ONE that got away, former Hucknall Town striker Liam Hearn, has continued his meteoric rise in non-league football by joining Grimsby Town.
Hearn (25), who hails from Bulwell, made his mark at Watnall Road when he was top scorer in the 2006/07 season after being discovered by manager Kevin Wilson.
However he was released by The Yellows after Wilson was sacked and after he was arrested by police at training one day in relation to an attack on an 18-year-old youth on Wigwam Lane in Hucknall in July 2007.
Hearn was subsequently jailed for six months for the assault. But he was released after eight weeks and rebuilt his career with Leicestershire side Quorn and in Sunday football with Bulwell outfit Scots Grey, for whom he scored a staggering 67 goals in 2007/08.
He signed for Alfreton Town in the Blue Square Bet North in September 2008 and last season, he was the league’s top scorer with 32 goals, helping The Reds win the title and promotion to the Blue Square Premier, the top flight of the Conference, for the first time.
Now he has been snapped up by former Football League club Grimsby for an undisclosed five-figure fee.
The Mariners will be one of Alfreton’s divisional rivals next season but Hearn considers them to be a bigger club and has accepted a three-year deal.
ANOTHER striker who is a product of Bulwell, Aaron O’Connor (27), will also be at a new club in the Blue Square Premier next season. For the former Mansfield Town and Scunthorpe United man has moved from doomed Rushden And Diamonds to Luton Town on a two-year contract.