Paolo Di Canio takes charge at Swindon

Paolo Di Canio has been confirmed as Swindon's new manager.

The 42-year-old Italian, whose brilliance during his playing days walked hand in hand with controversy, takes the reins from Paul Bodin, who was only briefly placed in caretaker charge after the club parted ways with Paul Hart three weeks ago.

Di Canio will make his managerial bow in npower League Two after Hart, who only took over himself from Danny Wilson in early March, failed to save the Wiltshire club from relegation this season.

The appointment marks a sensational return to England for Di Canio in what is the bottom tier of the Football League, having also been linked with the vacancy at former club West Ham on more than one occasion.

His official unveiling will take place on Monday after the paperwork is completed, at which point the length of contract will be announced.

A statement on the club's official website read: "The board of STFC is committed to returning to League One at the earliest opportunity and is confident that Paolo will build a team with a new level of passion, pride and professionalism to ensure this goal is achieved."

Di Canio, who holds a coaching licence, was one of eight prospective managers shortlisted and subsequently interviewed last week by interim chairman Jeremy Wray for the Town vacancy, with others believed to include George Burley and Dietmar Hamann.

But the lure of the passionate Rome-born former striker has proved too strong and it is understood he accepted the position yesterday.

Di Canio, who will wrap up his work as a pundit in his native Italy this weekend, has been keen to move into the dugout for some time although many anticipated his managerial bow to possibly be made higher up the football pyramid.

He started his career in his homeland with Lazio, Juventus, Napoli and AC Milan - during which time he won the Serie A title and European Super Cup and claimed runners-up medals in both the UEFA Cup and European Cup among other achivements.

Di Canio completed a move to Celtic in 1996, where he spent a single season before a two-year spell at Sheffield Wednesday followed.

It was at Hillsborough where he famously pushed referee Paul Alcock to the ground after being sent off and was banned for 11 matches.

He switched to West Ham in 1999 where he enjoyed huge success and lit up the Premier League with his flair and skill, remaining idolised by the Upton Park faithful to this day.

He swapped the Hammers for a brief spell with Charlton in 2003 before returning to Rome and spells with Lazio - where off-field troubles continued to follow him, most notably after his fascist salutes to a section of the club's fans - and Cisco Roma.

His retirement from professional football finally came in 2008.

Di Canio will now take the reins at Swindon and attempt to guide the club back into England's third tier at the first attempt.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence