Alan Shearer this afternoon strode back on to the stage he made his own - and insisted the show would last for eight weeks only.
The 38-year-old was officially unveiled as Newcastle's new manager, but only for the final eight games of a traumatic Premier League season.
Shearer, who was joined by new assistant boss Iain Dowie at St James' Park, was repeatedly asked if there was a chance his troubleshooting mission could be extended further.
His answers were consistent, however.
Shearer said: "I'm here for eight games and I am here for eight games only.
"I envisage sitting in the stands next season watching Newcastle as a Premier League football club, and I will be doing everything in my power to make that happen."
Shearer's return was greeted by hundreds of delirious fans, who flocked to St James' to acclaim his latest homecoming.
Should he drag the club from the depths of relegation trouble to safety, the clamour for him to be installed as permanent boss will be intense.
However, Shearer would not be swayed.
He said: "Good. That's the job, that's what I want. I want that.
"I was asked to try to keep Newcastle in the Premier League. That's my job. I've got eight games to do that."
Shearer, of course, is already regarded as a hero on Tyneside for the decade of service - and club record 206 goals - he gave as a player.
He has on several occasions been touted for the frequently vacant post of manager, but the timing has never been right.
Asked what was different this time around, he said: "Because I love this football club and I realise they are in a very, very bad position.
"I have been given an opportunity to do something about it, and I believe I can.
"I wouldn't be sitting here, and nor would Iain, if I didn't think there was enough quality in that squad."
News of Shearer's impending return broke on Tuesday evening, and was eventually confirmed 24 hours later after he had thrashed out the terms of the deal with owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias.
Reports have suggested he will pick up a seven-figure sum if he manages to keep his home-town club in the top flight, although he knows how he wants to be rewarded.
He said: "There's a big bonus at the end of it, that's keeping this club in the Premier League.
"That's the big bonus for me, nothing else.
"It would hurt and it would devastate me if this club was playing Championship football next season."
Shearer would not be alone in that on Gallowgate, where Tyneside was today once again uniting behind the man who for so long was its talisman.
He said: "They know me as well as anyone does. They know they will get 100 per cent 24 hours a day for the next seven or eight weeks, whatever it is.
"I hope that will be good enough, I really do, because it would sadden me and sadden the thousands and thousands of people who support this club if it were in the Championship.
"They don't deserve that, they deserve better. The powers that be have admitted that mistakes have been made this season - and we would all agree with that.
"But it is important that, whatever mistakes have been made, they have gone, we can't do anything about it.
"We are third-bottom of the league - whether that's because of bad luck, bad play, low confidence, refereeing decisions, it doesn't matter.
"That's gone, history, we can't do anything about it. But what we can do something about is the remaining eight games - and we intend to."
The first of those eight games comes against Chelsea at St James' on Saturday, and Shearer, who confirmed former team-mate Michael Owen will play if fit, admits he cannot wait.
He said: "I'm really excited, I am really, really excited to get out there.
"I don't think we could have asked for a tougher start in Chelsea and their experienced manager [Guus Hiddink] coming up against a young rookie like myself.
"But we will give it a right good go from now until the end of the season, we will."