Emotional ex-Newcastle United defender reacts to stunning Gateshead promotion

An emotional Mike Williamson hailed his Gateshead players after they secured the National League North title.

By Mark Carruthers
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 9:04 pm

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Gateshead player/manager Mike Williamson in action. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images).
Gateshead player/manager Mike Williamson in action. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images).

Carl Magnay and Owen Bailey both found the net as The Heed battled their way to a 2-2 draw at play-off chasing Chorley to all-but secure a return to non-league’s top tier.

However, their title win was officially confirmed moments after the full-time whistle as news title rivals Brackley Town had thrown away a two-goal lead in their draw at Hereford.

Joyous scenes were played out as Williamson, his coaching staff and the Heed players were swamped by an impressive band of travelling support at the appropriately named Victory Park.

Williamson praised the attitude and commitment of his players and believes they have answered every question asked of them.

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He told The Echo: “It’s been a phenomenal year.

“It’s probably been my most enjoyable season in football.

“These guys have gone out there week-in, week-out and they would run through any brick wall you would ask them to.

“They are a credit to the football club and to the town.

“You look back and the amount of times they’ve been asked questions, they had another one asked of them in the first-half today and I said that to them at half-time.

“They’ve answered questions all season and they’ve answered another big one today to get us over the line.”

Gateshead will officially be recognised as champions on Saturday when they bring down the curtain on a remarkable season with a home game against Hereford.

A celebratory afternoon is expected as the Heed honour their first league win since they claimed the Northern Premier League title in 1986.

Williamson is already looking forward to marking the success of a joint effort from everyone involved on and off the pitch at the International Stadium.

“The board have come in and stabilised the club.

“The recruitment, Louis (Storey) and Busted (Ian Watson) - they’ve done a fantastic job with that.

“You’ve always got the belief in there that we can beat anyone and we just carried that through the season.

“It’s been a joint effort.

“But to then go and do that, you need certain elements to go your way, and we have done made the most by working hard and sticking to our beliefs within the football club.”