Boston United have signed goalkeeper Ashley Timms.
Pilgrims boss Dennis Greene teased the amber and black fans on Tuesday as he claimed he had agreed to sign ‘the best keeper in non-league.’
But now The Standard can reveal that man is former Manchester City trainee Timms, who ended the season with relegated Hinckley United.
The stopper was undoubtedly the man of the match during Boston United’s 4-2 victory at the Greene King stadium this campaign, making a number of fine stops to keep the scores down.
And now Greene is over the Blue Moon with his new acquisition.
He said: “I’ve just signed the best goalkeeper in non-league football.
“I know that he is an exceptional keeper and we are very pleased to have him.
“He’s a colossus and he’s played league football not very far down the road.
“He’s 6’4” and commands his area.
“He catches, talks, stop shots and does everything you want from a goalkeeper.”
Timms - a controversial character both on and off the pitch - began his career with City.
He has since turned out for Altrincham, Shrewsbury Town, Runcorn, Accrington Stanley, Barrow, Ilkeston FC, Worksop Town and had trials with Fulham, Bolton Wanderers and Norwich City.
Timms’ career has stalled due to two high profile prison sentences.
In September 2008, he was jailed for 20 months after attempting to bribe an unnamed Premier League footballer for £15,000 after filming him having sex with a woman.
This was followed by a two-year sentence in 2011, after Timms was discovered to have played a part in an international bank scam with links to Nigeria.
But the keeper is now looking to put his past behind him.
On Wednesday, a day after agreeing to join the Pilgrims, he wrote on Twitter: “We all make mistakes but as we get older we learn from them and use them to make us stronger show me someone who hasn’t made a mistake and Ill show you a liar! Judge on the present and not the past, everyone have a good day sun is out.”
Hiring a convicted criminal may raise eyebrows at some football clubs, but not Boston United.
In 2007, the Pilgrims added defender Rob Wesley to their books, while he was serving time in at North Sea Camp.
Wesley was allowed to leave the open prison to fulfil commitments with the club, despite only playing one competitive match.
He had been given a four-year-plus sentence for his part in a gang which smashed open cash machines.
But while in prison he was recorded admitting gaining revenge by slashing an informant’s horse, receiving a further four months.