Oh Happy Days!!!!

Last updated : 16 July 2007 By Rob Miles (barnsley Boy)

Finally to the delight of many Barnsley fans (myself included) Paul Heckingbottom is departing Oakwell...albeit only on loan.

He will join League Two (says it all) Bradford City on loan until January 2008.

Heckingbottom was signed by previous manager Andy Ritchie in January 2006 from local rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Despite being born and bred in Barnsley he never endeared himself to the Oakwell faithful due to a number of lacklustre displays.

The left-back was solid going forward but a lack of pace brought his defensive qualities into serious concern.

He got away with it in League One but his inadequacies were woefully exposed in the Championship last season.

The summer signings of Dominik Werling and Rob Kozluk have pushed Heckingbottom down the pecking order.

A statement on Bradford City's Official Website read:

STUART McCall has brought another Bantams' favourite back to Valley Parade with defender Paul Heckingbottom signing a long-term loan deal from Championship side Barnsley until New Year's Day.

Heckingbottom, 30 on Tuesday, joined Bradford City from Norwich City in 2003 and made 43 appearances for the Bantams where he was named Player-of-the-Year in 2004 but left after relegation to the Coca-Cola Football League One to join Sheffield Wednesday at the end of that season.

He started his career at Manchester United as a trainee but joined Sunderland after failing to make an impact at Manchester United.

While at the Stadium of Light, Heckingbottom enjoyed loan spells at Scarborough, Hartlepool United and Darlington without featuring for The Black Cats before joining the Quakers in 1999. He made 128 appearances scoring 6 goals while catching the attention of Norwich City who signed him in 2002.

Paul made just 16 appearances for the Canaries before returning north to join the Bantams.

He left Hillsborough in 2006 to join Barnsley, initially on loan before the deal was made permanent.

Heckingbottom will feature in the Bantams first pre-season friendly at Harrogate Town on Monday night.

Heckingbottom made 54 appearances for The Reds (49 starts) and scored 1 goal - at Tranmere in 2006. He also converted a penalty in the Play-Off Final Shootout victory over Swansea.

Fellow left-back Robbie Williams proposed move to Huddersfield has been held up though after Williams failed a medical at the Galpharm.

The medical revealed a hairline fracture in Williams shin and his move has now been put in doubt.

Huddersfield boss Andy Ritchie told their Official Website:

"We were aware that Robbie had picked up a slight knock in training but their physio had taken him to hospital and they were convinced that it was nothing more than a trapped nerve.

"He came for the first part of his medical on one crutch as he was still suffering from some pain when trying to bear weight. (Town physio) Lee Martin had a look at him and decided that an X-ray was required to clear up the problem.

"Unfortunately for everybody, the X-ray showed that Robbie has a hairline fracture in his shin. The deal is obviously in severe doubt now and we will have to see where we go from here."