Preston North End's 'Cumbrian Cannavaro' is to leave Deepdale this summer after 10 years

Paul Huntington will leave Preston North End this summer after 10 years at Deepdale.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 12:07 pm

The centre-half, nicknamed the Cumbrian Cannavaro, joined PNE in 2012 and has made 305 appearances for the club.

Huntington will be in the squad for North End’s final game of the season against Middlesbrough on Saturday lunchtime, with Ryan Lowe vowing to get him on the pitch at some stage.

Plans are also afoot for the 34-year-old to have a testimonial game at Deepdale in pre-season to mark his service to the Lilywhites and for him to say a proper farewell.

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Huntington’s contract runs out in June and North End have decided against offering him a new one.

The defender intends extending his playing career elsewhere and should not have a problem finding a new home.

Huntington said: “I’m proud to have played for this great club for such a long time. It’s been a second home for me really.

"I will now look on a fan and Preston’s will be the first result I’ll look for after games.

Paul Huntington celebrates Preston North End's play-off final victory at Wembley in May 2015

"Hopefully I can play on for another two years or so somewhere else but this club will hold a special place in my heart.”

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Huntington spoke with the media at Euxton on Thursday morning as a build-up to the Middlesbrough game.

The remainder of the retained list will be announced by PNE next week, once talks have been finalised with all the players.

Paying tribute to Huntington, North End manager Lowe said: “First and foremost I would like to thank Hunts for everything he has done for this football club.

"He’s has a fantastic career so far and I’m sure he will go and continue that somewhere else.

"We just that we wanted to change things round here. Hunts was fantastic when we spoke with him regarding it.

"It is time for a fresh challenge for him and he will be in the squad on Saturday to say his goodbyes, hopefully we can get him some minutes.

"That is football, he’s been here a long time and it’s good for him to move somewhere else and play his football.

"He’s been a credit to himself, been available every day for training, available for every match.

"Hunts is a breath of fresh air and someone who all the youngsters can look up to.”