George McCartney (Defender)
29th Apr 1981 (Belfast, Northern Ireland)Signed:
1st Jul 2012 (£0)Contract:
2 yearsPrevious Club:
Player of the Year (runner-up) 2007/08; Best Signing (third place) 2011/12.
The Northern Irishman was originally signed by Alan Pardew in the summer of 2006 as part of a deal that saw Clive Clarke - valued at £400,000, making the deal worth a million in all - move the opposite way.
One of the few bright spots in an awful season for the Black Cats which saw them relegated with a record number of points (or lack of), McCartney was voted Sunderland's Player of the Year for 2005/06.
It was form he carried into a two-year spell in east London - KUMB readers voted him runner-up Player of the Year in 2007/08 - before McCartney returned to the North East in a £6million switch.
After three years away from London - that included a season on loan at Leeds in 2010/11 - McCartney returned to West Ham on a season-long loan.
Having played a major part in West Ham' promotion campaign - he made 40 appearances, starting in 38 of those - the Belfast-born defender returned to parent club Sunderland, but not before being named as the Players' Player of the Year by his peers.
In June 2012, co-chairman David Gold confirmed that a move to bring McCartney back to West Ham on a permanent basis was close to being concluded - and on 1st July the news that he had completed a second return to the club, on a two-year contract, was confirmed.