CHERRIES have announced that Gary Cahill will depart the club come the end of the season.

Former England international Cahill joined Cherries in August on a free transfer, after being out of the game since departing Premier League Crystal Palace in the summer.

The Dorset club reportedly beat out competition from interested Premier League sides for his signature.

Cahill had last played in the Championship during a loan spell with Sheffield United in 2007.

A Champions League and Premier League winner with Chelsea, Cahill helped bring a sense of calm to Cherries’ backline, coming into the side after they had picked up nine points from their first five games.

The 36-year-old made his debut against Barnsley – the same side he would face in his final game for Cherries, at the end of January.

Cherries won 3-0, courtesy of two Jordan Zemura strikes and an effort from Dom Solanke.

Cahill’s addition coincided with an upturn in form, with Cherries winning their next four games.

In fact, in Cahill’s first 10 games in the starting XI, Cherries dropped points just once – in a 0-0 draw away at Peterborough.

Prior to the defeat at Preston, which ended an unbeaten run of 15 league games, Cahill had played 900 minutes of football, conceding just three times in 10 games.

A knock picked up in the disappointing draw away at Millwall brought a halt to his run of games, although the veteran defender missed just one fixture, a 2-2 tie with Coventry, before returning to the side.

Again, Cahill was seemingly first-choice on the team sheet, starting the next six games, a run which saw Cherries withstand a slight wobble.

Dropped for the home defeat to Hull, Cahill was substituted on after replacement Chris Mepham picked up a hamstring injury.

Cahill himself struggled with a “tight hip flexor” according to his boss Scott Parker, but was reinstated to the side for the trip to Barnsley.

Cherries managed to keep a clean sheet in what proved to be Cahill’s last match in red and black.

His final action was not one to be remembered, as the former Bolton and Aston Villa man was giving his marching orders for a second yellow in the dying embers of the contest.

Suspended for the next game, Cahill was named on the bench for the majority of February and March, although he was not called upon to enter the action.

As the season neared its conclusion, Cahill’s name became absent from matchday squads, with his last involvement coming via a spot on the bench against Middlesbrough in April.

Although not involved on the pitch, Cahill still appeared for the end of season celebrations against Millwall, happily signing autographs and taking pictures with fans pre-match.

In total, Cahill made 22 appearances for Cherries, helping the side to 11 clean sheets and conceding 17 times.

Whilst not managing to get on the scoresheet, Cahill did provide one assist, flicking on a corner for Solanke to nod home against Reading.