Stewart Downing could end up playing his way into Middlesbrough’s list of club legends.
The midfielder developed his craft at the club’s academy before eventually breaking into the first team and spending eight years at the club.
After having stints at various outfits between 2009 and 2015, Downing returned to the Riverside Stadium, but it was not exactly a hero’s welcome.
The now-34-year-old did not have the best of relationships with Aitor Karanka, whose dismissal as manager was blamed on Downing by some fans.
[brid autoplay=”true” video=”302569″ player=”12034″ title=”The Last Time Man Utd Started A Season So Badly”]
Garry Monk took time to embrace the experienced midfielder, but now the former England international is a key member of the team.
Tony Pulis replaced Monk in December last year, and this season the coach has named Downing in the first XI for 10 of the club’s 11 Championship games.
On Tuesday night, the midfielder was influential as the team defeated Ipswich Town 2-0, and one of those goals was netted by Downing.
On Twitter, plenty of fans praised the former Liverpool player for his contribution.
Love the fact stewy downing is still bagging goals for the boro, absolute hero.
— Luke Featherstone (@LukeFeathers59) October 2, 2018
Downing is a class act. We as Boro fans should be proud of him. Our best academy product who should be regarded as a boro legend in my opinion
— Liam✂️Lemon✂️McArdle (@Lemonthebarber) October 3, 2018
Downing had an outstanding game. He’s Boro through and through. ?⚪️
— Sharpy (@sharpy_UK_) October 2, 2018
— David Roberts (@davidrobertsss) October 2, 2018
— Matt_Rowney (@TheBoroAddict) October 2, 2018
— Dave Smith (@Daveyboy89) October 2, 2018
Stewart Downing is a bona fide Middlesbrough legend
— Alex Hall (@boro_alex2) October 2, 2018
Downing is on fire ?
— Darren Byrne (@DazBoroByrne) October 2, 2018