The most bizarre day in the Premiership calendar ended with West Bromwich Albion retaining their seat at football's top table and the imminent canonisation of their manager, Bryan Robson.
Robson, for so long the butt of media jokes after his reign at Middlesbrough ended with his de facto replacement by Terry Venables, had led his team on the most remarkable of whiteknuckle rides and steered the club where he began his career to top-flight safety. His place in Black Country folklore is assured.
It was a day when even the most loyal supporters, having paid handsomely for match tickets, had minds elsewhere. Once Albion held up their end of the bargain by taking a two- goal lead against a willing Portsmouth side, the interest transferred 120 miles down the M40, to events at Charlton Athletic.
Crystal Palace were winning, West Brom were down. No, they were drawing, the Baggies were up. And so it went until Mike Riley?s final whistle and news from The Valley confirmed the sweetest of salvations.
The spectators went into raptures, mobbing their heroes, hugging each other and even racing to the Portsmouth fans whereupon the two groups were unified in a chorus of ?Play up Pompey?.
Despite having just watched their team lose, the South Coast supporters did not even attempt to hide their glee that Albion?s victory had relegated their local rivals, Southampton.
There was little sympathy for Palace or Norwich City, the Canaries having begun the day as favourites to stay up but finished it on the wrong end of a six-goal routing. Everyone was too busy gorging themselves on quarts of unconfined joy. Robson, a veteran of three FA Cup wins, proclaimed it the best day of his life.
Midfielder Kieran Richardson got so swept up in the moment that he could see no reason why Albion would not qualify for the Champions? League next season.
Jonathan Greening and Paul Robinson led the ?Saint Bryan? campaign with their own heartfelt eulogies about the effect his appointment had had on the club.
In November the former England captain had been unveiled as Albion?s saviour. But, as the saying now goes, he who scoffs on the last day of the season scoffs all summer.
Ronnie Wallwork?s own end-of-season rejuvenation has mirrored exactly that of Albion?s.
Wallwork has not missed a game since the turn of the year and his inclusion has coincided with the club?s points total swelling from ten to 35. But he could not forget what had gone before ? exiled to Bradford City under previous manager Gary Megson, his Premiership career was going nowhere.
However, having been installed at the epicentre of his team by Robson, he could not resist a dig when he highlighted the disparity in his and Megson?s league position. Wallwork starts next season in the top flight while his former boss has an almighty mess to sort out at League One Nottingham Forest.