The new Lincoln Imps manager, Chris Stutton. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Lincoln City have appointed former England striker Chris Sutton as their new manager.

Sutton, who had spells at Chelsea, Celtic, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers, will be joined by former Fulham and West Ham centre half Ian Pearce as assistant manager.

Sutton is a surprise appointment, having not been touted in the media as a candidate for the manager’s position. The pair will take formal charge of first team affairs on Wednesday, with current caretaker manager Simon Clark taking control of the team on Tuesday night against big spenders Notts County.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “We received over 70 applicants for the vacant manager’s post and although this double appointment could be seen as a calculated gamble, the board have every confidence in Chris and Ian and are looking forward to working with them.”

Sutton started his playing career at Norwich before earning a move to Blackburn Rovers in 1994 where he became the first £5 million player. At Rovers, Sutton formed a formidable partnership with Alan Shearer as Blackburn won the Premiership. Sutton won his one and only England cap in 1997 and two years later moved to Chelsea for £10 million. Sutton enjoyed a prolific spell at Celtic before returning to England to play for Birmingham and Aston Villa before retiring due to a eye injury in July 2007.

Sutton takes charge of an under-performing side, sitting 19th in League Two with just 9 points.

The pair will be unveiled to the media at a press conference later this afternoon.