BRADFORD (Park Avenue) have incredibly lured Bantams legend James Hanson out of retirement and back to the city, with the striker looking to play his part in the club's great escape having signed a deal with the club until the end of the season.

Hanson netted 91 goals in his eight years at Valley Parade, most memorably at Villa Park to secure fourth-tier City's remarkable passage to the League Cup final in 2013, then a few months later at Wembley, when he netted in a 3-0 play-off final win over Northampton that sealed the club's promotion to League One.

The big man, now 36, was also famed for his memorable little and large partnership with Bermudan striker Nahki Wells, who has gone on to score nearly 100 goals in the Championship over the last decade for Huddersfield, QPR and his current club, Bristol City.

Hanson, who is from Bradford, spent a season in non-league with Eccleshill United before combining playing part-time for Guiseley with stacking shelves at the Idle Co-Op.

City took a punt on the then-21-year-old in the summer of 2009, handing him a professional contract, though Hanson took a gamble of his own, accepting a pay cut of 50 per cent from his combined Guiseley and supermarket wage.

But for both parties, the move more than worked out, and Hanson finally left the Bantams in 2017 having secured his rightful place in the club's history.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: James Hanson and Nahki Wells will always go down as one of City's great strike partnerships.James Hanson and Nahki Wells will always go down as one of City's great strike partnerships. (Image: Newsquest.)

He went on to play for Sheffield United, Bury, AFC Wimbledon and Grimsby after exiting Valley Parade, before spending three years in non-league with Farsley, Boston and Worksop.

He initially retired in January while at the latter, but he has come back to try and help Avenue avoid relegation from the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

They are currently sat two points from safety with five games of the season left to go.

Hanson told Avenue's club website: “I'm really happy to come and help my local team in their bid to avoid relegation.

"It’s a place that's on my doorstep and it's a team full of young lads, so my experience will definitely help them.”

Avenue have thanked the club's Development Fund for their support in getting the deal completed.