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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Former Shrewsbury Town favourite hails the return of Marc Pugh

Former Shrewsbury Town striker Dave Hibbert has hailed the signing of his ex-teammate Marc Pugh – describing his return as a ‘real coup.’

The 33-year-old re-joined Town on Monday after departing for Hereford 11 years ago. In doing so, he links up with his ex-Premier League teammate Charlie Daniels.

Pugh initially joined Shrewsbury from Bury in May 2007 for a compensation fee. Then boss Gary Peters admitted he tried to sign the ex-Burnley man earlier in that year during a deal which saw striker Glynn Hurst transfer to the Shakers.

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The Bacup born midfielder made his first Town debut during a 4-0 success over Lincoln City; providing the ammunition for Andy Cooke to net the third goal.

After issues with acute tendinitis, Pugh returned to score his first goal during the dismantling of Dagenham. He would go on to make 46 appearances during his first spell – scoring on four occasions.

He was deemed surplus to requirements by Paul Simpson and was shipped out on loan to Hereford prior to his eventual release in June 2009.

But Pugh would go on to carve a successful career, which includes 67 games in the Premier League, and 137 in the Championship.

And former Shrewsbury striker Dave Hibbert, who made over a century of appearances for the club, believes that the return of Marc Pugh is a shrewd piece of business.

He told Shropshire Live: “I think’s it’s a great signing for the club. He will bring a wealth of experience and undoubted quality.

“It’s a real coup to get Marc and is a signal of intent as I am sure that there was plenty of interest in him.

“He’ll bring a real (level of) professionalism to the group first and foremost. He’s still in unbelievable shape and has been training with Bournemouth; so, should be able to hit the ground running.

“He has great quality from wide areas, has great feet, and certainly has an eye for goal. He’s a player who I’m sure the Shrewsbury fans are glad to have back.

“It’s huge for the younger players to have someone with his experience around. Being the type of lad he is, he will help the young players no end; give them good advice and I’m sure they will pick up on how professional he is and how hard he works.”

The former Preston striker joined Town around the same time as Pugh, and said it was a joy to feature alongside him.

He added: “You always knew that he was going to deliver great quality and I’m sure the current strikers will thrive on his delivery. As a character he is hard working, very humble, and everything that Shrewsbury fans expect to see in a player.

“His delivery was always fantastic from out wide and would get the fans off their seats with his excellent footwork.

“He looked to come off the line and combine with the forwards and I was gutted when he left. Hopefully, the current strikers will enjoy playing with him as much as I did, and can hopefully play his part in helping to propel the team into a higher league position which I am sure he will.”

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