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Former Star In Shock Comeback?

FORMER Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town striker David Johnson could be set to join Burton Albion's quest for promotion to the Football League.

The 30-year-old Jamaica international will train with the Brewers and then decide whether to come out of retirement for the last six weeks of the campaign.

Johnson, who cost Forest £3.5m when they signed him from Ipswich in 2001, was at the Pirelli Stadium last night to see the Brewers improve their hopes of making it to the Nationwide Conference play-offs.

Danny Holmes celebrated his return to the starting line-up with the only goal of the game against Forest Green Rovers in the live Sky Sports clash as the Brewers climbed to fourth place in the table.

Albion boss Nigel Clough, who also revealed that defender Gary Rowett had decided to retire because of a persistent knee problems, told Mail Sport: 'Hopefully, David enjoyed the game, but we'll just have to wait and see how he goes once he starts training with us.'

Johnson hung up his boots 15 months ago because of a back injury, but Clough said: 'David has got undoubted quality and he's too young not to have a go at playing again.

'He's done all the rehabilitation and he wants to come and have a look at us.'

Football Association rules would allow Johnson to sign for the Brewers outside the transfer window because he is an unattached player.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Johnson began his career as a trainee with Manchester United.

But he made his name with 62 goals in 121 appearances for Ipswich before scoring 55 times in 120 games for Forest, including 29 in the 2002-03 campaign.

He was a City Ground favourite, where he forged a lethal partnership with Marlon Harewood, who was subsequently sold to West Ham United.

Meanwhile, Clough said Rowett had decided to call it a day because of a recurrence of the knee problem that had ended his Premiership career with Charlton Athletic.

Clough said: 'It really came to a head for Gary after the Altrincham game a couple of weeks ago.

'He could hardly walk over the weekend and it's not right that we ask that much of him.

'We're very, very grateful that he came and played something like 50 games for us over an 18-month period, which he didn't have to, and we want to recognise the contribution he has made in helping to put us where we are today.

'He'll be around for emergencies, but we don't want to put on him any more if at all possible.'

The Staffordshire Post

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The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 13 2007

Time: 5:14PM

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