( dpa )- Newcastle United sensationally named Kevin Keegan as their new manager Wednesday.
Keegan, who led the club's early nineties renaissance, is regarded as a messianic figure on Tyneside and his return, although unexpected, will be greeted with glee by Newcastle fans.
The 56 year old left Manchester City in 2005, and it had been thought he had retired from the game permanently.
He even said in October that he had no intention of returning to management as he ran his "Soccer Circus" in Glasgow.
But the lure of Newcastle, the club where he ended his playing days with promotion in 1984, evidently proved too strong.
Keegan managed Newcastle between 1992 and 1997, leading them to promotion to the top-flight.
They seemed on course to win the title in 1995-96, only to squander a 12-point lead to Manchester United. Keegan quit the following January.
Keegan's appointment is a populist move from the club's owner Mike Ashley, who has repeatedly spoken of trying to restore those mid-nineties glory days.
He had initially targeted Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp to replace Sam Allardyce, who was sacked last Wednesday, and it had then seemed as though former Monaco manager Didier Deschamps was being given serious consideration.
"I'm not ruling myself out or in," Keegan had said on Monday. "It's a club I love, everyone knows that."