Scott Boden's move to Chesterfield was such a protracted, on-off saga that he didn't dare let himself believe it was happening until the ink was dry.
The Spireites have been locked in talks with Gateshead, whose owner Ranjan Varghese finally decided last night to cash in on the striker.
With a transfer embargo placed upon them by the National League, the Heed were reluctant to sell one of only three forwards in their squad.
More than once the move looked a done deal, before being thrown up in the air.
So Boden was a happy and relieved man as he put pen to paper at the Proact today, returning to the club he last played for in 2013.
"I honestly can't tell you how pleased I am," he said.
"It's been an on-going saga for what seems like a long, long time. It's been on and off.
"To get it signed, I can't tell you how happy I am.
"Until I signed, I wasn't going to be over confident in it.
"It has been on and off a couple of times.
"Until it was done and dusted I wasn't prepared to put all my hopes on it."
Boden first became a Spireite as a teenager and made more than 100 appearances, winning a League Two title and the EFL Trophy.
Now 29, he feels like he's coming home.
"Effectively it's my club. I grew up a Sheffield United fan and from the age of 18 I was a Chesterfield lad, for five years in the end.
"Over the course of that time you become attached to a club and then you always look out for their results and follow their progress.
"It's always a club I've wanted to do well."
His departure from Gateshead has left Heed boss Ben Clark understandably unhappy, given the lack of strikers in his squad and his inability to replace Boden.
"As a player you just focus on what happens on the pitch, and that's all as players and management staff up there all you can effect," said the new Spireite.
"On the pitch it's gone really well. I've got nothing but positive things to say about Gateshead, they gave me the chance last summer to play football in this league.
"I'm grateful for what they did and it's led me to the opportunity I've got now and I'm going to grasp it with both hands."
When he reports for training tomorrow morning, it will be the third time Boden has worked under John Sheridan.
The presence of the man who guided Boden and his team-mates to the 2010/11 League Two championship was a factor in his decision to return.
"I had him when I was a lot younger, 10 years ago. I learned a lot under him as a young lad, he taught me a hell of a lot.
"I had him again at Newport.
"I like working under him, he played a massive part in making me want to come back."
Now that his future is secured and the 18-month deal has been signed, Boden can concentrate on trying to keep Chesterfield in the National League.
He's keen to add to the 11 goals he's already scored this season - although he'll have to wait, because he's cup tied for this weekend's FA Trophy clash.
"I've got three in three at the minute. I'll hopefully hit the ground running.
"It's going to be tough, but I'll have to try, no excuses, bed straight in and go from the off.
"My first game would be Halifax, but it's just going to be good to get in first thing tomorrow, meet everyone.
"It might be a good thing to watch a game, see a few of the players play.
"It'll just be good to be back in and around the Proact for a Chesterfield match.
"To come back here, I'm genuinely so delighted."