Newcastle have appointed former Bolton boss Sam Allardyce as their new manager on a three-year contract.
The appointment was officially announced at a news conference on Tuesday 15 May after which "Big Sam" was introduced to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters.
Allardyce has been the front runner to take over at Newcastle since Glenn Roeder's resignation on 6 May, so his appointment did not come as much of a surprise.
|Chris is pleased to see Sam appointed|
Even so, many fans turned out in the cold to catch their first glimpse of the new man at St James' Park.
Fans waited around barriers outside the ground - cameras and mobiles at the ready - before being redirected inside to sit on the stands behind the dugout.
Most of the fans seemed positive about the change at the top. Chris from Heaton said: "I'm quite happy but I'm not quite sure at the minute. But anyone deserves a chance really because we haven't won anything for 52 years domestically."
He added: "The fans will love him if he gets any sort of silverware so fingers crossed he'll win something."
People did not seem too worried about talk that Allardyce might bring a less attractive style of football with him.
|Mark came to see Allardyce arrive|
Mark Tyson from Jesmond said: "I think he'll adapt to the situation. He'll know that we don't like long-ball football up here, so I think he'll adapt to that and take that in mind."
Ellen from Whitley Bay said she thought Sam would keep the players in line. She said: "I think the players have had too much of their own way over the last 12 months or so and they need to toe the line a wee bit, and I think Sam will make them do that."
Sammy the Geordie
Fans started gathering at the ground well before the news conference that was scheduled for 1pm, but at 2pm there was still no sign of Sam.
They were kept waiting in the stands with only a tractor removing the turf from the pitch for entertainment!
A few supporters gave up and left before Sam appeared - perhaps a sign that they will not be that patient in waiting for him to produce some good results.
|A couple of hundred fans gathered|
Allardyce appeared just after 2 o'clock and posed with Freddy Shepherd for the TV cameras, holding a Newcastle shirt. The fans greeted him with shouts of "Sammy's a Geordie" and called for him to put the shirt on.
He then spent a few minutes signing autographs and shaking hands - there was even a kiss for one female fan - before disappearing back into the dugout to a round of applause.
Afterwards the fans were optimistic. Liam, a life-long Toon supporter, said "It was the best thing they could have done - Champions League football next year I think. Yeah, we'll get fourth place."
Whether they will or not of course remains to be seen, but for now at least there's some optimism back on Tyneside!
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