After clinching the NWCFL Premier Division title on Saturday, representatives from Colne gave their reaction to the day’s events.
Manager Steve Cunningham: “In the last couple of minutes of the game, we just knew it was there, and was for us. Credit to 1874, they played the game in the right spirit, and were very complimentary at the end as well.
“Two years ago I took the job on and said I would win the league for them in three years, so to do it in two years, a year earlier than planned is brilliant.
“The lads have been absolutely tremendous, as has the support from the club and this is a reward for absolutely everybody.
“We have had a lot of doubters and knockers, but we have done it the right way and in the right spirit and we are worthy champions.
“I said from day one we would win the league, we have a great set of players, and we have done our talking on the pitch.
“The league table doesn’t lie, we have finished top and have only lost four from 42 games, and that is tough to do, there haven’t been many teams that have done that. It’s the toughest league in the pyramid, with no play offs.
“I feel sorry for Runcorn Linnets, they have finished second three years running and that will be hard to take. I was captain there, I have a lot of friends there, I wish them all the luck next year but today is all about us”.
Hon. Life President Dave Blacklock, who was involved in the club’s formation in 2006:
“28 years ago today, back in 1988, Colne Dynamoes won the same trophy on goal difference from Rossendale United. I got married that day but I was there for the celebrations afterwards, and now here we are again.
“It’s unreal that this has happened, considering where we started. We had a season when we finished bottom of the old Second Division. It’s just fantastic”.
Chairman Shaun O’Neill: “It’s an absolutely outstanding achievement. It was just a dream at the start of the season, and it’s all come true and I am overwhelmed.
“This morning I was very nervous, and at half time I was panicking a bit, but I have had faith in the manager all season and they are a brilliant set of lads.
“We’d only been thinking about today, but now we have the chance of a league and cup double, it’s brilliant.
“We haven’t started thinking about next season yet, but we will put some investment in and see what we can do”.
Secretary Ed Lambert: “I feel ecstatic but it has aged me about 20 years this afternoon.
“As the game went on and we heard Linnets were scoring goal after goal, it put us under a little bit of pressure, but then scoring a goal with seven minutes to go lifted the pressure off.
“We were always aiming to give it a go this year, but I don’t think we were down as favourites. Cunny made some astute signings on deadline day that I think has just pushed us across the line, and now we look forward to next season”.