He ended his article with the words... "Now let us hope Morecambe can make it a Lancashire double that would be something for the sporting scrapbook!"
It didn't happen then but it has now - in spectacular style - with a victory at Wembley. Chris was there and he reflects on that great day...
What a game, what a result, what timing, what an achievement!
The words need repeating "Morecambe are in the Football League!" I spoke a year ago of how Accrington Stanley's return to the big time was one of the great sporting achievements but now Morecambe have matched it.
This small seaside town, where my grandmother ran a boarding house for many years, has been on the verge of getting into the big time for some time. Always punching above their weight and finally creating a team which was good enough to grace the new Wembley stadium. And what a way to get promotion.
|"Winning promotion at Wembley in front of 40,000 fans leaves everyone with memories they will never forget."|
|BBC Radio Lancashire News Editor Chris Rider|
Stanley did it in style leading from the front and their route was the direct one. Morecambe walked along a more precarious path, littered with egg shells but winning promotion at Wembley in front of 40,000 fans leaves everyone with memories they will never forget. In the end it was a better way to go up as the Stanley manager John Coleman, a former Morecambe legend, admitted to our sports reporter Phil Cunliffe on BBC Radio Lancashire.
It was not all plain sailing. A goal down against York, their keeper injured ; a goal down against Exeter, a missed penalty. The omens didn't look good but as every football fan knows - sometimes the gods do smile on you. If you don't mind the tension it's always better to win a game coming from behind. And the better the goal the greater the satisfaction , made even sweeter by being a rasping drive which bulged the net in the top corner and was at the Morecambe end. Yes, it did all just come together.
All my early holidays were spent in Morecambe so the fortunes of the local team were always of interest. I remember going to Christie Park with my grandad in the days when Morecambe had two fairgrounds, proper illuminations and a pier. The resort and the club became the butt of jokes from comedian Colin Crompton who spoke of lap of honours when the team got a corner. Well not any more. We have been to Wembley thank you.
And what of the new stadium, impressive for sure and our getaway was trouble free but it carries with it all that is modern, better seats and facilities but all at a price. You will all know about the £8 burgers but I took my butties in with me and managed to sneak two bottles of water in without having the plastic tops being confiscated. Of course such a top can be a such a lethal weapon . Can anyone tell me why the FA insist on such an authoritarian approach ? And why were so many police and stewards needed for a game involving two teams with no previous for football violence?
When I walked up Wembley Way through the several rows of police standing across the road several yards apart I thought I was back in the seventies at the time of the miner's strike. However, I thought the stewards who separated the Exeter fans from a section of empty seats did a great job!
Anyway all that matters not, Morecambe are there. It's not the end of the story just another exciting chapter.
- The BBC do not condone the smuggling of bottle tops.