Former West Ham boss Alan Pardew was on Thursday appointed the new manager of Newcastle United, the Premier League club announced.
Pardew succeeds Chris Hughton, who was dismissed on Monday in the wake of last weekend's 3-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion which left the Magpies four points above the relegation zone.
Pardew's first match in charge is a home fixture against Liverpool on Saturday. The 49-year-old was the bookmakers' - if not the fans' - favourite to take over the St James' Park hotseat and he becomes Newcastle's ninth permanent manager in the last six years.
Hughton, 51, was axed by owner Mike Ashley despite having led the north-east outfit to promotion from the second-tier Championship last season.
As well as West Ham, where he guided them to the 2006 FA Cup final, Pardew has also been in charge of Reading, Charlton and Southampton, where he was sacked in August despite has last game in charge of the third division club being a 4-0 win over Bristol Rovers.
Ashley has made it clear Pardew will have to do without funds for expensive new signings, having called a halt to major spending on players 18 months ago. Nevertheless, Pardew said: "I am honoured and privileged to have been given this opportunity at Newcastle United, one of the truly great clubs in English football.
"I understand what this club means to its supporters. Throughout the football world people recognise that this is a unique club in many ways, with supporters who are second to none in their loyalty, passion and devotion for the team.
"I'm not a Geordie, of course, but I'm a football person with a love of the game and I can assure you I bring great drive, desire and commitment to the job," he added.
Pardew paid tribute to the work Hughton had done in reviving Newcastle, currently a respectable 12th in the Premier League.
"Chris Hughton did a great job last season, guiding the club back to the Premier League, and he continued that good work this season. "It is my aim to build on that now and take this club forward.
"I have always managed teams that have played attacking positive football, something I know the supporters here appreciate. "At the same time, I intend to focus on developing exciting young players through the club's excellent Academy and development squad, and I know the board here at St James' Park are very committed to that too.
"I can't wait to get started, and what better way to kick-off than welcoming Liverpool to St James' Park on Saturday?" The Magpies have taken just two points from their last 15, a run that does though include a creditable 1-1 draw with Chelsea at St James' last time out.
But they have not won since beating leaders Arsenal 1-0 on on November 7, which came a week after they thrashed local rivals Sunderland 5-1.
Despite their reputation as one of the 'big' clubs, it is more than 40 years since Newcastle won a major trophy - the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a forerunner of the Europa League.
And the wait for domestic success has been even longer, with the last of Newcastle's six FA Cup triumphs coming in 1955 while it is 83 years since they were last crowned champions of England.