The former Academy starlet had always left the door open to a return having departed Boro for Aston Villa in 2009.

And after various successes with Villa, Liverpool and West Ham, as well as notching up 35 caps with the England national team, the summer of 2015 saw Downing rejoin his boyhood club on a four-year contract.

Boro had narrowly missed out on promotion the previous campaign, and Downing's arrival was a statement of our intent to seal a return to the Premier League.

The winger would go on to make 49 appearances during the 2015/16 season as Boro achieved that aim, and was one of Boro's most consistent performers in the top flight the following year.

The 2017/18 season saw several landmarks for Stewy as he passed 350 appearances for Boro and 600 appearances in his career. In total during the campaign he made 47 appearances, scoring three goals.