Newcastle United new boy Jack Colback says the opportunity to join his boyhood club was too good an opportunity to turn down after leaving Sunderland for St James' Park.
Colback has agreed a long-term deal with the Magpies after coming to the end of his contract at the Stadium of Light – where last season he helped Sunderland beat the drop from the Premier League and reach the League Cup final.
The versatile 24 year old becomes Newcastle's second addition of the summer transfer window after the confirmation of the capture of Ayoze Perez from CD Tenerife last week and admits the chance to remain in the north east was impossible to reject.
"I'm absolutely delighted," Colback told Newcastle's official website. "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."
Newcastle manager 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."
After a disappointing campaign last season, which saw Newcastle slip towards the bottom half during the second half of the campaign, the club are expected to make a host of additions this summer with moves for Montpellier's Remy Cabella and unattached forward Bafetimbi Gomis still in the offing.