Tommy Wright hailed the “best-ever” moment of his career after his Corby Town side were crowned Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division champions.
The final-day showdown between morning leaders Poole Town and the Steelmen proved to be as dramatic as they come after a breathless second half.
Corby went into a 2-0 lead through Spencer Weir-Daley and Greg Mills, only for Poole to battle back to 2-2 – a scoreline that would have secured them the title.
But the Steelmen rallied and Wright set Weir-Daley up for the winner with just nine minutes to go.
The final whistle sparked wild scenes of celebrations from the huge army of travelling Corby fans.
And it all left Wright reflecting on the most remarkable of campaigns.
“It’s difficult to put into words,” he said.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a season but what we have done is every time we have slipped up we have bounced back. That’s what the lads have done.
“They have had their half-time and full-time slatings from me and I have been tough on them but it has always got a reaction.
“We were 2-0 up and cruising and then we have gone to the wire again. The boys have that grit to go to the end and I can’t be any more proud of them.
“They are a great bunch and if we can keep this team together then it can go places.
“The players are the ones who have done it, they deserve the plaudits they are going to get.
“But this is the best ever moment for me.
“I have won a trophy at Wembley but winning a title as a manager and seeing the lads do this makes me very proud.
“That’s our gift back to the board after they saved the football club last year.
“The transformation has been frightening and I can’t thank them enough for their support.
“Corby is a big town and this is a big club. They went down with no fight when they were relegated before but this Corby has some fight in it now.”
The Steelmen’s title success was something that didn’t seem possible a few weeks ago as Poole’s dreadful end to the season let them in with a chance.
Nonetheless, Wright is hoping the Dolphins join Corby in gaining promotion through the play-offs.
“All season we talked about points targets and we kept hitting them,” Wright added.
“It started to become real around January time but Poole and Weymouth were well clear.
“Weymouth slipped up and then Poole let us in at the last minute.
“The two best teams in the league battled it out on the last day, there is no doubt about that. Poole are a great club and I hope they go on and get promoted.”