Connor Simpson wishes Preston North End well as he leaves Deepdale

Connor Simpson has sent a heartfelt ‘thank you’ message to Preston North End after his time at Deepdale came to a conclusion.

Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 1:08 pm
Connor Simpson is leaving Preston North End when his contract runs out

Although the striker’s time with PNE didn’t work out the way he would have wanted, 20-year-old Simpson thinks he has developed as a player.

The 6ft 5ins forward was signed for £50,000 from Hartlepool United in January 2018.

His single appearance in the Preston first-team came a month later as a late substitute in a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa in front of a 30,000 crowd at Villa Park.

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Connor Simpson (left) in action for Accrington Stanley against Blackpool while on loan from PNE

He had loan spells with Lancaster City, Hyde United, Carlisle United and Accrington Stanley during his time at PNE.

The Accrington loan was cut short in March when the season was halted – the League One campaign was subsequently curtailed.

Simpson is out of contract next week and on Tuesday North End announced he was leaving the club having not been offered a new deal.

In a post on Twitter, Simpson wrote: “As my time at Preston comes to an end, I would like to sincerely thank everybody at the club who made me so welcome and who helped me during my time here.

“Special thanks to Peter Ridsdale who had the faith to sign me. Thanks to Alex Neil who is an exceptional coach and I consider myself very lucky to have worked with him so early in my career.

“Thanks also to Fenners (youth team coach Andy Fensome), Nick (Harrison) and Matt (Craddock) who constantly pushed me to be better.

“I joined Preston North End as a 17-year-old boy and I leave as a man with my best years in football ahead of me.

“I’m really looking forward to my next challenge and I can’t wait to get back on the pitch and scoring goals.

“In the meantime I wish everybody at Preston good luck for the remainder of the season and hopefully see the team get that play-off spot and promotion.”

Also leaving North End at the end of their contracts are club captain Tom Clarke, defender Jack Armer, goalkeeper Michael Crowe and left-back Kevin O’Connor.

Armer has two loan spells with Lancaster during the season and is thought to have a few clubs interested in him for next season.

O’Connor had been out on loan at various clubs since January 2018 and is currently with Irish side Waterford.

He is now free to turn that loan into a full-time move should he wish.