April 1, 2009 / 1:00 AM / 10 years ago

Shearer to become Newcastle manager

LONDON (Reuters) - Former England and Newcastle United captain Alan Shearer will manage Newcastle United for the remainder of the season, according to television reports on Tuesday.

Newcastle United's team captain Alan Shearer, with his son Will (R), applauds fans after their English Premier League game against Chelsea at St James Park in Newcastle, in this file photo from May 7, 2006. REUTERS/David Moir

Shearer, 38, who has been working as a TV pundit with the BBC, will take over from caretaker Chris Hughton, who has been standing in for manager Joe Kinnear. Kinnear, 62, has been recovering from triple heart bypass surgery since February.

Sky Sports News and the BBC both reported late on Tuesday that Shearer would take over as manager while a club source told Reuters that Shearer would hold a news conference on Thursday and that the club would make no other comment.

Newcastle are third from bottom in the Premier League and facing relegation for the first time since they were promoted back to the top tier of English soccer in 1993.

They have already had three managers this season. Kevin Keegan resigned as manager in September when Hughton took over as caretaker for three weeks.

Kinnear was announced as interim manager at the end of September and was in control of the team until the beginning of February when he was admitted to hospital with a heart condition.

Hughton then resumed control with Colin Calderwood as his assistant, but in the five league matches since then Newcastle have drawn two and lost three and dropped from 13th place to 18th and into the relegation zone.

Shearer was offered a position on Newcastle’s coaching staff when Keegan became manager early in 2008 but turned it down.

As a player, he scored 30 goals in 63 appearances for England before retiring from international football in 2000.

Although born in Newcastle, he made his league debut for Southampton and won a league championship medal with Blackburn Rovers before moving to Newcastle for a then world record fee of 15 million pounds in 1996.

He stayed at Newcastle until he retired in 2006 having scored a club record 206 goals for Newcastle in 404 appearances.

He has consistently been linked with managerial jobs since he retired as a player, but until now has not taken anything he has been offered.

Newcastle have eight Premier League matches remaining this season starting with third-placed Chelsea’s visit to St James’ Park on Saturday.

Editing by Rex Gowar

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