The Shakers leading goal scorer caught an early flight from the Shakers Marbella Training Camp to seal the deal with the Black Cats.
James came into the club just after the season had started and made an instant impact in what he described as the strangest game he had ever played in, scoring on his debut in a 3-3 draw at Walsall. He would go on to become the club's leading goal scorer, hitting 24 goals in total – including four goals against Peterborough United at Gigg Lane.
Whilst in Marbella, James sat down with Lee Clark and chairman Stewart Day. At that meeting, James was offered extended terms by the club but James made the club aware that he would not be signing a new deal for the club.
Speaking to buryfc.co.uk, manager Lee Clark said: -
“We are extremely disappointed, but at the same time, we fully understand why James wanted to take the offer. It makes sense for him and it was quite an easy decision for James. The Chairman and I sat down with James and talked about a new contract for him and even though he was very appreciative of that and respected us for the offer, he wanted to explore that opportunity that has been given him and to go and play in the championship.
“He was very aware that we were not going to allow him to join another League One club. He was respectful of that and did not want to entertain that anyway. When a club like Sunderland come calling, the biggest club outside the Premier League, it was a no-brainer, to be honest.
“Once they matched the Chairman's valuation for him, there was no turning back and he was on his way. We shook hands and wished him all the very best. James was very respectful for what Bury FC had done for his career, now my job is to replace him and we think we have done that with a player the fans will enjoy.”
Meanwhile, speaking before boarding his 4 am flight, James Vaughan said:
“It was only yesterday that I sat down with the chairman to discuss extending my contract. The Chairman has been great with me and has tried his best to keep me, but when a team like Sunderland come calling for you, you have to think twice about what you're going to do.
“It’s a massive challenge for me and I know that it’s a big step up to the Championship but I feel I am ready for it. I have to say a lot of thanks to Bury FC for the way they have helped me last season. I want to say thank you to the staff, the management and especially to the fans, who have all made last season probably one of the most enjoyable of my career. It's thanks to them why I am moving onto Sunderland. Thank you all.”
The deal to take James away from Gigg Lane is undisclosed but does contain various sell on clauses that will benefit the football club in the future.
We wish James every success at Sunderland and thank him for the 24 goals that he scored for us last season. We know the corner flags will NOT miss him.