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Thursday 8 January Updated Thursday 19 February

Etherington off to Stoke

West Ham United can confirm that Matthew Etherington has left the club to join Stoke City for an undisclosed fee.

The 27-year-old winger has agreed a contract until summer 2012 and could make his debut for Tony Pulis' side at home to Liverpool on Saturday. Etherington was the club's longest-serving player, having signed in August 2003 and being named Hammer of the Year in his first season.

He was instrumental in promotion back to the top flight at the end of the 2004/05 season and made his mark in the following campaign's run to the FA Cup final. Despite injury and illness this season, Etherington had made 15 appearances for the club, scoring two goals, but faced stiff competition for a first-team place.

West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury said: "This is a good deal for everyone concerned. Matthew has been a loyal servant to the club. We thank him for all his efforts and wish him well for the future at Stoke."

West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola said: "It was the best deal for everyone. He is going to be playing regularly. We left on very good terms and we wish him all the best."

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