Ronnie Moore was left choked up by the reception he got on his return to Prenton Park.
The Rovers favourite brought his Hartlepool team to the Wirral in a vital match in the League Two relegation battle.
It was the first time he had been back since being sacked for a breach of FA betting regulations last season.
And despite the importance of the occasion, all rivalries were put aside when Moore was given a standing ovation by many of the Tranmere fans.
“It’s just nice to be back here,” he said.
“The response was brilliant, I thank everybody for that.
“Sometimes you wonder what it’s going to be like, but it was outstanding – humbling, really.
“I was a little bit worried about what reception I might get.
“But you know me, it’s water off a duck’s back, whatever they had done or said.
“But I think they realise the situation and what happened shouldn’t have resulted in what happened.
“It’s nice to come back, just a pity we didn’t win.”
The draw means Hartlepool are still in deep trouble in League Two, nine points from safety, and the same amount behind Tranmere.
But they have now picked up six points in seven matches since Moore took charge in mid-December.
He knows it will take a monumental effort to keep the Monkey Hangers in the Football League.
But performances like that give the Hartlepool boss faith that they will still be in the division next season.
“If you ply that week in, week out, you’re going to win more games than you lose,” he continued.
“That’ll be the benefit for us.
“But it would have been nice to win, because it would have made it six points instead of the nine that it is as this present time.
“There’s still enough games, but we’ve got to start scoring goals.
“I felt that we really did deserve to win this game.
“That’s as good an away performance that I’ve seen from us.
“Not just 45 minutes, but we had a 70 minute spell where we were the better side.
“It’s always a point gained for us, but I’m disappointed.
“I thought we had better chances in the game, I thought we were the better team on the day.
“If we keep playing like that, we’ll be okay.”