Relegated and on the verge of financial collapse, Fulham's condition was desperate, but in Ray Lewington, the supporters saw someone who could lift morale.
Lewington started his career at Chelsea in the 1970s, and played a season at Vancouver Whitecaps, in 1979, before a loan spell at Wimbledon.
In 1980 he transferred to Fulham, and he was to go on and make over 170 league appearances before a season at Sheffield United in 1985/86. After that season he returned to Fulham and went on to play another 60 league matches.
His return from a 12-month stint with Sheffield United in the summer of 1986, moreover, raised hopes that the new owners, Marler Estates, were interested in helping to revive a demoralised Club.
Nothing, though, could have prepared Lewington for the baptism of fire that awaited him.
A merger proposal, another change of owners, a 10-0 defeat at Anfield and a flirtation with Division Four were all on the agenda in 1986/7.
A brief flourish, which ended in the Play-Offs in 1989, was as close as the Club got, and within 12 months the Whites were fighting for their Third Division lives.
At the end of that season, Alan Dicks was brought in, with Lewington becoming his Assistant.
Lewington had spells as Caretaker Manager at Fulham in 1991 and 1994, before joining Crystal Palace as a coach and later assistant.
A spell as coach and manager of Brentford followed, before a stint as reserve-team manager and then boss at Watford.
In July 2005, Lewington joined Fulham once more, this time as Reserve Team Manager.
In December 2007, Lewington served a brief stint as Caretaker Manager after the departure of Lawrie Sanchez, taking charge for three games until Roy Hodgson was appointed.
He then served the Club in various roles, including Assistant Manager, First Team Coach and Head of Youth Development, before taking up a position with Hodgson and the England national side ahead of the 2012 European Championships. Once the tournament ended, Lewington confirmed he would be joining the England setup on a full-time basis.