Stewart Downing has become Rovers’ first summer signing.

The former England international joins on a one-year deal after leaving Middlesbrough.

Downing is a free agent having not been offered a new deal by the Championship side who he has made more than 400 appearances for his boyhood club.

Steve Waggott confirmed to the Lancashire Telegraph earlier this month that Downing was a target for Tony Mowbray who wanted to add more experience to his squad.

Downing’s arrival comes a month after Craig Conway confirmed his departure from Ewood Park after five-and-a-half years.

Downing turns 35 next month, but did feature 40 times for Boro last season as they finished eighth in the Championship and he made his 400th appearance for the club in the final weeks of the campaign.

He had an offer to stay in the north east from Sunderland, but was reluctant to drop in to League One, having played all his career in the top two tiers, while Rangers  and a move to the US were also mooted.

In all he has made 663 career appearances having also played for Aston Villa, Liverpool and West Ham.