There was a fall-out following last season’s miserable demise but the players and fans of Doncaster Rovers have re-connected.
And if ever a moment symbolized that renewed bond it came at Huish Park last weekend.
Following the comfortable 3-0 win over Yeovil Town several members of the Rovers squad personally consoled well-known supporter Paul Mayfield, who lost his partner Jill McGarry last week. Rovers dedicated the victory to Paul and Jill.
That gesture summed up the current strength of the Rovers family - a bond and trust that the players have won back following relegation from League One, boss Darren Ferguson says, through their total commitment.
“I think the fans appreciate the effort the players have shown,” said Ferguson. “I don’t think they can be faulted for that.
“Towards the end of last season I said it a few times but the lack of confidence can look like a lack of effort. I definitely felt the fans thought that. They had every reason to be upset last season.
“Make sure you give 100 per cent and leave it all out on the pitch because that will be appreciated.
“You’ll lose games and make mistakes.
“But I think that’s where the connection has come back because they see a group of players, no matter who the personnel is, that is having a real go for the club. It’s a big thing.
“The fans have been outstanding,” he added.
“That’s what you try to create, we’re all in it together. We’re fully appreciative of how much the fans support it.
“The players comment on trips back about the support we’ve had. We’re in January, just after Christmas. We appreciate that they’re shelling out money to come and see us.
“I would have to say the players are good people, not just on the pitch.
“They’re good lads and I think people can see that.”
Ferguson, whose side host Morecambe on Saturday, was also keen to pay tribute to super-fan Mayfield, a familiar and friendly face to Rovers supporters all over the world.
“It was really sad news about his partner,” said Ferguson.
“For him to go to the game on Saturday, it was incredible really, his commitment to this club.
“It was spoken about, certainly among the players. The way the players reacted, John Marquis in particular, going over to Paul after the game, tells it all.
“It’s a sad loss and our thoughts go out to Paul. I think he realised that after the game with the reaction he got, which is good for him to see.
“In terms of his commitment, it’s incredible really.”