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Robins swoop to sign England stopper
Published : 30 Jul 2010 14:33:00
Championship side Bristol City have completed the signing of England goalkeeper David James on a one-year contract. The 39-year-old, who made three appearances at the recent World Cup in South Africa, passed a medical on Friday morning. James, who left Portsmouth following their relegation from the Premier League, also has the option of remaining at Ashton Gate for a further year. James, who will be paraded at Ashton Gate on Saturday prior to City's pre-season friendly against Blackpool, said: "I've had offers to stay in the Premier League but it is more important that I play football - which I love - for the right club and be a family man. "I had a long conversation with the chairman Steve Lansdown yesterday and I liked what he said about the club and his ambition. I know all about the plans for a new stadium and desire to win promotion to the Premier League. "The club is ambitious and that's what I am. The south west has not had a club in the Premier League and that needs to change. Lansdown was delighted to pull off such a major coup for the club and added: "I'm delighted David James has agreed to sign today. "My ambition is for this football club to play at the highest level - the Premier League - and in the best surroundings, hence the work on the training ground and new stadium. "We need good quality players to make that happen and that's why I'm thrilled that David has agreed to come on board." James, who played in three of England's four World Cup matches, had been due to visit Celtic last week to discuss a possible move but was unable to attend for personal reasons. Manager Neil Lennon insisted this had also been behind the keeper's decision to snub Parkhead for Ashton Gate, with James wanting to be closer to his family. Asked if the 39-year-old still had what it took to perform at the highest level, Lennon said: "Absolutely - he's England's number one. "He's just played in the World Cup and he would have been ideal for us for what we're looking for in terms of experience and presence and charisma. He ticks all the boxes there. "It's just one of these unfortunate things that happens sometimes in football." Lennon refused to criticise James' decision, insisting he did not think the player had made a mistake in resisting his overtures. "No, not at all," said the Hoops boss, who also missed out on Sol Campbell this week when the former England defender joined Newcastle. "It's a personal reason, a genuine personal reason. It's not something to do with football and money, or anything like that."