In a pledge to his company’s president he said: “We won’t let you down. We believe.”
His voice straining either through emotion or just sheer exhaustion, Phil was still triumphant.
“It is a very emotional day. The low point of my career was when I had to make the announcement that the plant was being mothballed - but this is the high point.
“It gives me great personal satisfaction and there are tears of joy. But this is a heritage industry and we must operate better than ever.”
And Mr Win himself said belief was at the centre of the last few months for him.
“There was never a moment when I doubted this would happen,” he said.
“We believe in our people.” Asked if he had called his father to tell him what had happened he said:
“It’s midnight in Bangkok - I’ll ring him in the morning.”
Restart project director Derek Thomas was planning to open a bottle of Champagne that he has had on ice for far too long, Brought in because of his wealth of experience, it was still a new challenge for him.
“It’s been a long nine months since I started here,” he told the Gazette while staring up at the furnace just a few feet away.
“I’ve never seen anything like this done in all my years. I have been the pilot of the project and now I need to be the co-pilot as someone takes over running it all.”
For Phil Dryden, the rest of the day would be spent with his 82-year-old father - and then it will be back to work to follow through on the remarkable events of Sunday afternoon.
As you drive through the 12sq km site towards the furnace there is a new sign at the side of the road reading: “Just because you always did it that way doesn’t mean it’s right”.
That has Phil Dryden written all over it and signals clearly his intention to drive ahead the project - with the whole of Teesside carrying him along.