It was on Boxing Day 2017 that Tony Pulis was announced as the new Middlesbrough manager. He had parted company with West Brom just over a month before and after spending Christmas with his family, stepped back into management.
The Welshman was born and raised in Newport, South Wales by his father, Angelo, a steelworker, and his mother, Jean, alongside his brothers and sisters.
He obtained his FA coaching badge at the age of 19, followed by his UEFA 'A' licence aged 21 – making him one of the youngest professional players ever to have completed the qualification.
He had a 17-year playing career in the game as a defender, including spells with Bristol Rovers, Newport County, Gillingham, and Bournemouth, where he played under Harry Redknapp.
He also took his first steps into coaching under Redknapp and after becoming his assistant, his first managerial job followed with The Cherries.
Spells at Gillingham, where he was promotion winner, Bristol City and Portsmouth followed before a first stint at Stoke between 2002-2005.
He returned to Stoke in 2006 after one season at Plymouth and guided the club to promotion from the Championship in his second season back with the club.
Pulis went on to make history in 2011 by guiding Stoke to their first ever FA Cup final. The Potters were beaten by Manchester City at Wembley, but qualified for the Europa League where they reached the knockout stages before losing to Valencia.
He was named Premier League Manager of the Season in 2014 after guiding Crystal Palace to their highest ever top flight final placing of 11th.
In September 2016, Pulis celebrated the milestone of 1,000 games in management as his Baggies side faced former employers Stoke.
Pulis, who joined West Brom in 2015 and spent just shy of three years at The Hawthorns, has never been relegated during his time in the top-flight. He was inducted into the League Managers Association Hall of Fame in 2016/17.
A committed charity worker, Pulis’ previous endeavours for worthy causes include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, running the London Marathon and completing a 450-mile rowing challenge from Tower Bridge to the Eiffel Tower.
He watched from the stands as we beat Bolton at the Riverside, taking charge for the first time on December 30 and a home game against Aston Villa.
At the end of the season we moved up to fifth and were beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa in the Play-Off semi-finals.
In May 2019, Boro and Pulis parted ways as his contract expired at the end of the season.