TOMMY Taylor has gone for a Burton this week but still come out smelling of roses after clinching his first signing as manager of Farnborough Town.

Taylor has swooped to sign versatile Gravesend & Northfleet defender Nick Burton to add much-needed steel to his brand new squad of players.

Many will remember Burton locally for his spell at Aldershot Town, which some Shots fans wish had never ended, such was his calming influence at the back.

But now Taylor has swooped to steal the signature of Burton from under the nose of disappointed Gravesend boss Andy Ford, who was hoping to keep his key man for at least another year.

Bracknell-based Burton, 28, started his career as an apprentice at Portsmouth and made 40 first team appearances for Torquay United before coming into non-League football with a move to Yeovil Town.

From there he joined the Shots, where he became a fans' favourite before leaving, somewhat prematurely, in 1997 to join Vic Searle and his Hampton & Richmond Borough regime.

Burton was captain at the Beveree before moving on in October 2001 to join Gravesend, where he helped ‘Fleet' win the Ryman premier division title in his first season.

Chairman Mr Searle is a long-term admirer. He said: "I always knew when I had Nick at Hampton that he was a Conference defender and I'm delighted that he has joined us. He is a good organiser at the back and one we see building into what we are trying to achieve at the club."

Burton's signing will come as a big boost to the Boro faithful, who will also be excited to hear that Taylor and Mr Searle have been in talks with favourites Lenny and Chris Piper about staying on another year at the club.

Many thought the brothers would move onto pastures new after the events of last year, but despite interest from five or six other clubs, including Dagenham and Aldershot, Mr Searle is confident, after talks this week, that the popular pair will grace Cherrywood Road again next season.

He added: "We have entered into discussions with Lenny and Chris. Their hearts are here at Farnborough, they know they are fans' favourites and will not let that go easily.

"We've basically told them that if they wanted to come back, we would love to have them. We've left it entirely with them now."

Taylor is also in discussions with no fewer than 11 Football league players, including some very exciting names, and is hoping to tie up a couple more deals in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, young striker Danny Potter has agreed to re-join the club for next year, joining Burton, Ken Charlery, Paul Harkness, Tony Taggart and keeper Mark Osborn in the ranks.

l Farnborough Town are pleased to announce that Alexander Francis will become the club's main kit sponsors for the 2003/04 season.

The Fleet-based telecommunications and IT recruitment specialists have been involved with the club for the past two seasons and have been of huge help since the departure of Graham Westley in January by agreeing to fund Geoff Pitcher's loan spell.

Managing director Stephen Gorys said: "Offering our support to the club highlights the need for local companies to recognise that Farnborough Town Football Club will be a team worth supporting.

"With events of the past year, this is now the time and opportunity for the club to build on its reputation as a family club - something Farnborough Town has long been recognised for."

"Together we will move forward."

Mr Searle added: "It is great for the club to keep Alexander Francis on board. We are all loking forward to a new era of football at Farnborough Town."

l Farnborough Town are offering big savings on season tickets brought before June 30.

An Adult Terrace ticket, normal price £175, is available at £160, while the Adult Stand ticket has the same £15 saving from £195 to £180.

Concession Terrace season tickets are being reduced from £85 to £80 and Stand tickets from £105 to £100, while the Family Stand tickets, comprising of one adult and two children, are available at £300 from the usual price of £325. Purchasers of Family Terrace tickets can also save £25 — £270 from £295.

Please make cheques payable to Farnborough Town Football Club and send to Vince Williams, Farnborough Town FC, Cherrywood Road, Farnborough, Hants, GU14 8UD.

l Farnborough Town chairman Vic Searle has issued some pre-season good will to loyal fan Nick Harman, who is undertaking a gruelling 90km trek of the Peruvian High Andes later this month.

Mr Searle has agreed to donate £100 towards the sponsorship sum required, to add to the £150 "whip-round" by the players.

Mr Harman will be doing the trek in aid of the Mind, the Mental Health Charity which gives help to people who suffer from depression amongst other mental health problems.