Birmingham City have appointed Wayne Rooney as their new manager.
The 37-year-old former England captain has joined the Championship club on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
Rooney succeeds Blues head coach John Eustace, who was sacked on Monday after 15 months in charge.
The ex-Everton and Manchester United striker’s appointment is the first managerial change made by Blues’ new American owners Shelby Companies Limited since they took over in July.
Rooney will be supported by his former England team-mate and current England Under-21 assistant Ashley Cole and his old United colleague John O’Shea, the assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland men’s national team.
Carl Robinson and Pete Shuttleworth will also be part of Rooney’s backroom staff after both assisted him at DC United.
It will be Rooney’s third job in management following spells at the MLS club and Derby County and his first game will be at Middlesbrough on 21 October.
“Wayne is a born winner,” Blues co-owner and chairman Tom Wagner said.
“We believe, with the support of his coaching staff, the club, and our supporters, he will take Blues forward on the next stage of our journey.
“His playing philosophy will help to realise the ambitions we have set for Birmingham City.
“Wayne has been preparing for an opportunity like this since he embarked on his coaching education whilst still a player at Manchester United.
“He and his staff have the full support of the board and everyone at the football club.”
Rooney retired from playing and was appointed Derby boss in January 2021, following a spell in caretaker charge.
His time at Pride Park was marred by off-field troubles. He saved them from relegation from the Championship by a single point four months after taking on the role.
But during his first full season in charge in 2021-22, the Rams were given a 21-point deduction for being in administration and EFL breaches, alongside a transfer embargo. Derby were relegated to League One and Rooney left in June 2022 with the club still in administration.
He returns to England after just over a year with Washington-based DC United.
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Birmingham City at such an exciting time,” Rooney said.
“It is very clear that they have a plan and are committed to realising their ambition for the club.”
Rooney added that he and Blues are “fully aligned” on what is expected of him and says the “challenging environments” he has put himself in has “got me ready for this opportunity”.
“It’s a project that gives me a sense of purpose and I can’t wait to get started,” he said.
“I have a clear way that I want the team to play, and my coaching staff and I will work hard to implement it. We will create a winning culture here with an identity that gets Blues fans on their feet.
“My job is to elevate the club to the next level. I know what the expectations are and our job is to deliver.”
Birmingham chief executive Garry Cook called Rooney’s appointment a “defining moment” for the club before adding the new boss will work straight away with technical director Craig Gardner in evaluating the squad and identifying potential transfer targets in January.
Birmingham are the longest serving occupants of the Championship, having completed the third of their short stays in the Premier League in 2011.
That was the same year they beat Arsenal at Wembley to win the League Cup, making them the last West Midlands side to lift a trophy.
This is their 13th successive attempt at getting back to the top flight but they have only once gone close to a return, their first season back in the second tier under Chris Hughton in 2011-12, when they were beaten by Ian Holloway’s Blackpool in the play-offs.
Birmingham beat neighbours West Brom