Mowbray was announced as the new manager of the Boro on Tuesday October 26, 2010 and was the Championship's longest serving manager by the time he left the club almost exactly three years later.
Born in Saltburn on November 22 1963, "Mogga" came through the ranks at Boro at a time when the club's fortunes were in steep decline.
An uncompromising centre-half who brought back memories of an earlier generation, one commentator described him as having a face that belonged on a 1940s cigarette card.
He became the lynchpin around which the Boro team was built for more than a decade, the born leader who took the club from obscurity to the promised land of Division One.
Mowbray made his debut as Kevin Keegan's marker at St James' Park in 1982 and became a regular under Malcolm Allison, initially as a left-back, but he reverted to centre-back under Willie Maddren.
He was named Player of the Year in 1985 and 1986 but he could not stop Boro dropping into Division Three.
The club stood on the brink of extinction, the players even barred from their own ground by the official receiver. However, Mowbray and the other young players stayed loyal to the cause and the club was saved by a consortium that included Steve Gibson.
When the 1986-87 season kicked off he led the squad out at Hartlepool's Victoria Ground for a battling 2-2 draw against Port Vale and the start of Boro's remarkable rise from the ashes.
As successive promotions followed, Rioch famously remarked: "If you were on a rocket ship flying to the moon, the man you would want sitting next to you would be Tony Mowbray."
Rugged but stylish on the ball, Mowbray formed an exceptional partnership with Gary Pallister and it was said that a Liverpool scout dispatched to watch the pair in action came back with a glowing report and the recommendation to sign them both.
Top-flight success was short-lived and Boro struggled on their return to Division Two. Mowbray missed games with a troublesome groin problem and did not play in the club's first Wembley appearance, the 1990 Zenith Data Systems Cup final. However, new boss Colin Todd insisted that he lead the Boro team out, alongside Chelsea manager Bobby Campbell.
But with Rioch sacked the club were once again in decline, although he stayed to help it to the play-offs under Todd before joining Celtic in a £1m deal, having scored 29 goals in 419 league and cup starts. Mowbray, who was still only 27, returned to Ayresome Park as 20,000 turned out to see his old and new clubs meet in a testimonial game.
He continued to suffer injuries at Parkhead but became a popular figure with the club's fans, earning fame as he instituted what was to become the famous Celtic "huddle" ahead of games.
He suffered tragedy in his personal life as his wife Bernadette died of cancer on January 1 1995, an experience he spoke movingly of in the book, Kissed By An Angel.
Lennie Lawrence tried to sign him in 1991 but the clubs could not agree a deal and his playing career instead took him to Ipswich Town, where he later became first team coach.
It was only natural that Mowbray would make the step into management after his playing days, but few would have predicted that his teams would be based on free-flowing, passing football that won praise from pundits and fans alike.
Back on Teesside in 2010, Mowbray successfully steered Boro away from relegation trouble after following Gordon Strachan as Boro manager.
He narrowly missed out on the play-offs in his first full season but, after briefly topping the table the next year, a downturn in form saw the team end the campaign well adrift of the top places. He was eventually replaced by Aitor Karanka in 2013.
Mowbray's management also career included Celtic, West Brom, Hibs, Ipswich, Coventry, and more recently Blackburn Rovers, where he won promotion from League One to the Championship in 2018. He returned to the Riverside with his Rovers team later that same year.