The Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Jean Flaherty, welcomed the Warrington Town squad and management team for a Civic Reception at the Town Hall last week.
Manager Mark Beesley, chairman Toby Macormac and the first team squad, led by skipper Josh Amis, mixed with local dignitaries before an address in the chamber at the historic Grade I listed building.
Photo opportunities then followed on the Town Hall steps and in front of the famous Golden Gates, symbolic to the town and which are celebrated in the football club’s logo.
In her address, the Mayor said: “I am really pleased to congratulate you all on being promoted to National League North. It’s a fantastic success.
“I noted that you are approaching the 75th anniversary of being the home team of football in Warrington and it’s great that you’ve achieved this success ahead of that anniversary, and also great that you’ve achieved this success on the 58th anniversary of former player Roger Hunt winning the FA Cup with Liverpool.
“You’ve made Warrington Town a football club with a great, bright future and a football club we can all be proud of as a town, and I am very proud of you all.”
The Civic Reception was kicked off by Steven Broomhead MBE, chief executive of Warrington Borough Council, to mark the club’s achievement in earning promotion to National League North, the highest level of football that the town has ever seen.
Isaac Buckley-Ricketts’ dramatic late winner earned a 1-0 win in the play-off final against Bamber Bridge following a long season that saw the Yellows finish second in the Northern Premier League, the club’s highest ever finish.
Prof Broomhead added: “Sometimes people think Warrington is about rugby only, but we support every sport in the town. Football is really important to us, and when you play next season there will be some big teams coming to Cantilever Park like Hereford, Scunthorpe United and others, and the town will reap the benefits of that.”
The club previously enjoyed a Civic Reception back in July 2016, to celebrate Warrington Town winning the Northern Premier League First Division North and the visit of Northern Irish side Crewe United for the then annual Peace Cup tournament.
Barely two weeks since promotion, preparations are already well underway for the new campaign in National League North, with the FA confirming earlier this week the 24 clubs that will be participating in the competition next season.
Club chairman Toby Macormac said: “It’s been a difficult season operating on low resources and a small squad of players. But it is that camaraderie and the tightness of the group of all the players working so hard for each other, coupled with the relentless hours that all staff put in, that helped get us over the line and give the town a new level of football to enjoy.
“It’s that new level of football that will bring many new people to the town, some of those arriving on Friday evenings to spend the weekend with their families, watching their team and therefore having a positive impact on the business community in warrington.
“On the field, in around six weeks time preparations for a new journey will begin, one of which all the players and staff are looking forward to and will include visits to and from renowned clubs such as Scunthorpe United, Hereford, Chester and Boston United, which hopefully will all be sell out crowds.
“Off the field, preparations have already began planning how we can make upgrades to our current venue in a timely manner to ensure that we stay in the new competition and give us a platform to push on even further.
“Who knows, maybe next April we’ll have the chance to take Warrington Town Football Club even higher.
“In the interim though, we will visit all new grounds, meet all new supporters and with the help of everyone here, deliver a level of football this town deserves.”
Photos by Sean Walsh