The 59-year-old will watch the Boxing Day game against Bolton Wanderers from the Riverside stands.

The Welshman brings a wealth of experience to the club, having managed in the Premier League for the last decade with Stoke City, Crystal Palace, and West Bromwich Albion.

He has managed more than 1,000 games and has not only won promotion to the top flight, but has also reached an FA Cup final, and guided Stoke into the Europa League.

Boro chairman Steve Gibson said: “We’re delighted to appoint Tony as our new manager. His experience and knowledge speaks for itself and he has a tremendous track record.

“We’re excited by this appointment and by what Tony can bring to this football club. There was strong interest from two other clubs, and we’re delighted Tony has decided to join us.

“There’s no disguising that 2017 has not been a happy year for any of us, but we’ve refocused and we’re looking forward to the future.”

The club’s new manager said: “I wanted a challenge - a real challenge - and this reminds me so much of Stoke when I went there with Peter Coates. Steve Gibson is a football man who understands the game. I have great respect for him as a person and an owner.

“I really am looking forward to this. The immediate challenge is finding out about the football club and as a team we have to get as many points as can, as quickly as we can.

“I wanted to come at this time because we have so many games in a short space of time, and I can assess everything.”