IT was worth the wait. Stephen Carr hoisted the Carling Cup at Wembley Stadium more than a decade after he did the same with Spurs.
The former Irish international, who quit football in December 2008, crowned his three-year rise back to the top of the game with a captain's performance against hapless Arsenal to bank only his second trophy in a 20-year career as a professional.
In fact, he was so good against the Gunners that many who watched wondered if a phone call from Giovanni Trapattoni might be in order.
Carr will never go back on his decision to quit international football but there is little doubt that he is the best Irish right-full playing in the Premier League at the moment.
"It's frightening how it's worked out. The gaffer gave me a chance and I took it. Two years later, I'm lifting the trophy. People write you off. So to come out and win a cup, it's a fairytale," said a delighted Carr after Birmingham shocked Arsenal 3-1.