Robert Lee believes Newcastle should attempt to lure Kevin Keegan out of retirement for a second spell as manager - but admits it might never happen.
Former England midfielder Lee was bought by Keegan and played almost 400 games for the Magpies over nine and a half years, before leaving to join Derby in 2002. He is still playing, aged 40, for League Two leaders Wycombe.
Glenn Roeder was made Newcastle caretaker manager on Thursday, with Alan Shearer as his assistant, after the club decided to axe underperforming boss Graeme Souness.
And although Shearer is being touted as a possible successor to Souness, Lee would look to bring Keegan back into the game, 11 months after he left Manchester City.
"I think it's probably a bit early for Alan. He wants to get his coaching badges and get all his qualifications before he steps into what is a very daunting job," Lee told BBC Radio Five Live.
"I'd like to see Kevin Keegan back. Whether they could get him or whether he'd want to go I very much doubt it but I think the Geordies would love him.
"I don't know whether he'd actually come out of retirement."
Lee was a member of the Newcastle side which climbed out of the old Second Division and into the top flight, finishing second in 1996 and repeating the feat the following year, when Keegan made may for Kenny Dalglish midway through the season.
He cast doubt on whether former Celtic boss Martin O'Neill would take the job, given his wife's illness, but stressed that whoever did take up the full-time appointment would be guaranteed support from chairman Freddy Shepherd.
"Freddy and the board take a lot of stick, some rightly so, some wrongly so," he added. "Whatever you say, they always back the manager. They gave Graeme Souness £50million."