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Craig Mackail-Smith celebrates his League One play-off final goal for Posh at Old Trafford in 2011.
Craig Mackail-Smith celebrates his League One play-off final goal for Posh at Old Trafford in 2011.
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Multi-promotion-winning Peterborough United superstar Craig Mackail-Smith has returned to the club for a third time.

Less than a day after Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony declared Posh would make no signings before the deadline for January transfers (January 31, 11pm), Mackail-Smith has agreed to come back on loan from League Two side Luton Town until the end of the season.

Craig Mackail-Smith in action for Luton against Millwall in September.

Craig Mackail-Smith in action for Luton against Millwall in September.

It’s a real left-field signing by Posh as striker Mackail-Smith, who is now 32, has started just two Checkatrade Trophy games for Luton this season. He has scored just one goal, in a 4-0 Trophy win over Chesterfield.

Posh manager Grant McCann said: “I feel as if the squad need one or two older heads and Craig brings that. He also has a real passion for this club.”

“Craig also brings a work-rate, an enthusiasm, and he has a real affinity with the supporters.”

Mackail-Smith was a star of the Posh promotion seasons of 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2010-11. He scored a goal in the 3-0 League One play-off final win over Huddersfield at Old Trafford in May 2011.

Mackail-Smith scored 99 goals for Posh in his first five-year spell at the club. He made 212 appearances.

Mackail-Smith was sold to Brighton for £2.5 million in the summer of 2011, but injuries affected his ability to make an impact at the AMEX Stadium.

He returned to Posh for an unsuccessful month on loan in November 2014 when he played three games without scoring.

Mackail-Smith was far from fully fit at that time.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: 7 times Craig Mackail-Smith was instrumental for Peterborough United