That move was to Burton Albion who, like Stevenage before them, paid an undisclosed fee to secure the services of Akins. The Brewers were a League Two club at the time and boss Gary Rowett was delighted to get his man.
Speaking at the time, Rowett said: “He brings athleticism and pace and something unpredictable to our side which is something we looked at last season because we perhaps didn’t have,”
“He is the right age, he has good experience in League One over the last three seasons and showed that he can score goals from a wider area so that will be important to us.”
Akins would finish top scorer in each of his first two seasons at the Pirelli Stadium as Burton recorded back-to-back promotions. They went from League Two to the Championship.
The signing was a masterstroke by Rowett. While the manager would depart soon after, Premier League legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink would take over and kept Akins as a key player in the team.
Just six years after being on the brink of giving up the game, Akins had become a goalscoring centre forward who was about to begin life as a Championship striker.
Hasselbaink had moved on by the time they won promotion from League One, with former boss Nigel Clough returning to the club to finish the job. Clough remains in charge today, and he’s someone Akins is quick to acknowledge.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Akins said: “His man-management skills are second to none. He gave me my chance in the Championship and I am very grateful for that. The way he is around the team is just brilliant. He instils the value of team spirit.”
Burton were relegated back out of the Championship at the end of the 2017/18 season, but Akins remains a top performer and a real crowd favourite with fans.
Lucas Akins quotes taken from: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/11539719/lucas-akins-went-from-ballet-to-being-burton-albions-flexible-friend
Gary Rowett quotes taken from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/27902329
Les Parry quotes taken from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/t/tranmere_rovers/8940931.stm
Facts and figures: www.soccerbase.com
Photos kindly provided for use in this feature by Burton Albion, unless stated.