Stefan Payne has signed for Shrewsbury Town on loan for the remainder of the season.
The striker re-joins the club after leaving for Bristol Rovers in the summer for a fee believed to be around £200,000.
Despite getting off to a good start at the Bristol club, scoring on his debut against Accrington Stanley, Payne has endured a turbulent time at the Memorial Ground.
In October he was fined by the club for making a gesture to the Rovers travelling faithful after spurning two chances in a 1-0 defeat at Barnsley. Further controversy followed at Christmas when Payne failed to travel with the squad to Oxford with new manager Graham Coughlin citing illness has the reason but admitting he was disappointed with the striker’s absence. He has scored three goals in twenty-seven appearances for the Gas, but since Coughlan took over in December, he has enjoyed just seventy-seven minutes on the pitch.
His previous spell in Shropshire saw Payne score sixteen goals in sixty-four appearances across all competitions. It was at non-league Dover that Payne made his name, scoring forty goals in two seasons for the Kent club which earnt him a move to Barnsley. His failure to establish himself at Oakwell led to the initial spell at Shrewsbury.
Speaking about the move via the club’s website Salop boss Sam Ricketts said: “We are delighted to have him back in for his personality, his work ethic and his goals – let’s not forget that.”
“He knows the club and was really keen to come back. Hopefully, he can come back and start from where he left off.”
Bristol Rovers fans will not be losing any sleep over this departure. Payne has not endeared himself to the Memorial Ground faithful with many questioning his attitude and fitness.
Shrewsbury will be hoping he picks up where he left off and scores the goals they need to secure their uncertain League One status.
Payne needs to get his act together, get fit and start scoring goals again if he is not to start down the road back to non-league football.