Blackburn sign Scottish Cup final hero Anthony Stokes

Anthony Stokes will leave Scottish football after seven years north of the border. Picture: SNS
Anthony Stokes will leave Scottish football after seven years north of the border. Picture: SNS
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Blackburn have signed former Celtic striker Anthony Stokes following his departure from the Scottish champions.

Stokes was released by the Glasgow club at the end of last season and he has put pen to paper on a three-year contract with Rovers to become Owen Coyle’s first signing since taking over as manager at Ewood Park.

The 27-year-old, who scored 77 goals in 192 games for Celtic, where he won four Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and the Scottish League Cup, said Coyle played a big part in him deciding to join Blackburn.

“I get a feeling for moves a lot of the time and there were different options available, but this seemed the right move for me,” he told the club’s website.

“He had only positive things to say about me and I’m just looking forward to bedding in, getting a good pre-season under my belt and the start of the season.

“For myself, having a manager that believes in me gives me a lot of confidence and as a striker you need that, but it’s going to be down to how I perform.”

Stokes finished the 2015/16 campaign on loan at Hibernian and scored twice in their 3-2 Scottish Cup final victory over Rangers which ended the Edinburgh club’s 114-year wait to win the trophy.

He played under Alan Stubbs at Hibs and Stubbs was keen to sign him for his new club Rotherham, but Stokes has opted to join the Millers’ Sky Bet Championship rivals instead.

The Republic of Ireland international began his career at Arsenal and spent time at Falkirk, Sunderland and Hibs before joining Celtic in 2010.