Jack Colback joins Newcastle from Sunderland

Jack Colback said he hoped Sunderland fans would understand why he has accepted a free transfer to his hometown club, Newastle United.

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Jack Colback "should have chosen Newcastle aged 11"

A coach who has known Jack Colback since he was a child said he should have joined Newcastle United when he was given the chance aged 11.

Jack Colback played for Cramlington Juniors before joining Sunderland Credit: Cramlington Juniors FC

As a young player with Cramlington Juniors FC, Colback was part of a development programme at Newcastle, but chose Sunderland instead. Now he is moving back to Newcastle, aged 24, causing something of a row with his former club.

Michael Cairns, his coach as a child, said: "He should have signed for Newcastle when he was 11 really but as it happens it's turned out all for the best now so good luck to him."

Sunderland: "Colback transfer leaves a bitter taste"

A spokesman for Sunderland AFC said the club was "dismayed" Jack Colback has agreed a deal with local rivals Newcastle United, saying the move "leaves a bitter taste in the mouth".

Jack Colback is Newcastle fan, but was a Sunderland player since he was 8 years old Credit: PA

"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."

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Alan Pardew "extremely pleased" to sign Jack Colback

Newcastle United's manager Alan Pardew said he was "extremely pleased" to sign Jack Colback from local rivals Sunderland.

"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."

– Alan Pardew

Colback: "I hope Sunderland fans understand my move"

Jack Colback said he hoped Sunderland fans would understand why playing for Newcastle United was "an opportunity he couldn't let slip". The two clubs confirmed his transfer from Wearside to his hometown club on Tyneside last night.

Jack Colback is moving from Sunderland to Newcastle on a free transfer Credit: NUFC

In a statement, he said: "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."

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