VIRGIN Money has announced it has agreed to become shirt sponsor of Newcastle United Football Club in a two-year deal.

This follows a long-standing relationship between Northern Rock and Newcastle United.

Virgin Money completed the acquisition of Northern Rock plc on January 1.

The club will unveil the new strip this evening with Newcastle United taking on Manchester United in the Premier League. The Virgin Money logo will be used on team shirts for the remainder of the 2011-12 season under the current sponsorship arrangements.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive at Virgin Money said: "Now that Virgin Money and Northern Rock are united as one business, it gives us great pleasure to continue the shirt sponsorship of Newcastle United Football Club.

"The Northern Rock sponsorship started in 2003 and it is an important link to the North-East which we are pleased to continue.

"Combined with our sponsorship of the Virgin London Marathon and the Edinburgh Festival ‘Fringe on the high street’, the shirt sponsorship of Newcastle United Football Club embeds our involvement in the communities we serve.

“The first 10,000 supporters with 2011/12 season shirts that bring them to the Club shop will receive a free Virgin Money update to their shirt. Availability of this new branding will be posted on the club website, but is expected at the end of the week."