Tom Pope: Bury sign Port Vale striker on free transfer

Tom Pope
Tom Pope started at Crewe, also turning out for Rotherham United before joining Port Vale in 2011

Bury have signed striker Tom Pope on a free transfer from Port Vale ahead of their return to League One.

The 29-year-old was approaching the end of his contract at Vale Park, having scored 69 goals in just over four years with his hometown club.

Pope - Vale's top scorer last season with 12 goals - was offered reduced terms by Vale, but has chosen to sign a three-year contract with promoted Bury.

Tom Pope's Port Vale record
Tom Pope netted 69 goals in 196 games after joining Port Vale, initially on loan, in 2011. Almost half of that tally came in one season, Pope having scored 33 goals to help Vale win promotion to League One in 2013.
Prior to the 2012-13 season, the Stoke-born boyhood Vale fan had scored only 29 goals in 163 league games for Crewe, Rotherham and Vale.

Meanwhile, Vale goalkeeper Sam Johnson has signed a new one-year deal.

The club hope that the 22-year-old's deal will be followed by similar agreements with defender Adam Yates and midfielder Louis Dodds.

Vale have also signed up teenage defender Nathan Smith, 19, on a new two-year contract.

Pope, who was a target for Millwall, Barnsley and Doncaster Rovers last season, follows ex-Wolves striker Leon Clarke to Bury, along with former Blackpool defender Peter Clarke.

"He is a renowned goalscorer who can score all different types of goals," Shakers boss David Flitcroft told the club website.external-link "With the level of striker we already have at the club, I am looking forward to whichever strike combination we choose."

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