AFC Bournemouth were last night celebrating after a 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers effectively sealed their promotion to the Premier League.
The win took the Cherries three points clear of third placed Middlesbrough with just one game left. Only a Middlesbrough win and a 19-0 defeat on Saturday could ruin their dreams. However Charlton Athletic, who they play in their final game on Saturday 2nd May, are still jokingly optimistic, posting this on their official Twitter page…
“Bournemouth celebrating like they’ve completely ruled out a 19-0 defeat at The Valley on Saturday. We’ll see… #cafc” @CAFCofficial
The goals came from Marc Pugh, Matt Ritchie and Callum Wilson which resulted in huge scenes of celebration amongst the home fans and a pitch invasion after the final whistle.
“It will take some time to sink in really because we’ve been so intense and the games have come so quickly that you really do focus on each one as though your life depends on it and then when its over its difficult to sum up how you feel.
“But it’s a great day for the football club, great day for our supporters and we’re just really pleased to be able to make them feel like this.”
Bournemouth’s story has a true fairytale ending. In 2008 they were in administration and close to liquidation and only just avoided relegation in 2009, the year Eddie Howe took over. At the time Eddie was just 31 years old and became the youngest boss in the Football League.
Over the years Eddie has guided the team through the ranks and they now head into what can only be described as the most financially rewarding league in world football, the Premier League.
Eddie told Radio 5 Live “This club was on its knees six years ago”
“We had nothing. A group of supporters put their money in their pockets to keep the club alive and they are reaping the rewards. It is the club I watched as a kid, the club that gave me an opportunity in the game as a player and a manager.
“It shouldn’t be them thanking me, it should be me thanking them. It is a family club and deserves its moment in the sun.”
In April 2015 Eddie was named as the first Football League Manager of the Decade at the 10th annual Football League awards ceremony and is considered one of the most talented young managers in the game. He said at the time on hearing of his award “It’s a privilege to pick up the award. A real surprise given the people that could have been chosen for the award. We’re (Bournemouth) still in control of what we do this season, in a fantastic position so we’ll see what happens.”
Harry Redknapp, who has previously been described as Bournemouth’s best manager, praised Eddie saying “I had 10 years at Bournemouth and I was the most successful manager in their 100-year history. Eddie Howe has come along and blown me out of the water. He is fantastic – I love watching them play. If I wasn’t involved next year, I’d buy a couple of season tickets and watch them every week.”
Social media erupted after Bournemouth’s win with messages of congratulations coming from all over…
“Congratulations to Bournemouth. Their first ever season in the Premier League and the oldest pitch invasion in football history.” @GaryLineker
Congrats to Bournemouth on promotion to the PL..fairytale stuff-Bet the players aren’t washing their kit like they were when I loaned there! @rioferdy5
“Tell you who don’t play boring football; Bournemouth. They’ll be an excellent addition to the PL. Look forward to welcoming them on MOTD.” @GaryLineker
Barring a 19-goal final day swing (!), @afcbournemouth will become the 47th team to play in the #BPL. Congrats! @premierleague
The achievements of Eddie Howe at Bournemouth make me wonder whether we’ve possibly found the English ‘special one’. @GaryLineker
Congratulations to @afcbournemouth. I have enjoyed watching you play and making history! Welcome to @premierleague @ThierryHenry
And likewise the team were quick to thank their fans…
What a night. What a club. What a dream come true, thanks for all your support and positivity especially my family and wonderful GF @ShaunMac20
What a night last night! Boys have been amazing all season… Can’t believe we are going to the prem. Thanks for all the kind messages @b_cargill
Words can’t describe how I feel! Amazing scenes from the fans last night! Been great all season! So happy for the lads. #PremierLeague @AdamSmith912
How’s everyone’s heads?! What a night. Can’t stop smiling. What a bunch of lads we have here @SteveCook28
And the Chairman Jeff Mostyn tweeted “OMG just got home 0250 What has just happened so proud of everyone @afcbournemouth on promotion to the @premierleague #DreamsDoComeTrue” @jeffmostyn
The 2015/16 Premier League will begin on Saturday 8th August.
Photos courtesy of AFC Bournemouth – @afcbournemouth