Shearer spent a decade at Newcastle before retiring in 2006
Newcastle legend Alan Shearer will make an emotional return to St James' Park as manager until the end of the season.
Former QPR boss Iain Dowie will be his assistant and coaches Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood will stay on, but director Dennis Wise has left the club.
The 38-year-old becomes Newcastle's fourth boss of the season and has eight games to save them from relegation.
"It's a club I love and I don't want them to go down. I'll do everything I can to stop that," he told BBC Sport.
"It's a tough, tough situation that the club is in. I feel deeply for this football club. I believe I can help it along with the players.
"There is a nucleus of good players that can get the club out of trouble.
"There are very, very good players that are just lacking in confidence and it's up to myself and the rest of the staff to get the best out of them.
"We are going to need every ounce of effort from the players and the supporters. The supporters are well renowned and I know they won't let us down. They never do and I hope we can repay them with a performance.
"This is for an eight-game spell, I'm looking no further than that I can promise you that. I haven't given that any thought.
Fans' delight at Shearer appointment
"Joe Kinnear is in the job at the moment. He is recovering well and we wish him well but I am here for eight games only to try and keep the club in the Premier League."
The confirmation of Shearer's appointment came less than an hour after the club announced that controversial executive director Wise had left his role.
Managing director Derek Llambias said: "Everyone at Newcastle United is absolutely delighted that Alan has taken on this challenge.
"Already there is a buzz around the club and the city. The news has given everyone a massive boost."
Shearer, Newcastle's all-time leading goalscorer, will hold his first training session with the squad on Thursday before being unveiled to the media.
He has long been linked with a coaching role at the club, but criticism of the management structure - which had included Wise - under owner Mike Ashley appeared to have made a return unlikely.
But with Newcastle in the bottom three and time running out, the former England captain has decided the time is right to take his first coaching role.
A born and raised Geordie, Shearer scored 206 goals in 404 appearances during a 10-year playing stint at Newcastle to earn legendary status on Tyneside after joining for a record £15m fee from Blackburn.
Shearer retired from playing in 2006, and had made no secret of his desire to move into managing at some stage.
Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd was among a clutch of figures associated with the club to welcome Shearer's appointment.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's great news. Newcastle are in a fight now, they're in the trenches, and I think Alan is the guy to carry on that fight."
And former Newcastle midfielder Paul Gascoigne believes Shearer's standing will have a positive effect on some of the underperforming players.
Archive - Shearer joins Newcastle in 1996
"Alan's blood is black and white and he'll be telling the players that," he said.
"He's got eight games to keep them up and I don't think it'll be too difficult a task. All they've got to know is that they're playing for Alan Shearer, Newcastle United and the fans."
Both on and off the pitch, Newcastle have lurched from one crisis to the next this season following the departure of Kevin Keegan early in the campaign following a row with the board over summer transfers.
His replacement, the veteran Kinnear, required triple heart bypass surgery in February leaving Hughton to pick up the baton on a temporary basis.
Following a fans' backlash over Keegan's exit, Ashley raised the possibility of selling the club, before deciding to stay on.
Key striker Michael Owen has been involved in just four games this year because of an ankle injury, while Charles N'Zogbia moved to Wigan in the January transfer window after a high-profile bust-up with Kinnear.
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