Chelsea legend John Terry admits he and several other Blues stars were in tears when they learned of Jose Mourinho's sacking back in 2007.
The Special One was shown the door just a matter of weeks into his fourth season in west London.
Mourinho had just experienced what it was like to be beaten to the league title and they were inconsistent in their efforts to regain it.
A 1-1 draw in the Champions League at home to Rosenborg was the final straw and Mourinho was ousted despite winning five trophies in three years.
Terry was one of the major beneficiaries of Mourinho's man management, as was compatriot Frank Lampard and frontman Didier Drogba.
And the then Chelsea skipper has revealed that emotions ran high which led them to plead with the board to reconsider their decision.
He told Sky Sports : "We were all in tears. It was one of those moments where there were whispers going around, we weren’t performing as well, we weren’t doing as well in the league, and then he came in and said: ‘That’s it, I’ve been sacked.’ He went around and gave everyone a hug and a cuddle.
"Full-grown men crying their eyes out. We were thinking: ‘Where do we go from here?’ We had someone like a father figure, guiding us.
"We actually spoke to the board and said: ‘Listen, we want him to stay, can we not bring him back? It’s a rash decision, he’s the best we’ve worked with.’ Unfortunately they’d made their decision. But yes, there were full-grown men in absolute tears.
"He was so demanding on the group, and he pushed us to our limits at times. It’s not until you finish playing that you realise why he did what he did.
"You’d be sitting there at 8pm at night, and you’d get a message from him: ‘How’s Toni and the kids? Tell Georgie and Summer I love them! How is school going?’ I thought, my god, I’ve never had that from a manager.
"I’d get in and sit next to Lamps and say: ‘Lamps I got a message from the manager last night,’ thinking I’m the special one. Lamps would say: ‘Yeah, so did I’, and Didier would say the same!
"Every now and again I’ll get a message or a picture or a video from him, just saying hello to the kids. My kids absolutely idolise him. And that’s because of the connect he has, that people probably don’t see from the outside world."
Mourinho would return to take charge in 2013 and won the league title two years later before his second stint ended in greatly differing circumstances with the Blues languishing in 16th place.
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