Newcastle’s record goalscorer Alan Shearer is to return to the club as manager for the remainder of the season.
The Magpies are currently 18th in the Barclays Premier League, two points from safety with eight matches remaining to secure their top-flight future.
Shearer will take over from caretaker boss Chris Hughton, who himself was standing in for Joe Kinnear who is recovering from heart bypass surgery.
Shearer will be assisted by former Southampton team-mate and ex-QPR manager Iain Dowie.
Hughton and Colin Calderwood will continue their coaching roles with the first team.
“Everyone at Newcastle United is absolutely delighted that Alan has taken on this challenge,” said managing director Derek Llambias.
“Already there is a buzz around the club and the city. The news has given everyone a massive boost.”
Shearer, who has completed all but one of his coaching badges and is still to gain his FIFA Pro Licence, will hold his first training session with the squad tomorrow morning.
He will then be officially unveiled at a press conference at St James’ Park in the afternoon.
Shearer's arrival coincides with the departure of Newcastle's executive director (football) Dennis Wise.
The former Leeds boss was recruited by owner Mike Ashley in January 2008 as part of an overhaul of the management structure with a brief to focus on transfers, scouting and youth development.
However, it was an appointment which proved unpopular with fans and was not one welcomed by former manager Kevin Keegan, who was brought in around the same time but resigned in September last year.
Shearer, who rejected the chance to join Keegan’s coaching staff, was also critical of the structure at the club and Wise’s exit was confirmed less than an hour before Shearer was announced as the club’s fourth different manager of a difficult season.
“The club would like to take this opportunity to wish Dennis well for the future. There are no plans to appoint a replacement in this role,” said a club statement.
Shearer’s job now is to galvanise a squad low on confidence and get them ready for Saturday’s visit of Chelsea.
The 38-year-old is a legend on Tyneside, having scored 206 goals in 404 appearances during a 10-year spell at his hometown club, and Ashley will hope the former England captain can inspire the players the way he has the fans.
It is a difficult task as the club have won just one of their last 12 league matches, with that victory coming over rock-bottom West Brom.