The second half of 2016 has been some part of the year for Ruben Jerome who in 10 short weeks has been catapulted from Northern Counties East League Division One into the Vanarama National League – via the Evo-Stik NPL Division One North with Brighouse Town.
The 21-year-old was plucked from AFC Emley in September by Town manager Paul Quinn and he immediately repaid him with a hat-trick at Mossley in a 4-0 win.
Despite a three-match suspension hanging over from Emley and two weeks out for injury at Brighouse he has banged in two more goals and been there with assists.
As a result, Southport’s new and well-travelled manager Steve Burr must have had his scouts out as just under two weeks ago the Sandgrounders put in a seven-day notice on the player and Town’s manager did not stand in his way, adding it would be a good move for him.
He has moved to the former Football League club on a non-contract basis until the end of the season and was an unused substitute in last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat on the road at Boreham Wood.
He was retained in the squad for Tuesday night’s away game at Chester City and was hoping for a start.
Going into the game Southport were 19th of the 24 clubs and Burr was openly saying he was needing his forward line to get some goals with only 19 scored in 20 league games so far.
Like his older brother Cameron at Norwich City, the housing officer for Kirklees Council has almost gone full-time for Southport, who have their players in for training on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings at a base in Skelmersdale and joining up with the squad in good time ahead of games.
He joins the likes of Fulham’s third-choice goalkeeper Magnus Norman, who is on loan at the Merseyrail Community Stadium, along with players on loan from Port Vale, York City and Frank Mullen from Leeds Utd.
He got a congratulatory text from big brother Cameron on scoring the hat-trick at Brighouse and Ruben will be hoping to follow in his brother’s footsteps with Cameron having scored 24 in 73 outings for Cardiff City, 37 in 181 for Birmingham City, seven in 50 at Stoke City and 22 so far in 76 for the Canaries. He has played 10 times for England Under-21s.