Bradford City AFC is delighted to announce the signing of experienced midfielder Richie Smallwood - on an initial two-year deal.
The Bantams have beaten off competition from a number of clubs across the EFL to secure the services of the former Hull City captain, who arrives at Valley Parade until at least the summer of 2024, with the option of a further season in claret and amber in his contract.
Smallwood made 42 Sky Bet Championship appearances for the Tigers last season, after proving instrumental throughout the Humberside outfit’s Sky Bet League One title-winning 2020/21 campaign.
Born in Redcar, the 31-year-old began his career at Middlesbrough, having graduated from the academy at the Riverside Stadium.
He went on to make over 100 appearances in the second tier for Rotherham United between 2014 and 2017, before turning out 87 times for Blackburn Rovers prior to moving to the MKM Stadium.
Smallwood said: “I am absolutely buzzing to finally have it signed and am looking forward to getting down to business.
“I have friends who have played here over the past few years who cannot speak highly enough of the club. Our job is to get it back to where it belongs, which is certainly not in League Two.
“I look to bring leadership and think the way the manager wants to play will suit me well. The project he sold to me was very attractive and I was very impressed by the ideas he has.
“I have played here many times as an opponent and know the atmosphere is a ferocious one which we have to use to our advantage.
“I take huge responsibility to help us be successful, coming from playing in the Championship last season. It is going to be a tough campaign, but one I am looking forward to hopefully delivering for the team in.”
City manager Mark Hughes added: “Richie is a player we have been chasing for a while now, so his signing is one we are naturally over the moon with.
“In him, we are getting a fantastic professional and a real leader who has seen and achieved an awful lot in the game.
“As a footballer, he has the ability to control games from midfield, and is someone who will give you nothing less than 100% every time he steps onto the grass.
“With 42 games in the Championship as Hull City captain last season, Richie comes fresh off bags of games higher up in the football pyramid, and is now ready and raring to go here at Bradford City.
“We are delighted to be welcoming him to the club, and are looking forward to seeing him in claret and amber.”
Richie Smallwood will be sponsored by TL Dallas Group for the 2022/23 campaign. His signing is subject to the relevant EFL and FA clearances.