English second-tier side Nottingham Forest announced on Thursday that former player Stuart Pearce will return to the club as manager on July 1.
“I am absolutely thrilled to confirm Stuart Pearce will become our manager on 1 July. Welcome home,” Forest owner and chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi wrote on Twitter.
Pearce, 51, has been out of work since leaving his role as head coach of the England Under-21s when his contract expired in June 2013.
He initially turned down the Forest job last week, citing personal reasons, but admitted on Thursday that the pull of a return to the City Ground was too strong to resist.
“I wouldn’t call it a U-turn,” Pearce told a press conference.
“We had discussions last week. At the time I suggested I had so much on in terms of a personal nature and from commercial aspects with work commitments.
“Fawaz then asked me to take charge in the summer and everything seems right. I have just signed a contract from July 1. This club probably has more of a pull than any club in the country.”
He added: “The pride and passion comes way before financial gain. I’ve represented five professional clubs and I would like to think I’ve given them good service.”
Nicknamed ‘Psycho’ during his playing days, Pearce played at left-back for Forest between 1985 and 1997 and won 78 England caps, scoring five goals.
Forest have been without a manager since Hasawi dismissed Billy Davies on March 24 following a run of eight games without a win, culminating in a 5-0 defeat by local rivals Derby County.
The East Midlands club, who twice won the European Cup under legendary former manager Brian Clough, are currently in seventh place in the Championship, two points below the play-offs with seven games to play.
Former youth-team coach Gary Brazil is in temporary charge of first-team affairs.