Town snap up former Gillingham defender

HATTERS have confirmed former Gillingham centre-half Garry Richards as their fifth signing of the summer.

The 26-year-old has agreed a two-year contract at Kenilworth Road which will commence on July 1.

Richards joins the Town following his release from League Two Gillingham where he made 122 appearances in four years.

A tough, no-nonsense defender, the Romford-born player started his career with Colchester United who he helped earn promotion from League One as runners-up in 2006.

In August 2007, he moved to Southend United for an undisclosed fee, but after just six months and 14 appearances at Roots Hall, he made the move to Priestfield.

Richards’ first full season with the Gills ended in glory as the Kent club won promotion back to League One following a play-off final victory over Shrewsbury at Wembley with the defender playing a key role at centre-half.

In all the Hatters’ latest recruit has 150 games worth of Football League experience and made 28 appearances last term for Gillingham, scoring three goals before a broken leg curtailed his campaign in early March.

Having made a quick and full recovery from his injury, Richards passed a rigorous medical at the Town’s training ground on Monday afternoon.

Boss Paul Buckle told the club website of his delight at his fifth capture in 10 days.

He said: “I’m after winners – and Garry is a winner.

“With both Colchester and Gillingham he has had the experience of winning promotion.

“He’s a leader too, and has a real presence in defence. He is strong and powerful .

“I have said before that I do not want this team to be a soft touch. Garry will make sure of that. I do not want players shirking responsibility – I want my men to stand up for themselves and he epitomises the kind of character I’m looking for in my defence.”

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