Evo-Stik Northern Premier League champions Shaw Lane AFC have dedicated their league and cup double to Dan Wilkinson.
Under the headline ‘From heartbreak to victory’, the EVO-STIK NPL First Division South champions dedicated their 1-0 win over Frickley Athletic in the final of the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup on Wednesday night to the defender who collapsed on the pitch during an Integro League Cup clash at Brighouse Town back in September and later passed away aged 24.
After following up their Easter title success by beating the Blues with a Spencer Harris header eight minutes from time at Sheffield United’s Brammall Lane, the Ducks posted: “Every game has been played with Dan uppermost in everyone’s hearts and minds. The lads were determined to win the league for Dan and they did just that and then went on to win the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup.
“The lads never doubted that with Dan as their 12th man they would win the league and gain promotion to the NPL Premier Division for him. #LetsDoItForDan became the mantra and the season has concluded with the Ducks doing the the double for Dan.”
Shaw Lane manager Craig Elliott, who is looking forward to helping The Dan Wilkinson Foundation this summer after it was set up with the blessing of his family in the wake of his death to raise funds to screen more players for heart problems, also heaped praise on his side before they are crowned champions on Saturday after hosting Stamford in their final outing of the season.
Elliot said: “It’s been a massive week for us all to do what we’ve done, I’m nice over the moon. It’s been full on the last four weeks. We looked a little jaded but the important thing is we have got over the line.”
The Ducks collected the silverware for the first time in their history a year on from withdrawing from the competition 24 hours before the last season’s final, also against EVO-STIK NPL Premier Division Frickley Athletic.