THEY say you should never go back - but Ian Sharps seems intent on making a mockery of one of sport’s golden rules.
The 31-year-old defender, named in the League Two PFA team of the year for the past three seasons, agreed a two-year deal to rejoin Rotherham United on a free transfer from Shrewsbury Town yesterday.
The Liverpudlian centre-half turned down a new contract offer to extend his stay at the Greenhous Meadow, claiming it was his “toughest decision in football”. Sharps was one of the Shrews top performers as Graham Turner’s men gained promotion out of the basement division of the Football League.
“It is the toughest decision I have ever had to make in football,” admitted the Liverpudlian centre-back. “I sat down with my wife and discussed the pros and cons for many an hour and there was a tear in my eye.
“I’ve had two brilliant years at Shrewsbury but sometimes you have to make a decision and only time will tell if it’s the right one.
“I’ve learned more in the last two years than I have at any other time in my career.”
Subject to the completion of a medical, Sharps will became the Millers third summer recruit, with Daniel Nardiello and Kayode Odejayi having already signed up for Steve Evans’s revolution.
Sharps played 185 times for the Millers between 2006 and 2010. He scooped the club’s Player of the Year award in 2009 and he captained the side a year later when they lost 3-2 to Dagenham and Redbridge in a thrilling League Two play-off final at Wembley. It proved to be the final appearance of Sharps first spell at the club.
Millers manager Evans conceded: “It has taken a long time to get Ian here. He has had a fantastic two years at Shrewsbury. He is someone we admire and respect and I am looking forward to seeing him in action.”
Evans has confirmed he tried to sign Sharps for Crawley Town in January. He said their bid of £100,000 was rejected.
Evans has indicated he would like to bring in ‘three to four’ new additions this week as he continues to revamp his Millers squad.