 2019.

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