Tuesday 24th June 2008
By Liam Chronnell
FC United have received a major blow ahead of the new season after revealing that star striker Rory Patterson has left to join UniBond Premier League rivals Bradford Park Avenue.
The breakaway club's longest-serving player has signed a more lucrative contract with the big-spending Yorkshire club who, along with FC, were promoted from the Division One North last season.
Patterson, the league's top scorer last term with 41 goals, will team up with strike partner Stuart Rudd, who has also moved to Bradford after being released by the Rebels.
"Rory knows how much he is valued by me and the club but we cannot come anywhere close to the kind of money being offered by Bradford," said FC boss Karl Marginson.
"Everyone is grateful to Rory for his efforts over the last three seasons; the goals he has scored and his all-round contribution have been a large part of the club's success."
Marginson has moved quickly to sign a replacement, landing former Altrincham hitman Carlos Roca, while Jerome Wright, Chris Baguley, Bradley Howard and Sam Ashton have all signed new deals with the club.
But, in a further blow to United, midfielder Josh Howard, who spent most of last season on the sidelines with injury, has also decided his future lies away from Gigg Lane.