Alan Pardew took the reins from caretaker manager Trevor Brooking at West Ham United on October 18 2003 having had to wait in the wings following his departure from Reading the previous month.
Former reserve team manager at Reading, Pardew was appointed manager of the first team in October 1999 after spending a month in charge in a caretaker capacity following the departure of previous boss Tommy Burns.
Pardew came into the professional game from non-League Yeovil Town, and went on to enjoy a successful career with Crystal Palace, Charlton and Barnet. Many people will remember him as the man who scored the winning goal in The Eagles' epic 4-3 1990 FA Cup semi-final triumph over Liverpool.
His coaching career began with his last club, Barnet, and when Bees boss Terry Bullivant was appointed manager at Elm Park in the summer of 1997, Pardew went with him to take charge of the reserve team.
Less than a year later Bullivant was replaced by Burns, but Pardew retained the reserve team manager's position until the end of the 1998/99 season, when the reserve team was disbanded following the introduction of the new Youth Football Academy.
Within months Pardew was back with The Royals, re-housed in the purpose built Madejski Stadium to take charge of the first team, where he helped the club mount a serious challenge for promotion back to Division One.
It was a challenge that Pardew completed in 2001/02, a year after narrowly missing out in the play-offs to Walsall.
Although Reading appeared to be heading, possibly, for the Second Division Championship in 2002, their form faltered towards the end of the season, and a late equalising goal against promotion rivals Brentford - the game finished 1-1 - saw The Royals narrowly secure their place in the First Division.
Pardew's men took the First Division by storm finishing in an incredible fourth place, but the fairytale could not be complete as The Royals crashed out of the play-off semi-final losing 3-1 on aggregate to Wolves.
Pardew was understandably devastated after the defeat but he immediately looked ahead to the following season, determined to go one step further.
Reading made an excellent start to the 2003/04 campaign, winning three and drawing two of their first five games, to put them second in the table.
However, Pardew rocked the club on September 10th by handing in his resignation after chairman John Madejski refused to allow West Ham United permission to speak to the highly-rated young boss with a view to becoming Glenn Roeder's successor at Upton Park.
Pardew stated: "I wish to announce my resignation from Reading Football Club with immediate effect.
"My main issue has always been the opportunity to speak to West Ham United Football Club which has been denied to me."
Madejski had already expressed his reasons for deny The Hammers permission to talk to Pardew, saying: "The point is we have an agreement and a contract and I very much think contracts should be adhered to.
"The contract quite clearly states that if he is approached by a Premier League club that is fine but if he is approached by a Division One club then he is not allowed to go as that would be considered the opposition."
Nevertheless, Pardew had made clear his intention to leave the club, and with Reading travelling to Upton Park to face West Ham just a few days later, he added: "Given the forthcoming fixture on Saturday, I will be taking time away with my family over the weekend to consider my future outside of Reading Football Club.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the players for all the effort they have given me and I am sure they will have continued success at the club.
"Most of all I would like to thank the fans for their support over the last six years and genuinely wish them all the success they deserve."
After Madejski took out an injunction in the High Court to prevent Pardew from becoming West Ham's next manager, the two clubs agreed a compensation package that would allow him to take charge at Upton Park from October 18.
Pardew was delighted to become the 10th full time boss of the east London club as he admitted: "It's been hard and torturous, but the tradition and history of West Ham was an attraction I couldn't turn down.
"It's going to be a tough task, but it doesn't daunt me and I am really looking forward to it. I am delighted that the situation has been resolved without the need to involve the court and I am very excited to be confirmed as the new manager of West Ham United.
"Being a Londoner I am well aware of the tremendous stature and history of the club and understand the need to play the style of football the supporters expect."