West Ham United are delighted to announce that George McCartney has re-joined the Club on a permanent two-year contract following his departure from Sunderland.

The Belfast-born left-back returns to east London after two successful previous spells, following a two-year stint between 2006 and 2008 with an outstanding season-long loan stay last season.

McCartney becomes the Club's fourth summer capture following the arrivals of goalkeepers Jussi Jaaskelainen and Stephen Henderson from Bolton Wanderers and Portsmouth respectively and Senegal international midfielder Mohamed Diame from Wigan Athletic.

"I am delighted to be coming back to West Ham and this time on a permanent basis," said the popular No3, who won West Ham's Players' Player of the Year award last season.

"It was great to be part of the side that won promotion for the club last season. It was a fantastic way to end the campaign last year and I am really looking forward to being back in the Premier League with West Ham."

After starting his career at Sunderland, where he won the Championship title and Player of the Year award in 2004/05, McCartney moved south in 2006.

The former Northern Ireland international excelled during his first stay in east London, scoring once in 71 appearances in all competitions. After moving back to the Stadium of Light in 2008, McCartney spent two seasons with Sunderland and one on loan at Leeds United.

Having fallen out of favour at the Stadium of Light, the 31-year-old returned to West Ham on loan in August 2011, scoring one goal in 43 appearances in all competitions as the Hammers gained promotion at Wembley via the npower Championship Play-Offs.

Meanwhile, four of the Club's homegrown starlets have signed their first professional contracts with West Ham this week.

Striker Elliot Lee, midfielders Kieran Sadlier and Jack Powell and goalkeeper Jake Larkins visited the Boleyn Ground to put pen to paper on their first professional deals, having graduated from the Academy of Football at the end of last season.

While a number of players have arrived at the Boleyn Ground, with more set to follow before the end of the transfer window on 31 August, one player to have departed is Marek Stech.

The Czech Republic Under-21 goalkeeper has left the Club by mutual consent after six years in east London. Stech joined from Sparta Prague at the age of 16 in 2006, graduating from the Academy two years later.

Stech made three first-team appearances in the Carling Cup during the Hammers' run to the semi-finals of the competition in 2010/11, while also enjoying loan spells with Wycombe Wanderers, Bournemouth, Yeovil Town and Leyton Orient.

Of the summer departees, Julien Faubert has joined Turkish Superlig side Elazigspor on a three-year contract.

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