Three months after his darkest AFL moment, Bachar Houli has earned the sweetest redemption of all.
The half-back flanker delivered one of the best performances of his career as Richmond downed Adelaide in Saturday's grand final to claim their first premiership in 37 years.
Time and again, Houli was able to stave off the Crows' attacking forays and set up his teammates with his raking left foot, racking up 25 disposals, 11 marks and a goal.
Houli earned 10 votes in the Norm Smith medal count - not enough to eclipse winner Dustin Martin, who polled 13, but still a worthy representation of his huge impact.
Terry Wallace had Bachar Houli as best-afield, and the 29-year-old was the only player other than Martin to poll votes from each judge.
It was a remarkable redemption story for Houli, whose suspension for striking Carlton's Jed Lamb had been the defining moment of his season before to the grand final.
Houli, who denied intending to make high contact when he knocked out Lamb with a swinging arm, was initially banned for two games.
But then-AFL operations manager Simon Lethlean took the unprecedented step of appealing against the tribunal's penalty, leading to the suspension being doubled.
Houli returned for the Tigers in round 19 and didn't miss a beat, putting together a strong run of games capped by a brilliant grand final.
"To be honest, I had not much left in the tank," Houli said after the game.
"But that's the aim, because there's no next week, is there?
"The great thing is that everyone had their moment during the game and I'm really proud of the way we've connected as a team."
Houli famously used character references from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, media personality Waleed Aly and AFL diversity chief Ali Fahour during his tribunal hearing.
Fahour was later embroiled in his own controversy, stepping down from his post after video emerged of him punching a rival player during a suburban football game.
It was a disastrous saga for a player who had never previously been fined, let alone suspended, but Houli said he would not let it define him.
"People say 'is that a lesson?'," Houli said.
"For me, it's not a lesson.
"It's something that happened. I treated it really well and I had great support around me.
"I've come back to play consistent footy and that's the main thing."