ANTHONY Gardner will return to his old club Hull with head held high.
His nomination for the Championship Player of the Month award for Decemenber is testimony to his form with the Owls.
The centre-half, who was rested for last week’s FA Cup tie against MK Dons, has looked a class act this season amid the Owls’ attempts to improve their defending - never more so than in the recent run of clean sheets.
His rivals for the award are Peterborough striker Dwight Gale and Cardiff centre back Mark Hudson.
The winner will be named by the Football League today.
Gardner was Hull’s record signing when he joined them from Tottenham for £2.5 million in 2008.
But injuries hindered him at the KC Stadium, and he made only 35 appearances in three years, though that includes the whole of the 2010-11 season, which he spent on loan at Crystal Palace, and he played regularly for them.
Gardner was in the Hull team when they were battling unsuccessfully to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
He started out at Port Vale and was bought by Spurs for £1m in 2004. a year when he also won an England cap in taking over from John Terry as a half-time sub for Sven-Goran Eriksson’s team against Sweden.
The defender joined Palace on a full transfer in the summer of 2011. In his two years at Selhurst Park, he made more than 60 appearances, and the then manager Dougie Freedman wanted him to stay but he elected to move to Hillsborough.