Steve McClaren breezed into Soho Square to become the new England head coach last night - just three months to the day since an angry fan ripped up his season ticket and threw it in the Middlesbrough manager's face.
It was the day Boro lost 4-0 at home to Aston Villa in February - and, after witnessing those dramatic events at the Riverside first hand, the man in the opposing dug-out that day has not forgotten it.
Villa manager David O'Leary has since found out the hard way what it's like to have the fans on his back too. And he is the first to pay tribute to the way McClaren's Boro chairman Steve Gibson stood by his man.
"I was in the Middlesbrough boardroom after the game that night, having a drink with Steve McClaren, when Steve Gibson came up," said O'Leary.
"And, although I can't repeat what he said, the words he said to his manager were just what you'd want from a chairman in those circumstances. Those words must have helped immensely for Steve and Boro to kick on from there.
"And, as managers, we all need that at times. I was there earlier this season when they were crying for Rafael Benitez to get out, a few months into a season after Liverpool had just won the Champions League. And I remember after Arsene Wenger lost at Anfield, they wanted him out too. Even Arsene Wenger!
"But he didn't lose his focus; he knew what he was doing and the Arsenal board didn't lose sight of how much they valued him. And, like Boro, they're now in a European final too."
The Football Association yesterday handed McClaren the task of leading his country into Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup less than five years after accepting Gibson's offer to launch his managerial career on Teesside.
Having brought a first ever major trophy to the club, McClaren is now determined to go out with a bang by lifting the Uefa Cup in Eindhoven next Wednesday evening in his final game in charge.
And that would provide Gibson with the perfect return on his investment back in the summer of 2001.
McClaren said: "Steve Gibson took a gamble on me when he made me Boro manager, and I remain grateful to him for that.
"He has given me fantastic support throughout the past five years.
"Equally, my staff have always remained hugely supportive through all the ups and downs that every manager goes through.
"Along with the players, they are the key reason I have been able to help bring success to Boro.
"The experience of managing Middlesbrough has been fantastic and will, I am sure, hold me in very good stead in my future challenges."