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Blues ready to cash in

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:01 05 July 2010

Mark Boggis

FROM the brink of financial ruin to the final of a national competition at Wembley - and it's all been achieved inside 15 months.

Rewind to January 2007 and reigning Ridgeons League champions Lowestoft Town were holding crisis talks as they were one week away from closure and had to find £13,000 to pay the Inland Revenue.

Mark Boggis

FROM the brink of financial ruin to the final of a national competition at Wembley - and it's all been achieved inside 15 months.

Rewind to January 2007 and reigning Ridgeons League champions Lowestoft Town were holding crisis talks as they were one week away from closure and had to find £13,000 to pay the Inland Revenue.

But next month, the club will be hitting the national limelight as they tread on the Wembley turf for the first time in their illustrious 120-year history.

And even a 3-0 defeat in their second leg semi final tie last Saturday at Vase favourites Whitley Bay could not dampen the dream as a 16-man squad managed by joint Blues bosses Micky Chapman and Ady Gallagher proudly partied on the pitch having held on to win 4-3 on aggregate.

Now the Town management and officials are busily gearing up for their biggest-ever match at the home of football - and their opponents in the 2008 FA Carlsberg Vase final are themselves no strangers to giantkilling.

Lancashire club Kirkham & Wesham, who play in the North West Counties Division Two have had to negotiate nine rounds to reach the prestigious final.

Now they are hopeful of pocketing a cash bonanza from their trip to Wembley - while Lowestoft are equally aiming to reap the financial rewards.

Joint Blues boss Micky Chapman said: “Lowestoft Town are going to Wembley and it still really hasn't sunk in yet! We're over the moon with it though.”

Calling on the town to back Lowestoft to glory, it is now hoped that thousands of fervent fans - Trawlerboys and girls - will follow the team all the way to the Twin Towers - and yesterday Town chairman Geoff Price issued a rallying call to all local businesses to back The Blues.

“We want people to come along, to back us at Wembley and even help us out with sponsorship ideas ahead of the final,” he said.

Delighted main sponsor Gary Bennett said: “From over 14 months ago when we were on the verge of folding to now reaching a national final - all credit goes to everybody associated with Lowestoft, the players, management, committee and staff for getting this far.

“A big thank you goes to everyone at the club and all who've helped Lowestoft survive.”

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