NEWCASTLE UNITED have announced the signing of Mark Gillespie on a three-year deal.

The goalkeeper was a free agent after leaving Fir Park and his career has now come full circle, having previously been on the books at St James' Park as a youth player.

Gillespie was a key player in Motherwell's rise up the Premiership that culminated in a third-placed finish but the keeper decided to move on once his contract expired at the end of last season.

Speaking to Newcastle's website, the 28-year-old revealed his delight at re-joining his boyhood club.

"It's an unbelievable feeling for me to sign for Newcastle," said Gillespie.

"Being a supporter all my life and to be released at 16 was disappointing, but I have gone away, worked hard and now I'm back, and I can't wait to make the most of an opportunity every Geordie would dream of."

Gillespie will be the club's third-choice goalkeeper after Rob Elliot's departure from the Premier League club, and will challenge Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow for a place in Steve Bruce's starting XI.

Commenting on the deal, Bruce added: "We're very pleased to welcome Mark aboard. He was here when he was young and has gone on to do very well.

"He'll give us really healthy competition with our goalkeepers and we wish him the very best of luck."​​