CLUB legend Scott McGowan has returned to 1874 Northwich as part of a busy weekend of additions and retentions.

The striker, who is the club’s record goalscorer having netted 139 times in 214 appearances, has agreed to return for a third spell as manager Chris Herbert looks to him to spearhead their rebuild following relegation from the Northern Premier League.

With defender Tom Morris and midfielder Jack McKean having also agreed to join as new signings and with veteran midfielder Chris McCann having also committed to playing on, Herbert’s squad for the Midland Football League Premier Division season is starting to take shape.

The most eye-catching news, however, is the return of McGowan – a firm favourite among the 1874 faithful.

“Scotty guarantees goals and with the way we want to play, we need a Scotty McGowan,” Herbert said of the 36-year-old.

“We have been speaking for some time and now we have him in.

“His love for the club was big in getting him back to 1874 Northwich – he is a fans’ favourite.

“He was always a thorn in my side when I’ve had teams that have played against him, I’ve even tried to sign him a few times.

“But now we get chance to work together and he will get goals and put defences on the back foot.”

Scott McGowan is welcomed back to 1874 by manager Chris HerbertScott McGowan is welcomed back to 1874 by manager Chris Herbert (Image: 1874 Northwich)

McGowan first joined the club during the 2016-17 season and the following year, he netted 42 times in 59 games as the club reached the FA Cup third qualifying round and the FA Vase semi-finals.

His great form continued in the Covid-shortened season that ended with 1874 being promoted to the Northern Premier League before he left to join Nantwich Town, only to return to Townfield for the 2021-22 season.

A brief spell with Macclesfield followed before he spent last season playing with Stockport Town.

Morris, 29, arrives having carved out a reputation as a commanding central defender with a vast amount of experience playing in and around Step Five.

He captained Stockport Town last season having previously turned out for the likes of Stafford Rangers, Kidsgrove Athletic, Congleton Town and Hyde United.

“Tom is a big strong ball-playing centre half. His experience is going to be huge for us this season,” Herbert said.

“As I’ve said from the start, the core of the team has to be experienced and full of leaders, and Tom certainly is that”.

“He is dominant in the air and reads the game extremely well. His attitude has shone through already and will bring the best out of the lads around him.”

McKean is an attack-minded midfielder who has recently featured in a Morecambe under 19s side that won its division with a record number of points, scoring 11 goals and assisting a further 11 in the process.

“Jack is an exciting talent and will be good for our front men,” Herbert said.

“He can create and is good in tight spaces where he can receive the ball with his back to goal and also tries to face defenders up at every opportunity and drive at them.”

“He has that something different and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Irish midfielder McCann, 36, played more than 200 times for Burnley between 2005 and 2013 before further spells with Wigan Athletic and US sides Atlanta United and DC United among others.

He joined 1874 towards the end of last season, making 13 appearances, and hopes to play an important role in the club’s recovery.

“Even though it never went to plan last season for the club, I enjoyed coming in at the back end of the season and getting to know the lads,” he said.

“With the additions the gaffer is adding, things will only improve.

Hopefully, my experience will help the new lads, and with the experience of Jonah (Mark Jones) and (Matt) Woolley who are already with us I’m sure we can make a challenge this season.”