Sam Allardyce is the new England manager, the Football Association has confirmed.
The 61-year-old leaves his post at Sunderland with immediate effect to succeed Roy Hodgson and has been handed an initial two-year contract.
Allardyce said: “I am extremely honoured to be appointed England manager, especially as it is no secret that this is the role I have always wanted.
“For me, it is absolutely the best job in English football.
“I will do everything I can to help England do well and give our nation the success our fans deserve. Above all, we have to make the people and the whole country proud.
“While my main focus will be on the senior team and getting positive results, I want to add my influence to the great work being done across the development teams at St. George’s Park – a facility I have used with my previous clubs.
“I know we have talented, committed players and it is time for us to deliver.
Allardyce’s first match in charge will be a friendly at Wembley on Thursday 1 September, ahead of the World Cup 2018 qualifier against Slovakia on 4 September.
An experienced Premier League manager with Bolton, West Ham and Sunderland, Allardyce narrowly missed out on the England job when it was given to Steve McClaren 10 years ago and has frequently spoken of his desire to manage his country.
Sky sources reported on Thursday that the FA’s three-man selection panel – chief executive Martin Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth and vice-chairman David Gill – had told the FA board that they were recommending Allardyce.
And Glenn said after the appointment was confirmed: “Sam Allardyce is the right man for the England job.
“His excellent managerial credentials, including his ability to realise the potential of players and teams, develop a strong team ethos and embrace modern methods that enhance performance, made him the outstanding choice.
“That was underlined when we sat down to talk, and we could not help but be energised by his personal perspective on England’s future and how it complemented the extensive work that we are looking to build on at St. George’s Park.
“Dan Ashworth, David Gill and I have carried out a thorough process in the last three weeks and ultimately we could not look beyond Sam as the ideal candidate.”
Current and former Manchester United managers Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson are among those to have expressed their support for Allardyce in the role.