IAN Dunbavin has thanked his former colleagues and fans at Accrington Stanley after eight years at the club were brought to an end.

Dunbavin has been released from the final year of his Stanley contract by mutual consent after falling out of favour under boss James Beattie last season.

The 34-year-old joined Stanley in 2006 after their promotion to the Football League and made 163 appearances for the club, becoming a popular figure with supporters.

But the Reds brought in Marcus Bettinelli on loan from Fulham at the start of last season and Dunbavin played only five games before falling out of contention.

Stanley often opted to go without a goalkeeper on the bench and Dunbavin eventually joined his former Reds boss Paul Cook on loan at Chesterfield for the second half of the season.

Dunbavin did not make an appearance for Chesterfield and was due to return to Stanley for the 2014/15 campaign, but it has been decided to bring his contract to an end to allow him to seek a move elsewhere.

In a message posted on Twitter, Dunbavin said: “While it saddens me to leave the club after eight great years, I depart with many happy memories.

“I would like to thank everyone that shared them with me – the fans, staff and management of the wonderful club that is Accrington Stanley.

“I wish the club and everyone involved well, and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have been part of Accrington Stanley Football Club for so long.”

Adam Buxton, who had a spell on loan at Stanley last season, appeared as a trialist for Scottish Championship side Hibernian on Saturday.

The defender is a free agent after leaving Wigan Athletic and Stanley boss Beattie had said he would be interested in bringing the 22-year-old back to the Store First Stadium this summer.