Mackem Kilgallon's loss can be Big Mike's gain - as Newcastle go from Woodgate to Willamson
When Jonathan Woodgate signed for Newcastle United in January 2003 nobody connected to the Magpies back then could have predicted just how far the black and whites would tumble in just seven years.
Mike Williamson is the latest signing for Newcastle United in what has been a painful transfer window, it's a window that you would struggle to write a script for with Chris Hughton's top target ending up at Sunderland just days after revealing he wanted to stay at Sheff United.
Former Torquay and Wycombe defender Williamson, at 26, has been handed an incredible opportunity with Newcastle that could arguably be the biggest of his career.
Going back to Woody, at that time with Sir Bobby in charge and United in the Champions League it seemed like Newcastle could only build on their top four place but as we all know, they could not have drifted any further away.
What went wrong?
Many things but one was certainly the ambitious transfer policy.
Kevin Keegan once said: "You have to give the fans what they want at this club" but that policy is long gone at St James' Park.
Woodgate's signing fitted in with that idea, but he was also a good player and a big name as part of the bargain.
OK, he went on to be injury prone but to many he was one of the most talented defenders to have appeared for the Magpies.
Listening to the fans seems to have gone out of the window at St James' Park.
Consequently, in my opinion, this had made Toon fans miserable despite being top of the league.
And after stumbling across a bunch of media colleagues, who claimed that you should not give Newcastle fans what they want in a city that eats, sleeps and breathes black and white, I found this logic somewhat strange given that Newcastle United is the biggest thing in the city and the introduction of good players attracts big crowds which ultimately makes the club money.
The last time we were in this division, fans partied their way around the second tier and landlords nationwide rubbed their hands with glee whenever they spotted the masses of coaches coming into some of football's backwaters.
Keegan handed them stars like Lee, Cole, Sellars, then Beardo to Ferdinand, Tino to Shearer and then beyond under different managers.
This season, Toon fans have probably needed a drink on away days just to lighten the mood as they've plundered through with borrowed players and a free transfer.
But going back to Williamson, our second cash signing in the space of four days no less, he still arrives at the biggest club he's played for so far.
And while fans are unhappy, they know It's not the fault of the current players and I'm quite sure that Williamson will be given a warm welcome to Tyneside.
Good performances will make or break his Toon career but even he may fully appreciate that a grandstand arrival to St James' Park like an Owen or a Shearer is totally beyond him!
His understated arrival means that the only expectation is that he gives 110% in a black and white shirt.
If that coincides with promotion then all the better, and by the time May comes, he could find himself unable to walk down Northumberland Street.
And should Kilgallon and Sunderland - on the same 23 point total as relegated Newcastle last season - find themselves in the Championship again next .season and Williamson is heading the other direction with the Toon, it could well be happy ending for Big Mike (Williamson that is)