By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Joe Connor, grandson of Stockport County’s all time leading goalscorer Jack Connor, has spoken of his pride in following Jack and father Jim in playing for the Hatters.
Stockport born Joe joined the club in December on non-contract terms but clearly did enough to impress Director of Football James Gannon who has signed him up until the end of the season.
The defensive midfielder has scored twice in eight games, and helped County to eight points in January – their best monthly haul so far this season.
He said: “It means a lot to pull on the County shirt and play in front of my family. The family link obviously helped me moving here.”
Hall of Famer Jack Connor scored a phenomenal 140 goals in 217 games for County after signing from Bradford City in 1951.
He won the County 'Player of the Century' vote to celebrate the club's 100th anniversary of joining the Football League in 2000, and still holds a club record of 17 hat tricks - a record unlikely to be broken anytime soon.
Joe’s route to SK3 wasn’t the most obvious one. Before signing for the Hatters, he had been playing in the USA for the Charlotte Eagles after going to university there in Tennessee.
He and wife Macie decided to move to England with eldest daughter Miriam – and if Joe couldn’t find a club, they were going to move back to the States.
“We’d only been in England a short while when Stockport showed an interest – I wanted to play at a higher level really but I’m happy here.”
It was a big relief to sign a contract at County – his wife gave birth to their second daughter, Eliana yesterday.
“Having a contract definitely gives me more security – playing on non contract terms with a wife and two young children isn’t ideal!,” he said.
Connor signed extended terms at the same time as four players – Mark Lynch, Matthew Glennon, John Miles and Ryan McCann – left Edgeley Park by mutual consent.
He said: “It wasn’t a big shock to see those players leave – it had been coming for a couple of weeks. They all want first team football and they weren’t getting that here.”
“The boys talk among themselves and their departures were on the cards I think.”