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9 June 2014, 21:23
Newcastle United have confirmed the signing of Killingworth-born Jack Colback.
The former Sunderland midfielder, was out of contract at the Stadium of Light at the end of last season and has signed a long-term contract at St. James' Park.
Colback joined Sunderland when he was ten and rose through their youth ranks to make his Black Cats debut on the final day of the 2009/10 season against Wolves.
That followed a successful loan season at Ipswich Town which included playing twice against United as they romped to the Championship title that season. Colback was players' player of the season at Portman Road in 2010.
Upon returning to the North-East, the 24 year old went on to make 115 Barclays Premier League appearances for Sunderland and picked up a runners-up medal in the Wearsiders' 2014 Capital One Cup Final defeat to Manchester City.
'I've Only Got Good Things To Say About Sunderland'
Left-footed Colback was capped once by England at under-20 level in March 2009.
"I'm absolutely delighted. To come to the team I supported as a boy, my hometown team, will be really special for me.
It was an opportunity I couldn't let slip. If you asked fans around the world the one thing they'd like to do before they die, it would be to play for the team they support and I've got the chance to do that.
I've only got good things to say about Sunderland, they gave me my chance and I want to thank the fans and the club for all their support. I hope they can understand the chance I've had here to move to my boyhood club. Now I can't wait to pull on the black and white shirt at St. James' Park for the first time."
Magpies boss Alan Pardew added:
"I'm extremely pleased to have brought Jack to Newcastle United.
He's a great passer, versatile and rarely gives the ball away. He's also a local lad and knows exactly what playing for this Club means.
And at 24 years old, his best years are ahead of him so I think he'll be a big asset to us."
Sunderland AFC also issued a statement on the departure of the midfielder.
"Jack is a player we have nurtured and developed through our academy system since he was eight years old.
We gave him the opportunity to become a professional footballer and are therefore extremely disappointed in the events that have led to his departure from the club.
This wasn’t about money - the club agreed to all of the terms demanded of us during discussions and we were always led to believe that Jack wanted to stay with us.
At his and his representatives’ request, final talks were put on hold until the club secured its top flight status.
To our dismay however, we were subsequently never given the chance to negotiate with him to stay.
For him to then leave the club that has supported him throughout his formative years in such a manner, with no chance for Sunderland to recover any of the significant investment that it has made in him as a player, has left a bitter taste.”