Lowestoft Town: This was our 'greatest day'
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 May 2014
It has been hailed as the greatest day in the history of Lowestoft Town.
After three successive years of play-off heartbreak, dreams of Conference football were realised in stunning fashion this week when the Blues swept aside AFC Hornchurch and secured promotion with a 3-0 win in front of nearly 2,700 fans at Crown Meadow.
And people in Lowestoft could soon have a chance to share in the Trawlerboys’ triumph, with news that plans are in the pipeline for a special celebratory event.
Officials at Waveney District Council are drawing up proposals for a civic celebration – possibly a street parade – that will allow people to congratulate the team and club officials.
The Blues secured promotion to the Skrill Conference set-up for the first time in their history with a resounding win in the Ryman League premier division play-off final on Monday.
The victory prompted huge celebrations – and finally brought to an end a run of agonising defeats that had seen them lose in the promotion play-offs in the previous three seasons.
It also gave the club revenge over the side that beat them in the promotion decider in 2012.
Congratulating the Trawlerboys on their “fantastic result”, council leader Colin Law confirmed that talks had been held with club officials with a view to organising a civic celebration.
He said: “We’ve already begun discussing the possibility of a celebration event in the town to give the club some thoroughly-deserved recognition and for the people of Lowestoft to cheer their local heroes.
“We obviously want to make sure we come up with something that suits the club and hopefully we will be able to announce something shortly.”
The proposal to stage a celebratory event was backed by Waveney MP Peter Aldous.
“Things like this are very appropriate,” Mr Aldous said. “It is a good way for the community to congratulate the club and say a special ‘thank you’.”
In May 2008, Lowestoft Town’s footballers were given a heroes’ welcome by hundreds of fans on a civic parade, which was organised by the council to honour the club’s achievements in reaching the FA Vase final at Wembley.
Reflecting on the club’s promotion, Bob Blizzard – patron of Lowestoft Town and club director – said: “Monday’s win was the greatest day in the history of Lowestoft Town FC. For me personally it was almost as thrilling as being elected as MP for the first time in 1997.
“This remarkable success is good for Lowestoft as a town. Our status is enhanced and Lowestoft will become a better-known place from its football team playing at a higher level.
“The town has had some knockbacks, but this helps us feel more confident about our ability to do well... We now need to ensure we stay at a higher level. We need the fans who turned out in force on Monday to become regular supporters to ensure higher gate receipts.
“We also need more business support and there are now good opportunities for local companies to promote themselves by sponsoring a high-level football club that will feature on the national stage.”
He added: “As a director and the patron of the club, I feel so proud of the team and the managers. We owe so much to our chairman, Gary Keyzor, who has made it all possible through his total commitment to the club.”
With the Blues having now secured promotion to the Skrill Conference set-up, Mr Aldous said he believed the club was “well set” for the challenges that lay ahead.
He said: “Praise has to go to the management, staff and all the players for all their efforts over the last few seasons, and particularly in the last few months when the games have come in such a short space of time.
“The club has risen to the challenge and this new opportunity creates a feelgood factor in the town, and really puts Lowestoft on the map. It is very good for the whole area.”
Echoing these sentiments, Lowestoft mayor June Ford said that the Trawlerboys’ promotion was a “perfect end” to her mayoral term of office.
She said: “There is hope it will be good for the town. There is a lot of good going on in Lowestoft and this win will help to emphasise this. “Hopefully it is the beginning of something wonderful,” she added. “It is the perfect end to my year as mayor.”