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4 February 2013

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Defender agrees deal until end of the season

The Hatters have strengthened their defensive options with the signing of free agent Wayne Thomas until the end of the season – subject to international clearance.

Capable of playing at centre-half or anywhere across the back, the 33-year-old arrives at Kenilworth Road with a wealth of experience having played over 500 times in his professional career.

Gloucester-born Thomas began with Torquay United where he made over 100 appearances at Plainmoor before his impressive performances caught the eye of Stoke City who paid the Gulls £200,000 for him in 2000.

His displays in a five-year stint at the Britannia Stadium earned him a reputation as a competent and dependable defender but, having failed to agree a new deal with the Potters, he moved to Burnley in 2005.

Named as captain at Turf Moor, Thomas managed 50 league appearances in the Championship for the Clarets and, as his steady performances alerted the attention of a number of clubs, it was Southampton who snapped up the defender for a fee of £1.25m in August 2007.

However, after three seasons at St Mary's he was released before signing for Doncaster where he spent the 2010/11 campaign.

With options limited with Rovers, Wayne pursued his career abroad in Greece, signing firstly for Superleague side Atromitos last season - where he was a runner-up in the Greek cup final - and then Veria this summer, before moving back to the UK at the turn of the year.

Town boss Paul Buckle told “Wayne is a fantastic professional who has enjoyed a great career and we are positive that his infectious enthusiasm for the game will rub off on the group here.

“He has played at a very good level for the whole of his career and has the necessary attributes to become a very important member of this squad.

“Wayne can play at right-back or centre-half and with the amount of games we have coming up between now and the end of the season it was vital we bring in another man because we are going to be stretched.

“He is another voice, another winner and is more than capable of playing at a much higher level still.

“He played in the Greek cup final last season and was training with Stoke on his arrival back to the UK last month so we are lucky to have him.”

He will wear squad number 22.

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