FANS favourite Joe Cardle has signed for AFC Fylde after his second spell as a Pars player came to an end.

The 31-year-old winger has signed a two-year contract with the Vanarama National League side after his East End contract was not renewed when it expired at the end of last season.

The move means Cardle, who was born in Blackpool and grew up in nearby Lythan St Annes moves back to England a decade after he first arrived in Scotland with Airdrie.

Speaking to his new club's website, Cardle said: "When the opportunity came up I thought it was only right to come back to where I started my game and show people back here what I can do.

"I actually first spoke to the manager about three years ago, but a move never materialised at the time.

"I met up with him again in Scotland during AFC Fylde's pre-season training camp in Largs and I could see the love and ambition he had for the club, and I can't wait to be part of that."

It marks the end of a love affair with Athletic over two spells for the popular player, who achieved his UEFA A Licence coaching badge this summer.

He first joined Dunfermline in 2009 and, in his second season, was a mainstay of then manager Jim McIntyre's side that won the First Division title.

The Pars, however, struggled in the SPL and were relegated after just a single season in the top flight, but worse followed in March 2013 when the club plunged into administration.

Cardle was one of eight first-team players who were made redundant and subsequently moved to Raith Rovers, with whom he won the Challenge Cup.

He then spent a season with Ross County before returning to Athletic in the summer of 2015, going on to help the club lift the League One title with a goal haul of 15.

He featured regularly throughout Dunfermline's return to the Championship and, last season, was in fine form as they made a blistering start to their campaign.

Cardle hit the net nine times in just 11 games - a haul that included a memorable goal in a Betfred Cup tie at Hearts, and a double in a victory over bitter rivals Falkirk - but suffered an injury in September that sidelined him for a month.

He would score just one more in Dunfermline colours, a superb winner at Dumbarton in January, and left after making 238 appearances and scoring 54 goals.

Cardle could come up against a former Pars team-mate, Josh Falkingham, next season, with the Yorkshireman currently plying his trade with Harrogate Town.