Former Carlisle United star Keiren Westwood is back in football after making a League Two move.

The goalkeeper has joined Crewe Alexandra on a short-term deal.

It sees Westwood, 39, back in the club game for the first time since a spell with Queens Park Rangers in the 2021/22 season.

The keeper, who was at United from 2004 to 2008, has been training with Crewe for a spell but has now signed a month-long deal.

He will be in the Railwaymen's squad for this Saturday's home clash with Crawley Town.

Crewe boss Lee Bell believes Westwood will be a valuable addition to his promotion-chasing squad.

“Keiren is going to sign for an initial month and then we will take it from there," said Bell of the Republic of Ireland international.

“He’s a brilliant professional and has been around the club for three years. He came with us as part of the coaching team when Fred [Barber] was ill earlier in the season.

“He’s got great experience and he is a great influence. I’ve told him his job is to push Harvey [Davies, Crewe's first-choice keeper], so he knows there is pressure on him and he has to perform."

Westwood's last first-team game came for QPR against Stoke City in April 2022.

“He has had plenty of offers in this league, higher above, and abroad," added Bell on the Crewe website.

"He’s never retired but he only wants to do things that are right for him and his family. We are delighted to have him.” 

Westwood is widely regarded as one of United's finest keepers after his starring performances for the Blues early in his carer.

After joining under Paul Simpson in the 2004/05 Conference season, following his departure from Manchester City, he made 153 appearances for the Brunton Park club.

He was a regular in the side that won the League Two title under Simpson in 2005/06 and then in the following two League One campaigns under Neil McDonald and John Ward.

His brilliant performances in the play-off campaign of 2007/08 earned him a place in the division's team of the season as well as international recognition after the he revealed in a News & Star interview that he qualified for the Republic of Ireland.

A move to Coventry City followed, with Westwood also going on to play for Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday, spending seven years at the latter before leaving Hillsborough in the summer of 2021.

A spell with QPR followed and, nearly two years later, the 21-cap international now returns in the fourth tier at a club in Crewe who are fifth in League Two.