MATT Crooks is looking forward to seeing former team-mates, friends and familiar faces as he returns to his old club for the first time this afternoon.

But his fondness for Accrington Stanley will not temper any celebrations should he get on the scoresheet.

“I don’t really understand the not celebrating thing,” said the attacking midfielder, who has helped to fire visitors Rotherham United to the top of League One.

Crooks made a name for himself with the Reds. But it was a false start to his Stanley career, and the manner in which he recovered from it, that laid the pathway to his native Yorkshire, via Glasgow.

Crooks scored some key goals in the 2015/16 season that Stanley missed out on promotion via the play-offs, having been favourites for automatic promotion until some unfavourable final day drama.

His form led to a summer move to Rangers, along with Stanley team-mate Josh Windass.

But Reds fans also recall a big miss by the former Huddersfield Town man the season before.

Manager John Coleman says he has not yet forgiven him for the missed open goal against Yeovil that cost Accrington Stanley a money spinning FA Cup tie with Manchester United.

But regardless he knew the Yorkshireman was destined to play at a higher level.

The move to Rangers did not work out as he had hoped, with Crooks making just one start. But he says the chance to join the Scottish giants was too good to turn down.

“Rangers is a huge club and I never thought I’d get that opportunity. Playing in front of 55,000 at Ibrox is a memory nobody can take from me - although my time there wasn’t great in general,” he said.

“I try not to look back with regret as you gain absolutely nothing so I would say yes I’m happy with how things turned out.

“I’m enjoying my time at Rotherham and having a successful season thus far.”

Of his return to Stanley, Crooks added: "Sean McConville, Seamus Conneely and Mark Hughes are the only players there from when I was.

"I know Jordan Clark from playing against him when we were younger.

"Obviously the gaffer and Jimmy are still there too.

"I've got lots of memories from my time there.

"I just enjoyed my football.”

Off the field, Crooks has become a father since leaving Accrington.

But more recently he is coming to terms with the death of his best friend and former Huddersfield Town, Jordan Sinnott, who died last month following a late night attack in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

"It doesn't feel real,” he said. “It feels like we're talking about someone else."

Crooks is among a trio now helping to raise money by collecting shirts from throughout the football world with Sinnott 25 printed on the back, with a total of around 400 so far for auction.

"Buzzer (Accrington groundsman Martyn Cook) and one of the fans sent me a shirt for the collection we've got going for Jordan,” he said.

"The club sent one too - all the Football League clubs have.”