FORMER Middlesbrough skipper George Friend has signed a new deal with Birmingham City.

The 33-year-old has added 12 more months to the two-year deal he signed when he joined last summer after leaving Boro as a free agent.

Friend, who remains hugely popular on Teesside, made 28 appearances in all competitions last season.

He told Birmingham’s official website: “I’m so pleased. I feel last season was strange and difficult for football and non-football reasons.

“I feel like it’s another start for us. Hopefully, we’ll have the fans back in and it’s a real chance for me and my family to immerse ourselves into the community.

“I really enjoy being here and living here and my family have settled really quickly. I’m really looking forward to building that relationship with fans as much as getting out there and actually playing football as well.”

Birmingham finished 18th in the Championship after Lee Bowyer replaced former Boro boss Aitor Karanka as manager in March.

The club were beaten only three times in their final ten games of the campaign, winning five of them, and Friend added: “There’s definitely a feel-good factor at the club at the moment, the way we finished the season strongly to survive, but the objective is to make sure we’re not just finishing the season in those circumstances.

“We have to have longevity and consistency this season.

“It’s exciting to be part of it. I appreciate I’m one of the older ones now, but I really enjoy my role in the squad.

“I feel like I still have a lot to offer and if I can pass on any of my experiences along the way to the younger players then that’ll be great. Everyone has been great with me since I arrived, the staff and the players.”