HILLSBOROUGH here we come!
Spireites are preparing for a party to remember - after their beloved Chesterfield FC confirmed their promotion to League One without even playing as Wycombe failed to win at promotion rivals Torquay leaving the points gap too wide at the top.
Fans believe the team has played the best football in its division all season - and at the best ground, the B2net Stadium, which opened last summer.
Now the town’s great and good are hoping the football feel-good factor will provide a knock-on effect for the town and its economy as a whole.
Town Mayor Coun Keith Morgan led the celebrations and said the benefits of promotion would go beyond football.
He said: “The Spireites have led the charge with their loyalty and commitment to the club in a brand new stadium.
“The town has fallen in behind them and gates at the matches now regularly exceed 7,000. This is a great event for Chesterfield and the football club and brings a lot of economic benefit to the town.”
North East Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel said it had been a fantastic season all round.
“Many congratulations to them - it is very well deserved and what a fantastic feel-good factor for the whole area,” she added.
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins added: “It’s brought a real sense to positivity to everyone - and for those who are struggling in what are hard times, it’s been a glimpse of hope in the darkness.
“The opening of the new stadium provided a real sense of momentum, and the pride the fans felt in it was transmitted through to the players who’ve played football a class above anything else there’s been in the division.”
The promotion will help give Chesterfield a higher profile on a national scale, said Scott Knowles, deputy chief executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce.
“Not only will the club benefit financially through increased television exposure, ticket sales and revenue from merchandise, but its promotion will have a knock-on effect on the town’s economy,” he said.
“It will give local people a real buzz and inject the feel-good factor into the town.
“Local businesses will benefit from increased staff morale and productivity, whilst even more people will come into the town on match days to spend their money in local bars, shops and restaurants.”
Town council leader Coun Ray Russell said: “The town is buzzing with the Spireites’ success and we’re all looking forward to seeing the club grow from strength to strength over the coming years.”
Supporters club chairman Steve Tann said fans had experienced the sort of season they’d dreamed of.
“The quality of the play has been absolutely fantastic and the new stadium has attracted both younger fans as well some of those who had fallen by the wayside,” he said.
“I think we will do okay next season. We’ll strengthen the squad and we’ll be well up for those big games just up the road.”