Barrow AFC have completed a deal to bring John Rooney back to Holker Street from Stockport County.

The 31-year-old has rejoined the Bluebirds on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Barrow have paid the National League leaders an undisclosed fee to secure Rooney's return, 18 months after he left the club for Stockport.

It seals a dramatic return for a man who played a major role in the club's historic promotion season from the National League in 2019/20.

Now the goalscoring midfielder has been brought in to help fire Mark Cooper's side to League Two safety.

Rooney becomes Cooper's fifth January signing and the Liverpudlian, younger brother of England legend and Derby County boss Wayne, could make his second debut for the club at Northampton Town on Tuesday night.


His move back to the Dunes Hotel Stadium was confirmed on the eve of transfer deadline day.

Rooney has scored four goals in 22 appearances for Stockport this season, his last appearance coming from the bench in their 5-0 win at Barnet on Saturday.

The Mail: Rooney has spent the last season and a half with Stockport after leaving Barrow in 2020 (photo: PA)Rooney has spent the last season and a half with Stockport after leaving Barrow in 2020 (photo: PA)

He netted 21 goals in his first campaign at Edgeley Park, after leaving Barrow in the summer of 2020.

His previous two-year spell with the Bluebirds brought 30 goals - including 20 in 2019/20 as captain, helping Ian Evatt's side memorably secure a return to the Football League after an absence of 48 years.

Cooper had told the BBC on Saturday that Barrow were set to confirm a "big signing" on Monday, but the announcement was made in advance of deadline day.

Rooney follows fellow recruits Will Harris, Anthony Glennon, Jacob Wakeling and Aaron Amadi-Holloway into the club this month.

The former Macclesfield Town, Chester, Wrexham and Guiseley man rejoins at a time the Bluebirds are fourth bottom of League Two and seven points above the relegation zone with 19 games remaining.

Stockport's director of football Simon Wilson said: “We recognise this is a good opportunity for John, and a fair deal that suits all parties.

"John has been a really important part of the club’s development over the last 18 months.

"He is a winner and has helped us move forward, providing many ‘wow’ moments along the way.”