Tranmere Rovers boss Keith Hill spent one season at Cheltenham Town, making only two starts and three substitute appearances.
Within a few weeks of joining from Rochdale in the summer of 2001, the defender had been loaned up a level to Wrexham, where he spent the next two months.
Despite his lack of involvement on the pitch for Steve Cotterill’s Robins, Hill still played a major part in the club’s first promotion to Division Two (now League One).
He had moved into a Tivoli residence with team mates Julian Alsop and Jamie Victory and his influence helped 6ft 5in centre forward Alsop become Cheltenham’s top scorer and player of the year on their way to the third tier.
“Keith was a massive influence and it was the first time in my career that I trained on my days off,” Alsop said.
“We used to go boxing at a gym in town and doing the extra work helped me gain that edge.”
Hill also provided Alsop with a role model, telling him his aim should be to emulate Brett Angell, who earned a move from Cheltenham to Derby County in 1988 and went on to play in the top flight for Everton.
“He told me to look at what Angell had done and try to do the same,” Alsop said.
“I’d gone from pub football to non-league football to the Football League and nobody had really given me any coaching or positioning.
“Keith was the first person who took the time to tell me what I needed to do and also cutting certain foods out.
“I still had a beer on on Tuesday, but I’d work it off on the Wednesday.
“Keith was bored because he was living away from his family and he enjoyed cooking, so he’d do the chicken and pasta.”
In his first season at Cheltenham, Alsop had netted five times.
But with the mercurial Tony Naylor joining him up front, Lee Williams providing pinpoint crosses from the right wing and Hill ensuring Alsop was much more professional off the pitch in 2001/02, he went on to fire 26 goals, including one in the play-off final victory over Rushden & Diamonds at the Millennium Stadium. Angell went on as a second-half substitute for Rushden.
As Cheltenham moved up a level, Hill departed for Morecambe before rejoining Rochdale as a coach.
He guided the Greater Manchester club to promotion to League One twice, either side of a spell in charge of Barnsley.
Hill, 51, has also managed Bolton Wanderers, but he was installed at Prenton Park in November last year and has overseen a vast improvement, winning 18 and drawing six of his 31 matches at the helm.
Tranmere will arrive at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium for Friday’s televised clash in third place, two points behind second-placed Cheltenham.