The wide man, deployed at both left-back and out on the wing, came through the ranks at St. James’ Park, but made only 32 senior appearances for the Magpies, and was sent out on loan several times.
Spells with Birmingham City and Rangers preceded a permanent move to Millwall in 2016, and after five years at The Den, the 30-year-old completed a switch to League One Rotherham United this summer.
Over the course of his career, however, Ferguson has amassed an impressive 50 caps for Northern Ireland, and he marked his half century by scoring a first goal for his country in almost a decade with a thunderbolt to win Sunday evening’s World Cup qualification clash against Estonia.
The ex-Toon talent was introduced in place of current Magpie Jamal Lewis just before the hour mark, and broke the deadlock shortly after with a superb long-range effort that glanced the inside of the post and left Estonia’s Matvei Igonen grasping at thin air.
Speaking after the final whistle, Ferguson said: “I knew when it left my foot it had a serious chance.
“I thought for a second the keeper might have saved it but, thankfully, it just crept in.
“It’s a great night for myself and my family. I’m delighted to score and to get the result.”
Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough added: “What a strike.
“It was always going straight into the top corner, it had got that trajectory.
“I love him and the way he goes about his work, he deserved that.”