Although the promotion from Championship to Premier League was probably more important for financial and club profile reasons, the promotion from League One to the Championship was more emotional for the fans, as it was the first sign that the club was really moving forward after years of stagnation. There was a real buzz about the place again, tinged with sadness that the clubs saviour, Marcus Liebherr was no longer around to enjoy the fruits of his investment.
So, these are the thoughts of some of the IBO forum regulars after the final game of the 2010-11 season on Saturday 7th May 2011 against Walsall. The pictures on the day were from several IBO sources. If you click on each thumbnail picture you will find it will zoom out to full size.
• Guly 26 • Connolly 29 • Oxlade-Chamberlain 68
• Gray 45+3
Saturday 7th May 2011 - St.Mary's
Referee : Scott
Attendance : 31,653
From the pages of IBO
Selected posts from the itsbeautifuloutside forum :
The ref edging ever closer to the touchline just before he blew the whistle.......he certainly wasn't fooled by the pleas to stay off the pitch.
AOC hitting the post.....first touch of the ball.
Morgan making things look so easy
The Waterfront being even busier than usual.
Morgan's tackle to set up the move for the first goal & his exceptional passing ability.
The Walsall fans cheering every Peterborough goal (and the fancy dress in their end, Stewie Griffin was a personal fave!).
My son's target for a pat on the back (Jaidi) moving faster to get off the pitch than he has all season (top player!).
The Walsall players coming out along the Itchen to meet their fans to celebrate staying up.
The bloke getting slung out of the Waterfront for abusing Kathy and the barmaids and then spending an hour in the car park at Shamrock moaning about "where can I get a fecking sandwich?"!
It was a day that just kept giving!!
Morgan and Oxo coming back and Saints seeming to play with freedom.
Other than that I didn't feel much elation until this morning. Probably the highlight of the day was hearing Oxo's mum on the radio being so positive about Saints.
Aye no2 especially... despite the good run, the fare served up has been more utilitarian than utopian; but with those 2 back, it showed us what we'd been missing. The Spider/Guly/DC combos in the first half were mouthwatering, then we throw on the Ox to finish them off...could've been scripted.
The times when the whole stadium was singing "We are going/staying up" in unison were quite uplifting.
Getting 50-odd Brighton fans singing OWTS (slow version) on the train home.
The Rover :
I enjoyed the day natch but the abiding memory will probably be the loud voice of the plonker sat next to me. He found his seat next to his young son and friend late, moaning that he didn't know where his seat was because they wouldn't answer their phones.
For the rest of the game he complained that we had been crap at crosses and corners all season and that the players should realise that we still wanted to win the game (even at 3-1 up).
I would have said something but he looked the violent type so I just decamped and stood at the front near Daren Wheeler and his be-suited mates near the end.
Morgan playing like Glenn Hoddle. Lallana clearly being desperate to score and being uncharacteristically greedy, trying to walk it in throughout the game.
Not invading the pitch then being shocked to discover that my 59-year-old, infant teacher mother HAD. My dad buying and wearing a Saints shirt.
A whole ground full of football fans, home and away, being happy.
channonite (referring to The Rover's bit about Darren Wheeler) :
I saw them outside the ground and thought that was a bit OTT. Then burst out laughing when I saw them in the ground by the corner flag doing penguin impressions at the first corner on their side!
The Walsall fans rocking with the Saints fans to We are going/staying up.
Corporate was much better than I thought. I could get used to it.
Morgan, Guly, DC, Oxo, Fonte, Deano - what a performance.
Just a great day to see our fans see some success for a change. Prefered Plymouth as my name was in the programme on the day we sealed promotion and seeing old familiar faces just really happy.
re-read and my paragraph above makes me seem like a superfan I loved the Walsall game too
Found a chicken in the back fridge so lunch was chicken sarnis on the boat over.
Looking for Vasco in the Itchen bar and finding Steg.
Too much showboating.
Guly's goal. Their goal. Oxo's goal.
Standing to clap Walsall.
Meeting another scummer in another sash shirt in the Chinky in Ryde.
Yes. Standing up and applauding the Walsall fans when the announcer gave the Boro Daggers score was a cool moment. And indeed, seeing their players scramble through the melée to commune with their fans.
I liked the way the Saints and Walsall fans applauded each other.
I also enjoyed the celebratory pint in Crashhot's local.
Finding out that Chappy was a nice chap was also pleasant.
Getting to the ground early enough that I could take my daughter on a full lap of the ground before the match. To, well, lap it up. Being delighted to hear that Oxo was on the bench. Brushing them aside for the first half an hour with some stuff that swashed the buckles. Morgan's quite brilliant tackle to set the move on it's way, compounded by Connolly's wonderful vision to play a first time ball in to Guly. All stands cheering on their team and celebrating as one. But having time to also enjoy Walsall's success; wouldn't get that at Pompey, or many other places for that matter. Then the final whistle and my daughter not wanting to go on to the pitch because she thought it was illegal. Then the way she ran out with delight when she saw her 65 year old granny on the pitch, who hadn't even been at the game but had snuck in for the last five minutes! Then watching my daughter wander round in awe, picking bits of turf and balloons; any memento from the day. Somehow she didn't need telling how important it was. Her second season now complete; a true Saint. Then some wonderful family photos, three generations of Saints together. And finally home, Happy.
I snaffled Lee Holmes' discarded beer bottle as a memento but I think Mrs Y failed to realise the significance and binned it.
It was just a creepy spur of the moment thing, gov. I'd just be happy with getting a copy of that photo from the OS to go on our dining room wall. I notice Saints are flogging a few photos but there's no sign of that one just yet. I live in hope.
The guard at Slough Station knowing a fair bit about Saints (despite being a Chelsea fan) and recognising our kit immediately too.
The train on the way down being mostly full of Rochdale, Saints, Walsall and Bournemouth fans (no banter - well, very little).
The sea of white on all stands!
Fonte being everywhere (I think he was desperate for a goal too!).
The penguins starting a "We're the Itchen" rendition, closely followed by a Chapel version!!
Finally getting on the pitch after being stuck at the back of the Kingsland for about 5 minutes!
Standing eating my chips in St Marys Street before the game and Saints fans singing in the street.
Walked up to the ground and there were excited smiling faces everywhere I looked.
The atmosphere sent a tingle up my spine.
The feeling that the players and the fans were all together.
Libs singing my name as he came back from his halftime pint.
How cool is the tunnel by the Alfred? I nearly missed the match but managed to make it in the end. It was a fantastic day and night FPS
we are going up - FACT
The following day there was a celebration at St.Mary's, with free entrance to all! Not quite sure what Cortese was thinking of, but hey, you don't get promoted every year
At the end of the event Adkins led his players around the ground in a lap of honour.
A wonderful week end when all is said and done.
Here's to more success next season. If Norwich can do it …..