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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
Cunningham signs Sunderland deal
Kenny Cunningham
Cunningham was a free agent after leaving Birmingham
Sunderland have made experienced defender Kenny Cunningham their first summer signing.

The 35-year-old has agreed a 12-month deal after leaving Birmingham following their relegation from the Premiership.

Chairman-elect Niall Quinn is delighted with the move, despite still not having appointed a new manager.

Quinn said: "It was clear that we needed leadership on the field and when Kenny became available, it was too good an opportunity to miss."

Cunningham, Quinn's former Republic of Ireland team-mate, is expected to make his debut in the friendly at Rotherham on Wedneday.

Quinn added: "He will set the standards for the other players, in a similar way to Steve Bould did here, whoever the manager is."

Cunningham could be joined in the side at Rotherham by keeper Kelvin Davis, whose proposed move to Southampton has stalled.

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