Football is a funny old game as the old adage goes – it’s a sport that’s much more prone to sentiment than almost any other, and one in which the heart often rules the head; and emotional returns are all just part and parcel of this.
There is a saying though that you should never go back; that any return is doomed from the beginning because it is downright impossible to live up to the previously high expectations set by a player or manager during their original stint at the club. If there is one fixed point of reference in football over time, it is most definitely the law of diminishing returns.
However, there remains hope for fans all over the country. Amidst talk of Kenny Dalglish being offered a two-year managerial deal at Liverpool and even a surprising move by Arsenal for former stalwart Jens Lehmann after a goalkeeping injury crisis, it appears emotional returns are now back in fashion, when it looked as if they were all but confined to the scrapbooks.
Here, in this list of top ten returning heroes, I will chart the careers of ten players, managers, and not to give anything away too much, chairmen, who have done the unthinkable – they’ve gone back to the scene of their past glories and have expanded on their legacy rather than tainted it like so many have done before them. So without further ado, here are ten people’s careers that may go some way at least to disproving the well worn theory that you should never go back.