FORMER Latics loanee Ben Garrity has joined Port Vale from Blackpool for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old had an option taken up to extend his contract with the Tangerines, who won promotion to the Championship via the play-offs.

But the midfielder was pursued by a number of League Two clubs following his season at Boundary Park, with Port Vale winning the race for his signature.

In adding to the capture of defensive midfielder Brad Walker from Shrewsbury Town, Valiants boss Darrell Clarke said: “Ben is a young, hungry and ambitious footballer who we are delighted to bring to Port Vale. He’s got great energy and fitness levels and I see him an attacking number eight capable of the box-to-box role.

“He enjoyed a successful season on a personal level at Oldham and I believe he has got more goals in him. We are very pleased to have secured his signature and looking forward to working with him in pre-season and beyond and helping Ben to kick on further.”

Garrity has been a late bloomer in professional football.

He was playing Sunday league football in Liverpool in 2018 before being signed by Northern Premier League side Warrington Town, where he scored 19 goals in 79 appearances, leading to his move to Blackpool.

However, his progresses was stalled by the pandemic, and it was not until he joined Latics last season that he got his first taste of the Football League.

After making his debut in the League Cup win over Carlisle in September he went on to make 38 appearances in all competition for Oldham, scoring four, including the first in a 2-1 win at Bolton in October.

On signing for Port Vale, Garrity said: "Every week I'll be giving my all no matter what, I'll be all over the pitch, I want a good season and I want to get enough wins to be up there."