City have completed the signing of Brian Howard until the end of the season.
The 30-year-old has been training for the past ten days and joins on a free transfer, having been released by Portsmouth at the end of January.
Head coach Sean O’Driscoll told bcfc.co.uk
: “He’s got npower Championship experience and is technically very good.
“Brian was available and financially fits into the model going forwards. His personality will add something positive to the group.”
Winchester-born Howard began his professional career at Swindon Town in 2003, having been released by Southampton’s Academy.
With the Wiltshire club he scored ten times in 83 outings. His impressive form caught the eye of Barnsley, where he enjoyed huge success in a three-year spell.
He was a key part of the Tykes’ play-off winning team in 2005/06, achieving promotion to the Championship and was named the club’s Player of the Year the following season.
In 2008, then-boss Simon Davey made him club captain. His last-minute strike notably knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup at Anfield in February 2008, and in the same cup run Chelsea were beaten at Oakwell en route to the semi-finals.
After being named in the Championship team of the season, Sheffield United came calling for his services and Howard actually made his debut against City in a 3-0 home win at Bramall Lane.
Reading was his next career destination a year later, heading to the Madejski Stadium for £500,000 with James Harper going the other way on loan.
After two seasons of regular football – including a brief spell as Royals skipper – he moved to Millwall on loan in 2011 to boost his match fitness.
On the eve of the current campaign the midfielder joined cash-strapped Portsmouth in League One and captained the team. However, their financial troubles caught up with them and Howard was released with a number of other players in January.
Now Howard – who was denied permission to play internationally for Scotland in 2008 – is ready to play Championship football once more.
The midfielder has been handed squad number 11, vacated by Martyn Woolford, and goes into the squad for tomorrow's match at Cardiff City.