Briefly threatening the play-offs with a seven-match winning streak either side of Christmas in 2010, Mackay’s team was also a mirror image of their manager: Sweat on the jersey, as he called it, was the mandatory dress code. Maximum effort was the minimum requirement.
If you were there, or you can remember, Watford dismantling unbeaten leaders QPR at Loftus Road, Danny Graham’s 27 goals in a season, the opening-night win at Norwich or the 4-1 demolition of Cardiff in the fog, you were entertained by Mackay’s Watford.
If you were there, over the border in Bedfordshire, when Mackay scored against the noisy neighbours - it definitely crossed the line, by at least two inches - you rang in the New Year in high spirits 17 years ago.
And if you were there in the Welsh capital in May 2006, when Jay DeMerit’s flying header, James Chambers’ beautifully-crafted finish (sic) and Darius Henderson’s penalty sent the Hornets into the Premier League in the Championship play-off final, you will also remember Mackay’s value as a rock in the back four.