South Shields sign ex-Newcastle United prospect and former Grimsby, Wrexham and Barnet striker JJ Hooper
South Shields FC has announced the signing of striker JJ Hooper, subject to FA clearance.
A player of National League pedigree, the 28-year-old most recently played for Barnet following spells with the likes of Wrexham, Bromley and Grimsby Town.
The former Newcastle United prospect could make his debut for the Mariners in Saturday’s Pitching In Northern Premier League fixture at Atherton Collieries.
Hooper – who had recently been training with League One side Hartlepool United – said: “I’m buzzing to have signed for this club.
“South Shields are an ambitious club which is heading in the right direction, and this is the perfect move for me.
“I’m really excited by the project and the quality that is in the squad, so hopefully I can help the club achieve its goals.
“I’m also really looking forward to playing in front of the fans because the club gets huge crowds, especially for this level, so hopefully I can hit the ground running and make them happy.”
South Shields manager Graham Fenton said: “We’re absolutely delighted to add JJ to the squad.
“Negotiations have taken place over quite a period of time and it’s great that JJ has committed his long-term future to the club.
“He has proven himself at clubs operating two and three leagues higher than the one we’re currently playing in and has been a regular goalscorer during his career.
“We look forward to seeing him score many, many goals for South Shields.”
Hooper had a two-year spell with Newcastle as a youngster and signed for Northampton Town following his departure from the Tyneside club.
His goals in a loan period at Farnborough fired the club to safety in National League South before a fruitful permanent switch to Havant and Waterlooville resulted in 13 league goals and a move back to the Football League with Port Vale.
In recent seasons, Hooper has had permanent stints at Grimsby, Wrexham and Barnet, where he again demonstrated his goalscoring nous.
His most goal-laden spell came in 2018-19 during his time on loan at National League side Bromley, where he netted 19 goals in 25 games in all competitions.