Kerala Blasters have secured the signing of former Celtic, Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday forward Gary Hooper for the 2020-21 season of the Indian Super League.
A youth academy product of Tottenham Hotspur (Hooper joined them when he was 7), Gary turned pro with Essex-based Grays Athletic FC in 2003. He left the club in 2006 and over the next dozen years played for prominent English and Scottish clubs like Scunthorpe United, Celtic FC, Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday among others.
Over the course of his career in the United Kingdom, Hooper featured in 451 matches and scored 197 goals and assisted a further 60 goals. He played in the top 4 divisions in England, the Scottish Premiership, cup competitions in England and Scotland and also featured in continental competitions – the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League.
The 32-year-old represented Norwich City in the English Premier League in the 2013-14 season. The canaries were relegated that season to the Championship, but Hooper with 12 goals helped them back into the Premier League the following season. However, Hooper couldn’t hold down a place in the team when Norwich returned to the Premier League in the 2015-16 season and an ankle injury compounded the issue. He moved to the Championship side Sheffield Wednesday for the next few years and last season found his way to Australia with A-League side Wellington Phoenix.
Hooper joins the Blasters from the ‘Nix where he scored eight goals and assisted five from 21 appearances in the A-League last season. The 5’ 9″ forward’s main attributes are his strength, ability to hold up the ball and his finishing. He can also bring the midfield into play with his passing ability.
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