THE BANTAMS have announced today that 30-year-old former Premier League forward James Vaughan has signed on a three-year deal.

A highly promising junior footballer, Vaughan was snapped up by Everton at the tender age of nine while playing for his primary school football team and joined the club’s academy.

He was also a talented sprinter, running the 100m sprint in 11.5 seconds as a 13-year old, the third-fastest time for his age in Britain.

Vaughan went on to play for England youth teams at U17, U19 and U21 level, scoring five goals for England in 13 appearances from 2004-2011.

He was named in Stuart Pearce’s 23-man squad for England U21s’ European Championship campaign in 2007.

On April 10 2005, he overtook James Milner as the Premier League’s youngest scorer for Everton, aged 16 years and 271 days beating Wayne Rooney to become Everton’s youngest top-flight scorer.

Unfortunately, Vaughan’s seven-year career with the Everton senior side from 2004-2011 was marred by injury.

He played a total of 47 times for Everton, scoring seven goals.

Short spells on loan followed, to Derby County, Leicester City and Crystal Palace between 2009-2011, before Vaughan signed for newly-promoted Premier League side Norwich City in 2011.

At Norwich, Vaughan made just five appearances in another injury-hit season.

After a spell on loan to Huddersfield Town in 2013, Vaughan was persuaded to sign a three-year deal for them - scoring his first goals as a permanent Terriers player in a double against the Bantams in a 2-1 League Cup win in August of that year.

Vaughan, now 26, joined Birmingham City on loan in 2015, but chose to leave due to a lack of first team involvement.

He enjoyed his best season when he joined Bury in League One in 2016, scoring 24 goals in a struggling Shakers side, and earning a place in the League One Team of the Year.

Vaughan then signed for Championship-side Sunderland for whom he scored just two goals in 17 appearances.

This barren spell continued in 2018 after signing for Wigan Athletic – once more scoring only two goals in 18 appearances.

Little changed from late January 2019 when Vaughan joined Portsmouth on loan – for whom he made 10 goalless appearances.

Bantams fans will hope Vaughan can turn his career around and relive the form of his Bury days several years ago when he officially begins a three-year contract on July 1.

League History

2004-2011 – Everton 47 apps, 7 goals

2009 – Derby County (loan) 2 apps, 0 goals

2010 – Leicester City (loan) 8 apps, 1 goal

2010 – Crystal Palace (loan) 8 app, 1 goal

2011 – Crystal Palace (loan) 16 apps, 4 goals

2011-13 – Norwich City 5 apps, 0 goals

2012-13 – Huddersfield Town (loan) 33 apps, 14 goals

2013-16 – Huddersfield Town 53 apps, 17 goals

2015-16 – Birmingham City (loan) 15 apps, 0 goals

2016 – Birmingham City 0 apps, 0 goals

2016-17 – Bury 37 apps, 24 goals

2017-18 – Sunderland 23 apps, 2 goals

2018 Wigan Athletic 38 apps, 5 goals

2019 – Portsmouth (loan) 10 apps, 0 goals

2019 - Bradford City

National Team Appearances

2004-05 England U17 – 6 apps, 2 goals

2006-07 England U19 – 3 apps, 3 goals

2007-11 England U21 – 4 apps, 0 goals