In the strange world of the Premiership Lee Hughes became West Brom's most expensive signing this week - and took a pay cut to return to his former club.
Whatever the Midlands club are paying him, they should throw in a sizeable bonus this weekend after a feisty striking performance which did so much to land Albion's first Premiership points.
Defender Darren Moore scored the second-half goal which was the ultimate difference between these two teams in a match as tense as it was scrappy.
But, make no mistake, West Brom lifted themselves off the foot of the table primarily due to the impetus and inspiration supplied by the player in whom manager Gary Megson had invested £2.5million before Saturday's transfer deadline.
Hughes, or the 'Ginger Ninja' as he is known, scored 86 goals in 176 games for West Brom before leaving for Coventry last year and Megson was banking on his renewed partnership with Jason Roberts to revive a season which had begun in such depressing fashion.
Indeed, Megson had described his side's start - defeats against Manchester United, Leeds and Arsenal in which they had shipped nine goals - as being like an "initiation ritual".
Rarely had the old soccer cliche 'baptism of fire' seemed more appropriate.
And yet in Hughes there looks to be a bridgehead of genuine hope. The Albion faithful obviously believe so, giving the striker a thunderous ovation which must have been heartwarming to a local boy who wrestled with his conscience when he left for Coventry in a £5million deal last year.
He was first to everything, twisting and turning the Fulham defence all afternoon and, along with partner Jason Roberts, with whom he used to share a room, causing untold problems in the Londoners' defence.
He sent one right-foot shot in the first-half skidding just wide of goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar's far post. Another header went tamely wide but always there was the threat of goals.
And if he managed to coax his way into the notebook of referee Rob Styles for a foul which said more about his commitment than his timing then it also said much about the pernickety refereeing of the official.
Mr Styles had one of those afternoons which gives spectators valid grounds for complaint - pedantic, overly fussy and apparently without the remotest sympathy for football as an entertainment.
Naturally the fans voiced their complaints in time-honoured fashion, the noisiest cameo of the entire afternoon reserved for the referee's half-time walk down the tunnel.
The goal when it came was as agricultural as the football for much of an afternoon which was a finesse-free zone.
As it was it came from a corner, swung over to the far post where Moore and Hughes rose together. It looked as if striker and defender had managed to get in each other's way when the initial header came back off goalkeeper van der Sar.
But Moore was first to react, leaping again to head the ball down where it caught the forearm of van der Sar but the goalkeeper could not keep it out of the net and the Hawthorns rocked with ecstasy. The lead was richly deserved, if only for Albion's commitment to all-out attack.
Understandably, it was a nervous last 20 minutes, as you would expect playing a team who had hit the ground running in the Premiership this season, largely due to their involvement in the Intertoto Cup.
Fulham had scored twice in the closing minutes to salvage a point last week at Middlesbrough but despite their composed approach play they lacked penetration and barely recorded a shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.
Perhaps their midweek exertions in beating Bologna caught up with them. It certainly looked that way with Japanese World Cup star Junichi Inamoto a shadow of his hat-trick heroics on Wednesday.
In the end Albion might easily have finished with a flourish - substitute Bob Taylor sweeping a thunderous shot from the half-way line in Beckham style which was tipped over with some anxiety by van der Sar.
That would have been asking too much. For now the three points will do Megson just fine.