Hitman Hannah still hungry for goals

Ross Hannah
Ross Hannah

Ross Hannah, the player who broke goalscoring records while at Matlock Town, is this week back in the same division with former club Gainsborough Town and said he is still hungry for goals.

“I am 32 but age is just a number if you look after yourself right - which I have done throughout my career - and I still feel fit and hungry for it,” he said.

“Last season I still finished Chester’s top scorer, despite missing a few games through injury. I still know where the net is.”

After starting out at Worksop Town, Hannah was barely out of his teens the last time he played for Trinity.

But after spells with Hednesford Town and Belper Town, he really found his feet at Matlock, scoring 90 goals in being top scorer for three seasons, breaking the club’s goalscoring record - 52 in a season – and winning the NPL and overall Non-League Golden Boots.

That earned him a move into the Football League with Bradford City and successful spells at Grimsby Town, Chester City and Barrow.

He fondly remembers his time at Gainsborough and Matlock and has kept a close eye on their results ever since.

But, with National League North Chester having to come to an agreement over paying up his full-time contract for the coming season after the club went part-time, and with Gainsborough being unexpectedly relegated from National League North, Hannah has now dropped back into the NPL Premier Division where he made his name - and will be up against Matlock.

“It’s 10 years or so since I was last at Gainsborough so it’s good to be back,” he said.

“I have had a good few seasons since then and I am hungry to carry on scoring goals.

“I was into the second year of my contract at Chester and things changed.

“They had a few financial problems and decided to go part-time, so we came to an agreement over my contract and I left.

“Ideally I was looking for somewhere closer to home in Sheffield and Gainsborough just felt right. It just fitted for what I wanted to do.

“Initially I was speaking to Conference North clubs and I had quite a few offers from there, then Richard (chairman Kane) phoned me over the weekend and put together an offer and it felt right.”

This year’s relegation was the first in the 145-year history of Gainsborough Trinity – and Hannah hopes he can help them achieve their ambition of an immediate return to National League North.

“Coming down from the Conference North, speaking to the chairman and manager, the ambition is to get straight back up and they should be one of the stronger teams in that league,” he said.

“Obviously last time I was in that division I did well – that was why I got my move to the Football League.

“So I am looking forward to getting going and hopefully I can contribute with goals to fire us back up.”

But he knows Trinity will be there to be shot at by rivals.

“We have a Conference North ground. So every time we play at home teams are going to want to come to us and do well in the nice surroundings,” he said.

“We’ve just got to make sure we make it a fortress and be hard to beat, then pick up points on the road as top teams do.

“I am sure with the lads that are already there and a few more additions we will be strong and have a successful season.”