Well, the 72-year-old took on that challenge when he joined Crystal Palace later that year - and is still going strong some 14 years later, having managed no fewer than six clubs since.
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Put simply, Warnock loves football. Fans of the game, though, are just as fond of him. Footage of him interacting with a young fan at a recent pre-season friendly provided an example as to why the Middlesborough boss is so well appreciated by the masses.
Warnock is currently in the middle of a tour of Cornwall with his Championship side, taking on a number of lower league teams from the area in order to prepare for the campaign ahead.
On Wednesday evening, Warnock's men met Western League Premier Division side Tavistock in their fixture. As you might expect, the match itself wasn't much of a contest, with Middlesborough running out 7-0 winners.
What did catch the attention of fans, however, was the way that Warnock responded to an autograph request from a young fan at the game.
A video posted by Twitter user @LeeHall1977 of his young daughter's interaction with Warnock has gone viral after it showed the veteran manager quickly whipping out a pre-signed photo from a bum bag around his waist to give to the girl.
As you can see from the clip below, it's clear that Warnock has a stack of these pictures ready to give out on request and the footage got a huge response on social media.
"What a man. Unreal level of preparation," said one impressed fan.
"How can anyone not love this man," asked a further response.
"Warnock running the boot sale," joked another.
"You know you're class when you carry signed pictures of yourself around with you," stated a final supporter.
Even one of Warnock's former players got in on the action as ex-Palace winger Yannick Bolasie tweeted to share his opinion.
"What a guy! #Gaffer last of a dying breed," declared Bolasie.
Now, with all of Warnock's years of experience, he probably figured out long ago that it wasn't the best use of his time to be standing around signing for fans every time he bumped into them.
To go to the lengths of carrying a full bag of already-signed photos, though, is still a bit extreme - but then that's Warnock for you.News Now - Sport News