Wealdstone followed fellow National League champions Barrow and King’s Lynn Town with their own championship celebrations on Friday night, writes Dec O’Reilly.
The Stones were crowned National League South champions for the first time in the club’s history last month and are preparing to play at the top of the Non-League pyramid after a 32-year wait.
Captain Jerome Okimo finally got his hands on the trophy with his teammates at The Vale 37 days after being confirmed as champions via points-per-game on the eve of today’s National League play-off semi-finals to decide who goes up with them.
Players and staff were greeted at the entrance to The Vale with a Wealdstone-branded face mask and had to fill out a track and trace form, aligning with COVID-19 restrictions.
— Wealdstone FC (@WealdstoneFC) July 25, 2020
In a world before coronavirus, the champions would have been serenaded by over 2,000 ecstatic fans engulfed in spring sunshine. Instead, only 30 people were allowed in the ground by Hillingdon council, including the players and management team.
“Gutted” Stones Chairman Rory Fitzgerald promised fans they’d be organising another part they could attend after Friday’s celebrations. “I’m gutted that our fans were unable to join us when we lifted our trophy and marked our return to the National League,” he said.
“Our supporters have waited over three decades for this moment and we will organise a celebration with you all when it is suitable to do so. It was a unique experience for all 30 people and one they may never witness again, but it was an experience nobody will ever forget.”
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Images courtesy of The Non-League Paper, Adam Williams & @WealdstoneFC/Twitter