Connor Ripley has returned to parent club Middlesbrough before signing a permanent deal to join Championship outfit Preston North End.

The 25-year-old joined Stanley on a season-long loan on the final day of the loan window in August, with a recall option included as part of that deal.

The goalkeeper, who has represented England at both U19 and U20 level, kept five clean sheets in 24 appearances for Stanley, including one in his last appearance – a memorable 1-0 win over Ipswich Town in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round.

Ripley had been with Middlesbrough since he was 15-years-old, and previously had loan spells at Bury, Oxford United, Bradford, Motherwell, Oldham and Burton Albion, as well as making 14 appearances for Swedish side Ostersund in 2014.

He joins North End on a three-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Accrington Stanley would like to wish Connor every success in his future career and thank him for his services to the club.