Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray and Doncaster Rovers boss Dean Saunders both paid their respects to Doncaster striker Billy Sharp after an emotional night at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday.
Earlier in the evening, Rovers announced that Sharp's two-day-old son Louie Jacob had tragically died on Saturday.
The crowd commemorated the infant's life with a minute's applause before kick-off and the former Sheffield United man sent them into raptures with his 14th-minute opener.
However, Barry Robson's double either side of Marvin Emnes' effort in first-half stoppage time, courtesy of a dreadful error from Rovers goalkeeper Neil Sullivan, gave Middlesbrough a 3-1 victory and sent their opponents to the foot of the Championship table.
"I knew what was going on all week and I also know the finer details of what happened, which is worse than you think," said Doncaster boss Saunders of Sharp's situation.
"He rung me last night and asked me if he could play - he wanted to play.
"He wanted to play to score a goal for his son and his family and he was ready to go. When he said that to me I couldn't really refuse.
"You won't score a better goal than that - it's incredible. I thought 'the story's already been written. He's going to end up with a hat-trick here and we're going to win 3-0'.
"It didn't turn out that way but I'm really proud that he wanted to play and it tells you a bit about him as a man. There's not many people who would have done that."
Goal from heaven
Middlesbrough boss Mowbray added: "Taking the professionalism out of it, I'm delighted for the boy that he's scored such a fantastic goal on such an occasion for him.
"It's amazing to think for anyone who's had children the emotional drain that must have been with him - I couldn't put it into words.
"For him to score a wondergoal, your headlines should be there really - a goal from heaven."