By Keith Brookman
Having completed his studies at Filton College, Chris was signed, initially, as a non contract player before signing his first pro contract in January 2006.
He made his first team debut when going on as a substitute in our 2-1 win against Chester City that month and made his first start for the club, against Macclesfield Town, in the final game of the campaign.
Only the form shown by Craig Disley and Stuart Campbell denied him an extended run in the first team in 2006/07, though he proved to be more than capable of challenging for a regular place during a three match run in the side in March.
Chris was used as a substitute in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final in 2007 and was on the bench for the play off final at Wembley that same year.
The 2007/08 campaign saw him appear in 27 league games, and he topped that in the following season, missing just one game and scoring five goals as he established himself in the side.
There were 42 league appearances the following season, and 11 goals, and his efforts were rewarded with a new contract midway through the campaign.
Chris, who scored his first league goal for the club against Port Vale, on 2nd February 2007, remained at the club until August 2011 when he joined Sheffield Wednesday for a fee of £50,000.
He was at Hillsborough for two years and scored three goals in 47 league games for the Owls, whilst also spending time on loan with MK Dons.
July 2013 saw him move on to Port Vale and in almost two years at Vale Park he scored three goals in 61 league appearances.
On 9th March 2015 Chris returned to the Memorial Stadium, on loan until the end of the season.
He appeared in the Promotion Play Off Final against Grimsby in 2015 when he took, and scored, the first penalty in the shootout.
An accomplished midfielder, with a deceptive turn of pace, he distributes the ball well and has an eye for goal and in the summer of 2015 signed a contract to return to the Memorial Stadium on a permanent basis, signing another new deal in the summer of 2016.
He extended his second stay at the club when he signed a new contract in the summer of 2017.
He made his 300th league appearance for Rovers in October 2017, against Northampton Town. In the 2018/19 season Chris made just 19 league appearances, though the substitute appearance he made against Barnsley, at the Memorial Stadium on the final day of the season was his 500th first class appearance in all competitions; quite a record!
Released at the end of the 2018/19 season, the only player ever to have achieved three promotions with Rovers, quickly linked up with another former Rovers player, Keith Curle, who is manager of his new club Northampton Town.
Welcome aboard, Linesy!