BOSS Paul Smith has dedicated Bromsgrove Sporting’s league title to former chairman Jon Prescott who passed away suddenly last summer.
The Midland League Division One champions were dealt an emotional hammer-blow before their history-making season got underway when Mr Prescott, 69, was found dead at his family home in July last year.
To keep Mr Prescott’s memory alive, the hashtag campaign #DoItForJon was set-up on social media by fans.
And nine months later the Rouslers could finally celebrate securing the league title, with five games to spare, as they beat local rivals Studley 2-0 at the Victoria Ground yesterday (Saturday) in front of 1,351 fans – a new league record attendance.
Robbie Bunn and Jason Cowley got the all-important goals for Sporting and boss Smith told the Standard Mr Prescott would be immensely proud of the club’s achievement.
“Jon was absolutely brilliant at the club and did so much so he will be up there watching and will be over the moon with what we have achieved this season,” he said.
“I am sure he would have been the first person in the queue to congratulate me and would have had a little tear in his eye.
“If he was still here today he probably would have said we have conceded too many goals this season because he was a jolly good fellow.
“Winning the league is massive for everyone at this club and I’m lost for words.”
Sporting were far from their best against Studley but they eventually got the breakthrough they deserved after 21 minutes when Bunn beautifully curled home an effort from the edge of the area into the far corner.
Play was then stopped after 77 minutes when Studley defender Keith Draper suffered what looked to be a dislocated elbow following a collision with Cowley.
Following a lengthy delay after waiting for an ambulance to take Draper away, Sporting made sure of the title when Cowley smashed in a free-kick from the edge of the area in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
Victory did not matter though on the day as chasers Leicester Road and Hinckley AFC suffered 2-1 defeats to Pershore Town and Chelmsley Town respectively.
The three points for Sporting extended their unbeaten league run to 33 games and Smith said finishing as invincibles is now the aim.
“Winning the title is what we set out to do at the start of the season and it is brilliant to have achieved that with five games to go,” he added.
“I am over the moon for the players as they have been out of this world for me.
“I have put a lot of pressure on them and I have worked them very hard but they have all bought in to what I have asked them to do and got their just rewards.
“We have got five games left and my aim now is to finish the season without losing which would be fantastic.”