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Rovers seal Downing deal!

Former Middlesbrough midfielder becomes Rovers' first summer signing, until June 2020

21 June 2019

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Rovers are delighted to unveil Stewart Downing as the club’s first signing of the summer.

The former England international, who has a wealth of experience and over 400 Premier League appearances under his belt, has put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal through to June 2020.

The 34-year-old joins on a free transfer from Middlesbrough, where he started his career as a schoolboy.

One of Boro’s brightest Academy graduates, Downing went on to make 234 appearances in his first spell with his hometown team, playing a vital role in them reaching the UEFA Cup final in 2006.

His fine form that season sealed a place on the England plane for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where he made three appearances, all off the bench. Downing would go on to become a regular feature for the Three Lions and has 35 caps to his name. 

The gifted left-footed footballer made a £12m move to Aston Villa in July 2009, with his first Premier League goals for the club coming in a 5-2 victory over Burnley in February 2010.

Downing netted 11 goals in 82 appearances for Villa over two years and his impressive performances attracted the attention of Liverpool, who secured his services for a reported £20m fee in July 2011.

In his first season at Anfield, the versatile midfielder won the League Cup with Liverpool, scoring in the shoot-out success against Cardiff City, whilst also being named Man of the Match.

A month later, he fired Liverpool back to Wembley with the winner against Stoke City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. He then helped Kenny Dalglish’s side defeat their Merseyside rivals, Everton, in the last four, before losing to Chelsea in the final.

After playing Europa League football with Liverpool in 2012-13 and racking up a total of 91 appearances for the Anfield club, Downing joined West Ham United for £5m in August 2013.

He spent two seasons at Upton Park, making 79 appearances, before a return to the Riverside was on the cards in July 2015, with Middlesbrough paying a reported £5.5m to bring back one of their boyhood stars.

Brought in to bolster their promotion bid, Downing was part of the side that secured a return to the Premier League in 2016-17. He would go on to make a further 172 appearances for the club – taking his tally in Boro colours past the 400 mark – before sealing a summer switch to Ewood Park.

  • Stewart Downing will be with Rovers for the 2019-20 Championship campaign, will you? Sign up now for a Season Ticket here.

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