Having impressed with Preston North End, then-West Ham manager Alan Pardew decided to fork out £1m on right back Tyrone Mears.
The former Manchester City defender had proven himself as a versatile, athletic player who had been key to Preston's success in the 2005/06 season.
Yet despite having plenty of potential, Mears never got going at Upton Park, playing just six games for the Hammers before linking up with his former Preston boss Billy Davies at Derby.
Stops with Marseille, Burnley and Bolton Wanderers have followed, with Mears clearly struggling with injury problems throughout his career.
Now though, Mears is back in football after six months without a club, as MLS side Seattle Sounders have moved to snap him up on a free transfer.
"Tyrone is a player we had an opportunity to evaluate over the past summer when he trained with us in Seattle and we were very impressed with his pedigree," said Sounders manager Sigi Schmid. "He’s a fullback that is solid defensively, with the ability to posses the ball and to get forward in the attack. Tyrone is also a very good one-versus-one defender – a capability that is a key ingredient to success in our league – and we’re excited about his future with our club."
Mears, now 31, is clearly seen as the replacement for DeAndre Yedlin, the Sounders full back who is heading back to parent club Tottenham in the January transfer window.
Whilst he may not possess the same pace as Yedlin anymore, Mears can still be a force, and the Sounders will be hoping he can show some of the ability that made West Ham stump up to sign him.