As throw-in time approached at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening for Mayo's first round qualifier game, a rolling applause began to break out at the Limerick venue.
It was for Tom Parsons, the Mayo midfielder whose season was ended prematurely by a severe knee injury suffered in the Connacht quarter-final against Galway.
A bit more mobile after an initial few rough weeks following the injury, the 29-year-old was out and about again.
"Travelling up to the game with my wife, I had this sick feeling in my gut," Parsons told RTÉ Sport's Darren Frehill on Monday morning. Parsons was in Montrose to help with the second round draw of the football qualifiers. Mayo were pulled out for a tricky tie away to Tipperary.
Seeing the guys and the players come off the bus and going into the dressing room and I’m going the opposite way - I'm going to the stand.
It was nearly a reality check, ‘oh I’m not going to play today’. I was walking up along the stand and I had a magic reception from the Mayo supporters and it was really welcoming. It settled me and I felt really at home and enjoyed the game then. The players put in a big performance.
It was actually a really nice experience, it was really good for me to get a game and get out of the house. The first time you get out there and meeting people again in your sporting environment, it can be tough. To be honest, it was a really special and magical experience.
Parsons last month underwent what will be the first of two surgeries. His condition has improved over the past two weeks - he can now do some exercises and aided walking but is still taking his recovery one day at a time.
Asked if his wife, who is a physio, was the understanding type, Parsons replied, "Very much so. We were just married in December. When they say for better and for worse, here's the worse time."
Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile