Newcastle United pay ‘undisclosed fee’ to seal seventh summer signing as club bid classy farewell

East Fife have bid a classy farewell to Jude Smith after his move to Newcastle United was confirmed.

On Friday evening, Newcastle United confirmed the signing of young goalkeeper Jude Smith from East Fife.

The 19-year-old trialled with the Magpies last month and impressed academy coaches to earn a two-year contract on Tyneside.

And it’s since been confirmed by the Scottish League Two side that United paid an “undisclosed fee” for the former Celtic youngster.

The Fifers bid a classy farewell to Smith after his 12 month spell with messages from the club’s manager, goalkeeping coach and chairman.

‘A great opportunity for Jude’

“Everyone at the club is delighted for Jude to earn a move to one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League,” said boss Stevie Crawford, who is a former Scotland international.

“Although we are obviously disappointed to lose him, we also recognise what a great opportunity this is for Jude.

“It reflects well on East Fife and the type of club we are trying to be, giving young players an opportunity to develop, do well for the club and move on to full-time opportunities.

East Fife boss Stevie Crawford. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“We wish Jude well and thank him for his service to East Fife.”

‘Jude has surpassed expectations’

Goalkeeping coach Lindsay Hamilton gave a little more insight into the type of player United have recruited. “Moving from full-time football to part-time can be a culture shock and a big risk for some players but Jude has shown that with hard work and a good work ethic you can make the step back up, which is impressive.

“Jude has surpassed my expectations, not only with the number of games he’s played, but the performances that have accompanied them. He was thrown into the deep end a bit with the injury to Scott Gallacher but made the transition to our number one with ease and deserves his move to Newcastle.

“Echoing what Stevie said, we’re disappointed to be losing Jude but it does show that we’re willing to help players improve where we can and won’t stand in their way if an opportunity like this comes along.

“Jude has been a pleasure to work with over the last year at East Fife and I wish him all the best for the future”.

‘Richly deserved’

Lastly, chairman Jim Stevenson added: “Everyone at East Fife would like to wish Jude all the best at Newcastle, it’s a move that’s richly deserved.

“He showed maturity beyond his years at times last season and I have every confidence he will be a success at Newcastle. Thank you and good luck.”