An apprentice joiner in his younger days, the striker is now aiming to do his bit to fix the Bantams’ lowly league position in League Two after moving from Oldham Athletic on an initial 18-month deal this week.
After being released as a youngster at Manchester United – where he played alongside Bradford-born Tom Cleverley – Rowe, 30, is intent upon making the most of his City chance, but won’t forget his humble roots.
On his journey back, Rowe, a prolific scorer in a long association with AFC Fylde in particular, said: “I was doing a joinery apprenticeship on a building site and working Monday to Friday and trained on a Tuesday and Thursday night. It was mixed with local football and playing with my friends.
“I used to play for Blackpool Wren Rovers, who were in the ‘West Lancs’, on a Saturday and a team called Qulligans on a Sunday.
“I have a lot of friends at Wren Rovers who are on social media and a lot have wished me well. A lot of my good friends also played with me at Qulligans and they are also happy for me and are part of my journey.”
Rowe may have seen his one-time Old Trafford youth team colleagues Cleverley and Danny Drinkwater progress onto the Premier League and international stage, but the frontman has no regrets on his own journey to professional football via the non-leagues.
He added: “I don’t look at anything with regret. Everything happened for a reason. I grew up with Tom Cleverley and we signed on the same day and know Tom and he has done really well as has Danny. I always knew they were good players.
“I ended up dropping out of it. I was not enjoying it and because of that, I was not performing. I was not good enough (then).”
Meanwhile, City joint interim-manager Conor Sellars says the club are plotting further incoming business in the remainder of the January transfer window following the arrival of six players, including Rowe.
He confirmed: “If people are available in positions where we feel they will benefit the team and there is a slot for them – whether that be that someone comes in and maybe we have to make a decision to get somebody out – if it is right for us, we will try and make the best decisions for the club.”
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