A Sunderland supporter with a BTec in Sport from East Durham College, Luke James joined Rovers with a glowing reputation as an attack minded young player of great potential.
Following a December 2011 debut against Colchester United, his 25 yard volley the following month against Rochdale was voted Hartlepool's Goal of the Season and rendered him, at 17 years 64 days, the club's youngest ever League goalscorer.
Following this with a brace against Carlisle United, he was the Football League's Apprentice of the Month for December 2011, League One Apprentice of the Year for 2012/13, League Two Player of the Month in October 2013 and United's Player of the Year for 2013/14. That campaign, after relegation in 2013, he was the side's top scorer and left for Peterborough, where he scored in a 2-0 win at Doncaster in March 2015 as well as a Football League Trophy tie against Orient.
He had scored against both Bradford and Rovers prior to his loan spells, having scored both goals for Pool in a September 2013 encounter; he was also in their side which defeated Rovers 4-0 in March 2014. With just two yellow cards to his name in all, James was signed by the former Hartlepool midfielder Darrell Clarke, on a season long loan from Peterborough, to add to Rovers' potent attack following double promotion.
Luke made his Rovers debut when going on as a substitute against Oxford United in August 2016.