Now he’s been invited to the party, the Wolves family can only hope he adds to it rather than spoiling it.
Yes folks, Jamie O’Hara is back in the fold and it’s surely only a matter of time before he’s wearing a gold shirt again after his appearance on the bench at Bradford on Saturday.
After all the positivity generated by the impressive results and the rebuilding of the relationship between players and fans instigated by head coach Kenny Jackett, the Molineux masses can only keep their fingers crossed that the decision to bring the former Tottenham midfielder out of exile is as successful as it has been carefully thought out.
The idea to re-engage O’Hara has come at a time when Wolves are flying – Saturday’s victory elevated them into the top two for the first time this season – so there cannot be any suggestions that they have turned to him in some act of desperation.
It’s also come at a time when Jackett is keen to bring some subtlety to Wolves’ football and introduce a system of three midfielders to help them play better ‘through the lines’, which should maximise the undoubted qualities of a fit O’Hara.
And his appearance in the matchday 18 came in an away game when Jackett could gauge the temperature and toxicity of his return to the senior squad away from the more intense spotlight of Molineux, where it may have taken centre stage.
There is also an argument that it is merited; O’Hara has been the stand-out player each time he has played in the Under-21s team.
As it was, O’Hara’s time on the pitch was limited to a head-bowed trudge down the touchline at the end of each half, not engaging with a fanbase he so enraged on that fateful afternoon at Brighton in May, then a lonely but wholehearted sprint round it as the supporters filed away after the final whistle.
But his time – his second chance, as Jackett calls it and claims O’Hara is “humbled” to receive – will undoubtedly come.
Like it or not, the fans he has divided must accept it.
And if Wolves are to put the sorry episode behind them, then everyone – the player, the fans, the club and the media – must move on.
Let’s face it, if Carlos Tevez can be successfully integrated into the Manchester City team again after going on strike for several months, then O’Hara must stand some chance of being accepted by Wolves fans again.
It’s not clear yet whether O’Hara will issue an apology for what happened at the AMEX Stadium.
But in keeping with the keenness of the players to re-engage with the supporters and rebuild bridges, all of which has been such a pleasing feature of the early months of the Jackett era, it surely wouldn’t do any harm.
Ultimately though, and as Jackett quite rightly acknowledges, the degree to which O’Hara is accepted or not by the Molineux faithful will be judged by what he does on the pitch.
As for how that will be greeted, the reaction on Saturday was unclear.
There were a few boos when his name was announced before the game but they were barely noticeable, while there were even a few isolated chants of ‘Jamie O’Hara’ as he sprinted round the pitch afterwards.
Maybe that fairly muted response gave us our answer.
Maybe most people see it like Jackett does and believe O’Hara is “humbled” and are happy that he has served his punishment.
What’s also intriguing is if he gets back into the team, who will he replace?
O’Hara’s appearance in the 18 on Saturday was also down to the fact that Jack Price, who apart from Danny Batth is arguably the most impressive of the young guns to have emerged under Jackett, was struck down by another migraine on Friday morning.
Price and Kevin McDonald, who probably had his best game in a Wolves shirt on Saturday, are both playmakers like O’Hara and neither deserve to be axed on their latest performances.
This startling turnaround also says something about Jackett, namely that he is prepared to forgive and forget for the greater good of the club. He will be hoping his decision works out as well as his change of mind after 24 minutes on Saturday.
The head coach held his hands up afterwards to admit he got it wrong as Wolves toiled anaemically initially against a determined Bradford outfit who were more robust and sharper before the arrival of Kevin Doyle for the blameless Lee Evans and a switch back to 4-4-2.
From that moment on, Wolves looked more comfortable, and, after conceding in the first attack of the game in the 13th minute when Raffaele De Vita netted at the second attempt after Batth blocked his first shot on the line following Kyel Reid’s deep cross, they didn’t look back.
Just like Jackett’s double switch at Port Vale took the game away from the opposition, a similar trick tipped the scales in Wolves’ favour at Valley Parade.
Before his arrival, Leigh Griffiths fired a couple of shots wide, but as soon as Doyle appeared, Wolves suddenly looked as if they had found their purpose.
Four minutes after his arrival, they were level when the excellent James Henry made the most of a real hash by Bradford’s defence and goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin to sidefoot home from the edge of the box after Kevin McDonald found him after a mix-up between Gary Jones and James Meredith on 28 minutes.
Henry’s second goal in a week was quickly followed by Richard Stearman’s first since September 2012 when he glanced home the on-loan Millwall winger’s cross on 32 minutes.
Their tails up, Henry whistled a shot inches wide 10 minutes before the break. But, backed by a noisy and partisan home crowd, a comeback was always on the cards however.
And it took all the resolute defending, concentration and determination from a defence that has conceded only eight times in League One this season to keep out Bradford, who were fortified by the introduction of fit-again dangerman Nahki Wells at half-time.
Battering ram James Hanson should have done better with a header that flew straight at Carl Ikeme, who was then involved in the game-changing moment in the 67th minute.
It was impossible to tell on first glance whether Ikeme brought down Reid or Reid dived – Jackett and Bradford boss Phil Parkinson had understandably opposite views – but referee Graham Salisbury was in no doubt that it was the latter and promptly booked the flying winger.
The inspired Ikeme blocked three shots from Wells as Bradford’s onslaught reached its height in the closing minutes.
But Wolves, whose isolated second-half threats came from a shot from Griffiths just wide and a wild finish by Henry after he slalomed through, held firm in what will be seen as a massive three points against a team sure to be one of their promotion rivals.
Now we must wait to see what how that chase for a return to the Championship will be shaped with O’Hara back in their plans.
It promises to be an interesting journey for everybody.