Sky Bet Championship side Ipswich Town are close to completing the signing of striker Joe Garner earlier today, but just who is he?

Born in April 1988, Garner began his footballing career as a youngster with Blackburn Rovers.

First team opportunities proved to be incredibly limited for the young striker, but he proved to be a prolific striker at youth level – including two hat tricks in a 9-0 win over the Manchester United under-16 side.

But Garner, who has compared himself to Alan Shearer in the past, did not get many more chances in the first-team, with Paul Dickov, Paul Gallagher, Craig Bellamy, Benni McCarthy and Roque Santa Cruz all proving to be chosen ahead of the young talent.

Garner went on the search for first-team football and Carlisle proved to be the chosen destination, with the youngster scoring his first every league goal 23 days after signing for the League Two side, netting his team’s only goal in the 4-1 defeat to Yeovil Town.

In March 2007 Garner was dismissed for two quick-fire bookings in the 1-1 draw against Huddersfield Town at Brunton Park.

Garner won the Goal of the Season award for his effort against Port Vale in April 2007. Take a look at the award-winning strike below:

Parent club Blackburn Rovers tried to resist a permanent deal from Carlisle, but the Brunton Park-based side signed the front-man for £140,000.

In July 2008 Garner was sold to Nottingham Forest for £1.14m, signing a four-year deal at the City Ground.

His first goal came for the club three weeks after making his first start, striking the first goal in a 2-2 draw at Bristol City.

Garner continued to impress with the Reds by scoring another impressive chip, see below, in a 2-0 win at Southampton.

Billy Davies’ arrival at the City Ground meant Garner would struggle to hold his first-team position, becoming limited to only substitute appearances.

Garner was dispatched to Huddersfield in an attempt to get first-team football, but he was unable to net during his six-month spell with the League One Terries.

In August 2011 Garner made the move to Watford in a desperate search for football, with his first start coming against his former employers.

Garner was then sent out on loan to Carlisle in September 2012, his second spell with the Club.

The England U16, U17 and U19 international made a move to Deepdale in January 2013, signing an 18-month deal with Preston. Garner, who supported the Lilywhites as a boy, scored his first goal for the Club at Notts County in MArch 2013.

Garner was involved in a controversial game with Preston which saw him involved in a scuffle with Port Vale’s Anthony Griffith. However, the Whistler Andy Madley dismissed Neil Kilkenny instead. Garner then went on to score both goals in the 2-0 win at Vale Park.

Following the match, despite Griffith stating he was never struck by Garner, the striker received a retrospective red card and a three-match ban.

In January 2014, Garner came on as a 62nd-minute substitute against Ipswich Town, scoring two goals in the space of a minute, as well as adding a third to round off a hat-trick in the 3-2 win over the Blues in the FA Cup.

Garner then scored four goals in a 5-1 rout of Crewe in March 2016 as Preston extended their promotion credentials.

In August Garner switched England for Scotland, signing for Premiership side Rangers for around £1.5m.

His first goal for the Scottish giants came against their Glasgow rivals, Celtic, in a 5-1 defeat.

Garner then faced a six-week goal drought, only ending this dip in form with a header against St Johnstone.

His scoring form proved patchy at Ibrox, with Rangers fans questioning his integrity to the starting XI.

Garner was then hit by a shoulder injury which ruled him out for three months, before netting his first hat-trick for the Scottish side in March 2017 in a 6-0 victory over Hamilton Academical.

Now if Garner joins Ipswich, will his inconsistent goalscoring record continue, or will he prove to be the prolific talisman that he proved to be as a youngster?


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Just another long-time suffering Ipswich Town supporter and secondary school student.