BOYHOOD fan Jack Colback has told of his joy after sealing a dream move to Newcastle United.
The midfielder will formally become a United player on July 1 when his contract with Sunderland expires.
Colback supported Newcastle as a boy growing up on North Tyneside.
And the 24-year-old says it will be a “proud” moment when he pulls on a black and white jersey for the first time.
“It’s a great move for me,” Colback told SportMail. “I’m going to be immensely proud to wear the shirt.
“Obviously, I grew up watching the team and coming to games with my dad.
“When I heard about the chance to come here there was no doubt in my mind that this was a move I wanted to happen.”
The length of Colback’s deal has not been disclosed by United, but it is understood he has agreed a six-year contract.
He will become Newcastle’s second summer signing, with 20-year-old striker Ayoze Perez having already joined from Tenerife.
But Colback is the more significant acquisition in more ways than one.
Only a small number of players have transferred directly between the North East’s two fierce rivals.
Colback crossed the Tyne to join Sunderland’s Academy aged 10.
Killingworth-born Colback went on to turn professional at the Stadium of Light.
And he established himself as a Premier League player after two loan spells at Ipswich Town.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet had been keen to keep Colback, a first-team regular in recent seasons, on Wearside.
But the pull of United –and the chance to pull on the famous black and white stripes – was just too strong.
Versatile and hard-working Colback also felt he was ready for a “new challenge” in his career.
“Obviously, I’m just delighted really,” said Colback.
“Being a fan when I grew up, it’s perfect to play for the team I support.
“To be honest, I was at a point in my career with Sunderland when I thought, deep down, I was ready to leave for a new challenge.
“When I heard of the interest from Newcastle amongst a few other options ... it was an opportunity I couldn’t let slip.
“All I want to do is come and enjoy my football here and do well.”