Steve Harmison made his first signing as manager of Ashington FC last week and described the decision to ask his younger brother James to put pen to paper as being a ‘no brainer’.
Now in the autumn of his career, 33-year-old James – born and bred in Ashington – is looking to make Woodhorn Lane his last port of call as his career in football comes full circle.
He made his Northern League bow with the Colliers at the age of 16 and he did not have to think twice before making the return.
“When he came in for me I couldn’t say no,” he said.
“Ashington is a great club and it’s great to be back.
“I cannot understand where they are in the league with the players they have got on the books.
“The players are just a bit low on confidence at the moment, but hopefully with another couple of wins we’ll be fine.
“This past week it has been great to get two victories under our belts, and we needed three points against Sunderland RCA.
“If they can get things right, I think this place can kick off massively with the new stand, and I’d like to think I will see out my footballing days here.”
And the manager was quick to shower praise on neighbours Bedlington who swiftly allowed the transfer to go through.
“The chairman, Ronan Liddane, and the Perry brothers, Keith and Dave, said that they would waive the seven days’ notice of approach out of respect to James and what he’d done as well as the service he’s given to Bedlington,” said Steve.
“But it was a no brainer to sign James – someone who has won the Northern League title as many times.
“He’s had injury problems the last three or four years but he has played for the likes of Keith Perry and Ian Skinner at Bedlington; Graham Fenton at North Shields and it is the character he gives you.
“Another thing is his whole-hearted effort. Sometimes on a Sunday morning he can barely move because of what effort he has given on a Saturday, but you never see that on the field.
“Wayne Buchanan, Ben Christensen and James are solid characters and that’s what I want to build – a foundation on what has been a struggling environment.”