Football: Cotterill savours a champion party
Cheltenham look to future after winning League place
Saturday 24 April 1999
None of the 6,150 people who packed Whaddon Road to its capacity on Thursday will quickly forget the identity of the player whose header deep in stoppage time defeated Yeovil Town and clinched the Nationwide Conference championship for Cheltenham. With his surname, Jamie Victory was probably destined to score the winner. It said much about the mayhem of the final moments and the party which followed that his fellow wing-back, Michael Duff, was adamant he had applied the decisive touch.
Confirming that Victory had officially been credited with the goal, the Cheltenham manager, Steve Cotterill, put the friendly dispute into perspective. "Who cares who scored it?" the former Wimbledon striker said yesterday. "All that matters is that we did it."
The 34-year-old Cotterill, who is Cheltenham-born and bred but based in Bournemouth, finally left the celebrations at the club at six o'clock in the morning. He fell into bed at his parents' home at 6.30, only to be awoken at 8.0 by his excited daughters.
Cheltenham, who visit Hayes today, will have played six matches in 15 days before taking their leave of the Conference at home to Welling next Saturday. Only then will Cotterill start planning for next season, but he intimated that his squad, which includes a window-fitter, fitness instructor, mobile-phone salesman and two house-husbands (Victory and the captain, Chris Banks), will go full-time.
Cheltenham were in the Southern League, which provided their only previous title in 1984, when Cotterill arrived from Sligo Rovers 27 months ago. Promoted only because the champions, Gresley Rovers, could not satisfy the Conference's stadium requirements, they promptly finished runners- up to Halifax Town and won the FA Umbro Trophy last season.
Cotterill, who was not joking when he said he expected "the freedom of the city", is confident Cheltenham can hold their own at the higher level. Average crowds of 3,000 demonstrate their potential, though they may have to fend off interest in their ambitious manager, who came close last autumn to landing the job at Swindon Town, 40 miles away and now their closest League rivals.
Latest in Sport
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Arsenal transfer targets: The summer signings that would please Thierry Henry, including Sami Khedira and Edinson Cavani
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 Stephen Hawking endorses Labour in the General Election
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...