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Denton footballer secures big-money Championship move
Wednesday 1st February 2017 @ 10:54 by Adam Higgins
Denton & Audenshaw Football Sports

A former Audenshaw School pupil has taken another huge stride in his footballing career after securing a big-money move to Championship side Nottingham Forest this week.

Zach Clough left League One Bolton Wanderers on transfer deadline day on Tuesday for an undisclosed fee, believed to be more than £3 million.

The 21-year-old came through the youth ranks at the Lancashire club and scored 21 goals in 59 league appearances after bursting onto the scene with a winning goal on his debut in the FA Cup against Wigan in January 2015.

Born and raised in Denton, Clough left the all-boys school on Hazel Street in Audenshaw in 2011 – the same place that Simply Red lead singer Mick Hucknall also attended.

Still at a relatively young age, Clough has earned high praise for his impressive displays, including the PFA Fans’ League One Player of the Month award back in October.

He signed off with a goal last weekend, scoring his ninth of the season for Phil Parkinson’s promotion-chasing side in a 2-1 win over Charlton at the Macron Stadium.

A promising cricketer as a youngster, Clough is a boyhood Manchester City supporter but doesn’t forget his roots.

Speaking last year, Clough’s former PE teacher at Audenshaw, Adam Donnelly, said: “We are so proud of Zach and what he has achieved, so we are very much looking forward to following his career.

“He was always hard working and dedicated, so it is extremely rewarding to see him progress and he is an excellent role model for our students who are looking to follow in his footsteps.”

Expressing his delight after signing a four-and-a-half year deal at the City Ground, Clough tweeted: “Can’t wait to get started! Hard work starts now!”

But the striker was also quick to acknowledge the support the League One club have given him since he first joined the academy at the age of eight.

“What an unforgettable time and journey I had at Bolton! I would like to thank the club, all the staff, fans and very good friends I have made at BWFC for everything you have done for me over the past 13 years,” he wrote.

His former club Bolton said: “Everybody associated with Bolton would like to thank Zach for all his efforts and wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

He follows in the footsteps of Tameside-born Rob Holding, a former pupil of West Hill School in Stalybridge, after the then 20-year-old defender made a dream £2 million move to Premier League giants Arsenal last summer.