Martin Jol remembers Stuart Pearce well from when he broke into league football at Coventry City and reports that all the characteristics we all came to know so well were very much in evidence even then.
It was back in 1983 when the now Manchester City boss teamed up with Martin at the City Ground having made the leap from non-league football with Wealdstone at the age of 21.
Pearce went on to be signed by Brian Clough for Nottingham Forest and became an England mainstay in the left full-back position, winning 78 caps for his country. The fact he achieved so much as a player was no surprise to our Head Coach, who now feels Pearce has what it takes to succeed in management.
"I played with him at Coventry City, he is real character and will motivate them," said Martin. "They have to do the business for him and he has to do it in a tough league.
"He looked much older than he was back then, I think he was only 21 when he joined and I was pretty young as well! He was amazing, a tough guy and later he was a top England player.
"He is a typical Englishman - an unbelievable character. He was one of the toughest players I played with and he had very big thighs - like Pamarot. He could play, he played in the England team so he must have been good. A very good lad in the dressing room too."
With Pearce and Jol on the training ground, it must have been pretty tasty when it come to practice matches and five-a-sides, but Martin reminds that there was another tough customer on Coventry's books at the time.
"We had another one - do you know Brian Kilcline? He was a bit similar...
"I don't want to bluff, but I didn't get out of the way for any player and they didn't. So it was good in training!"
Pearce is now aiming to use the remaining nine games of the season to convince the Manchester City board he is the right man for the job and Martin suspects the fact he knows the players from his former coaching position will work in his favour.
"As he said last week, it is all about results and there are only nine games left for him," added Martin. "He has already been there a couple of years and I think he knows his players - that is probably the thinking behind it.
"I think he could be a good manager. He was strict and a leader on the pitch even though he was only young - he was a big personality, in his way."