Connor Ripley said he had loved every minute of being at Accrington Stanley but a move to Championship side Preston North End was too good to turn down.

The keeper has been on loan at Stanley from Middlesbrough since August and has now made the permanent switch to Deepdale.

“I just want to thank everyone involved at Accrington Stanley. From the minute I walked through the door, everyone has made me feel welcome.

“The management and the staff have been class with me and I have thoroughly enjoyed playing with all the players here.

“Accrington is a special, unique club and I have loved playing with the lads.

“Highlights include winning 3-0 at Plymouth and also the 1-0 over Ipswich last weekend in the FA Cup, that was great.

“It’s been a great experience, the lads have been brilliant and being at Accrington has helped me get this move to Preston, which I appreciate.

“It’s a move I couldn’t turn down, fighting for the No 1 spot at a Championship club, but Accrington will always be a special club to me and I wish them all the best for the rest of the season.”