Newcastle Utd owner Mike Ashley
Newcastle Utd owner Mike Ashley to re-marry former wife, Linda Getty

Newcastle Utd owner and Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley appears to have fallen back in love with the woman he divorced 11 years ago at a cost of £50m.

According to reports, Ashley has had a string of dates with his ex, Linda Ashley, and his friends say he will propose shortly. He has even been shedding a few pounds in preparation.

The couple went through in acrimonious split in 2003.

However, getting fans of the Geordie club to fall in love with him is likely to remain the toughest challenge – if he even cares about that.

The St James's Park faithful don't share Linda's feelings, despite Ashley sinking millions of his of £4bn sportswear fortune in to the north-east club since 2007.

Ashley is also not feeling the love from shareholders of his firm Sports Direct. They repeatedly resisted efforts by him to win a bumper pay package, before finally agreeing to a deal this week.