SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Dave Jones hails ace Anthony Gardner

Deal done: Anthony  Gardner is joining Wednesday from Crystal Palace on a two-year contract
Deal done: Anthony Gardner is joining Wednesday from Crystal Palace on a two-year contract
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DAVE Jones has told The Star that Anthony Gardner honoured a promise by signing his two-year contract with the Owls.

The deal ended a 19-day saga in which Wednesday waited to complete the formalities after the Crystal Palace and former Spurs and England defender passed a medical.

Only two days ago the Owls were believed to be preparing for the possibility of pulling out and switching to other targets, and it was claimed by someone described as Gardner’s agent that the player was in no rush to decide his future and had attracted interest from the UK and the Far East.

But Jones last night made light of the delay and revealed that the 31-year-old had pledged that he would join Wednesday.

The Owls boss told The Star: “He was out of the country, then I was out of the country, and vice-versa, after he’d passed his medical, and at one stage our football secretary was at the chairmen’s meeting in Portugal.

“All the documentation needed to be done and it needed to be done in person rather than by fax.

“He gave his word that he was going to come to us, and he has done.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve got him. He’s got good experience in the Premier League and the Championship, and he’s a leader.”

Gardner was offered a new deal by Palace after two years with them.

But he says: “This is a great move for me. I am really impressed with the ambition of the manager and the chairman and, as everyone knows, Sheffield Wednesday has a huge fan base. The club has the ambition and the drive to succeed and that is what has attracted me.

“I have played a lot of my career in the Premiership and that is where I want to return to.

“I have no intention of coming to a club that is just out to consolidate in the Championship, I want to succeed and that is why I have come to Sheffield Wednesday.”

Gardner will officially become an Owls player when his Palace deal expires on June 30.