St Mirren manager Danny Lennon and Kilmarnock counterpart Kenny Shiels praised both sets of fans for the ovation given to Liam Kelly.
The Kilmarnock midfielder made a cameo appearance in the Buddies' 4-2 win - his first since his father died at the end of his side's League Cup final.
"I think football was the true winner today with the lad Kelly coming on," Lennon told BBC Scotland.
"He got an absolutely fantastic reception from both sets of fans."
The 22-year-old Kelly replaced James Fowler in the 87th minute at St Mirren Park, taking the captain's armband.
And manager Shiels said: "It's good for Liam to get back playing again.
"He's been missed so much in the last couple of weeks."
Shiels was disappointed with the result at St Mirren Park but thought that luck had been against his side.
"I would say we were unfortunate losers," he said. "We've done well in the first half, we've come in at 1-1.
"They've had one attempt at goal and they're back in the game, it gives them inspiration.
"I think Danny will be the first to admit they got the break of the ball.
"The second one was an own goal by Ben Gordon, it was an unlucky deflection, the third goal was a blatant push and unfortunately the referee didn't see it and the fourth goal was a fantastic finish, but it was a clearance that come off him in the first place and it just epitomised the whole day that the ball was breaking for St Mirren.
"But I must say that I've been watching St Mirren a lot, the ball has been going against them a lot and they've been very unlucky since January and they deserved a break and unfortunately it's come today."