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St James' Park sign returned to Newcastle stadium

Newcastle's new shirt sponsor, Wonga, has returned the St James' Park name to the Magpies' stadium.

Club owner Mike Ashley had renamed the ground the Sports Direct Arena last year, much to fan disbelief, but the new commercial partner opted to bring back the historic name as part of their shirt deal.

The Sports Direct branding was removed from the stadium some days prior and on Wednesday the club unveiled the return of the old St James' Park signage.

"It's a very emotive day for our fans, that's what they want," Newcastle boss Alan Pardew told Sky Sports.

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"This is what they've always called it. I was upset we changed the name, but it wasn't a decision I was party to.

"But it's nice to see the gesture from Wonga to give it back to the fans, and here we are back at St James' Park, and in good time for the derby."

Pardew also expressed his happiness at seeing the Magpies' new sponsor investing in the club at all levels, from the academy upwards.

He added: "What we liked about Wonga is they want to invest in the academy, they want to invest in the club, and I think we should be thankful for that in these very difficult times.

"If you look at the bigger clubs, they save themselves so much money by producing their own [players], and it's something we need to do. We've got some fantastic talent here, and I want to progress them.

"Adam Campbell, Shane Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi - they're outstanding young players and they need to break through and hopefully in the next couple of seasons they can."