Former Ipswich Town forward Dean Bowditch agrees deal with Stowmarket Town
They may hold a 15-point lead at the top of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, but that has not stopped Stowmarket Town from adding former professional footballer Dean Bowditch to their ranks.
Bowditch – now 33 – broke on to the scene as a 16-year-old when making his Ipswich Town debut in a 2-0 victory over rivals Norwich in March 2003.
The attacker became the youngest ever player to score a hat-trick for the Tractor Boys a year later, before spells followed with Yeovil Town, MK Dons and Northampton Town – the latter of whom released him at the end of last term.
He comes to Stowmarket, who play in the ninth tier of English football, having made more than 400 appearances across three of the top four levels in the country. He has also represented England at under-16, U17 and U19 levels.
In a recent interview with BBC Sport, Bowditch revealed that he had rejected offers from a number of clubs to spend more time with his family, but he has now linked up with the Old Gold & Blacks.
The former England youth international could make his Stowmarket debut during Saturday's home encounter against Mildenhall Town (3pm).
Speaking at the club last night, Bowditch explained how a former Ipswich Town team-mate played a part in bringing the move about.
“It was Jack Ainsley, who I played with in the past, he mentioned Stowmarket a while ago,” Bowditch said.
“He was really selling the club to me and I’ve recently had a son, and I’ve spent the last three or four months with him, which I’ve absolutely loved.
“But a part of me has also been itching to get back playing. It’s good to be at a club that are just going one way.”
Manager Rick Andrews Tweeted: "Delighted to welcome @deanbowditch9 to the club. His experience both on and off the pitch will help the club continue the journey and I can’t wait to start working with him #STFC."
* For more on the signing of Bowditch, see this week's Free Press print edition.
More by this authorLiam Apicella