It was July 2006 when the plight of our beloved club was typified by my guffawing Sunday League pub manager.
Training on St Edmund’s School’s pitches, the gaffer took one look at a similar shambles on the Compton field next door and chortled: “I’d ask them for a game lads, but they’ve only got nine men!”
Nine players, one proud Yorkshireman and the task of fashioning a silk purse from a complete pig’s ear.
In delivering the ‘impossible dream’, Mick McCarthy did something even more remarkable – he created a romance between team and fans that a Sherpa Van couldn’t even deliver.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, the love affair is over, in the saddest ending of all.
Where Shakespeare does tragedy, comedy and romance, Mick McCarthy did all three, quite often at the same time.
A no-nonsense Romeo back in 2008/9, Mick leaves the stage like King Lear, all alone, exposed and nowhere left to go.
In remembering the good times, I recall that 5-1 thrashing of Nottingham Forest at home, by a team I’ll never forget.
That his last game ended in the same scoreline is too poetic for words.
Even his most halcyon days were often played out in wonder, as Nigel Quashie came in, Mark Davies went out and Chris Iwelumo was dropped altogether.
As is ever the case with Mick McCarthy, he always did things his way.
And just like the great Frank Sinatra himself, maybe we should just remember the good times and not these miserable latter ones.
Frank occasionally forgot the words, stopped hitting the hardest notes and eventually fell over on a Virginia stage.
So while today’s announcement is music to many fans’ ears, it certainly isn’t to mine, however much I agree with it.
Emulating Mick McCarthy in 2012 isn’t the hard part anymore.
Emulating him back in the day would have been nigh-impossible, but not even Ol’ Blue Eyes could hold that note forever.