Gateshead complete first summer signing

Gateshead have completed their first close season signing with 23 year old striker Steven Richardson putting pen to paper on a one year deal with another year's option.

The Gateshead-born player left his hometown club four years ago for Durham City where he has been top scorer for the past three seasons.

Universally known as 'Speedy', Richardson was a key figure in Durham claiming back-to-back promotions and Gateshead manager Ian Bogie is delighted to have landed the front man.

"I am excited by the signing of Richardson as he will give us something different and will give us pace and goals up top," said Bogie.

"He is a Gateshead lad who has been at the club before and plays with a lot of passion. He has learnt his trade at Durham City, where he is highly thought of, and is keen to test himself at Conference level.

"It is a big step up but I am confident he has the ability and the right attitude to make an impression, and he will be a real asset to the club."

For his part Richardson cannot wait to start pre-season training with his new team-mates later this month.

"Only Paul Thompson and James Curtis are still at the club from my first time at Gateshead," said Richardson "but I know some of the other lads and have seen the side play a few times.

"The play-off games against Southport and Telford attracted big crowds and created a great atmosphere which was another motivation for me to return.

"I've had a successful time at Durham who, like Gateshead, are a passing team, and I enjoyed my time there, but I want to play at the highest level.

"I'm confident in my own ability and am looking forward to playing in the Blue Square Premier against the best non-league players in the country.

"Ultimately I would like to play in the Football League and the perfect scenario would be to achieve that goal with my hometown club.

"I'm over the moon because I always wanted to go back to Gateshead. Their style will suit me and it's up to me to make the most of the chances that come my way."

Richardson believes the current club is unrecognisable from the one that was struggling in the UniBond League when he fell out with then manager Colin Richardson and left to join Durham.

"To be honest it was a bit shambolic the last time but the club is now very professionally run and everything is spot on," added Richardson.

"I can't wait to get started and I don't believe it will be a case of survival this season as I feel Gateshead are capable of having another good season."

By Jeff Bowron