Stalybridge Celtic FC, my history.
The 1990/1991 season, under the guidance of Phil Wilson, was undoubtedly a successful one.
My first game saw a dour 0-0 home draw with Frickley Athletic (Hughes, Bennett, Coathup, Dixon, Aspinall, Blackman, Booth, Armor, Diamond, McNally, Leicester) but that was just the beginning of the story. It being a mantra of the campaign to be solid at the back and build foundations from there, 1-0 home wins being a common occurrence.
That season saw a second place finish in the league brought and a well deserved runners up spot. With success and sustainability being achieved both on and off the pitch, it was a great thing to be around at the time.
The first game of the 1991/1992 season saw a 0-0 home draw with Bishop Auckland, yet it was clear from the outset that this team was a force to be reckoned with.
Thanks to the goal-scoring exploits of Camden, netting forty eight times in all competitions, points continued to be racked on the board and it was early December before a first league defeat was tasted, a 1-3 away loss at Gainsborough Trinity. However, even that reverse could not stop the juggernaut from marching on to its seemingly imperious end result.
The biggest win of the campaign came with a 7-0 home thrashing of Goole Town, Camden scoring four times. In the cups, the final qualifying round of the FA Cup was reached and perhaps surprisingly saw a 2-3 away reversal at Gretna, whilst a fine run in the FA Trophy saw a 0-1 defeat in the last sixteen away at Witton Albion and although the final of the Presidents Cup was reached, Morecambe prevailed with a 2-3 aggregate victory.
The only other league loss came in a 1-2 home reverse to Hyde United (Hughes, Bennett, Blackman, Dixon, Aspinall, Bauress, Brown, Edwards, Booth, Leicester) and whilst defeat against local rivals is never normally a cause for celebration, it was to be a joyous affair as results elsewhere meant the title was clinched with a mere two games to go.
This, in itself, was a surprising statistic as from the outset it had been a total domination of the league, one that never looked like being headed. Whilst the presence of the big man was missed on that occasion, it was thanks to him and indeed the contribution of each and every member of the squad that had made it a season to remember.
Stalybridge Celtic FC, promotion to the Football Conference secured, were now just one step away from that dream of a return to the Football League.