Congratulations have flowed in for the Newcastle team and management after Sunday’s title win and now Bishop’s Stortford have joined them.
Showing just what is possible, they sent their pat on the back to a player who only five years ago was playing in the Conference North.
In that 2011/12 season, Dwight Gayle scored 42 goals in 55 appearances (all competitions) for Bishop’s Stortford.
Dwight Gayle is the perfect example to show kids they shouldn’t give up if they get an early knockback.
The Newcastle striker began his career in the Arsenal Academy and after being released by the club as a teenager he dropped down to the ninth tier of English football, joining Stansted of the Essex Senior League.
Then over the following seasons, Gayle worked his way back up the English football pyramid
In the summer of 2011, he signed for League Two club Dagenham & Redbridge and was immediately sent out on loan to Conference North club Bishop’s Stortford on a season-long loan.
Moves to Peterborough and Crystal Palace followed, before Dwight Gayle made it to Newcastle.
Bishop’s Stortford official website:
‘Good day for former Blues.
Dwight Gayle and Steve Morison were both on target as their Football League clubs celebrated, on Sunday.
Gayle came on as an 80th minute substitute for Newcastle United and proved the song that claim he could score when he wants by netting ten minutes later. The goal came just a minute after Jack Grealish’s goal for Aston Villa had given them a point against Brighton and handed the title to the Magpies.
The former Blues forward has seen his game time restricted so far in 2017 due to a niggling hamstring problem, but has still proved deadly as Newcastle returned to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
He finished joint second in the Championship scoring charts with 23 goals but his 93 minutes per goal was far better than his rivals for the golden boot. And playing at St James’ Park is a bit nicer than paddling on Harrogate’s “pitch”.
You’ll have to think back a bit further to the days when Morison graced the Woodside Park pitch. It’s been 11 years since the then 22-year-old left the Blues having netted 28 goals in 58 league games in a Stortford shirt.
It’s unclear whether he managed to crack a smile after netting twice for Millwall to help them to a 3-2 win at Scunthorpe and seal a place in the League 1 play-off final.
Millwall fell behind to Ivan Toney’s tap-in, but Morison headed them level on the stroke of half-time and then set up Lee Gregory for 2-1.
Morison’s deflected shot gave the Lions breathing space, although Stephen Dawson’s strike set up a nervy finish.
There were plenty of more recent former Blues celebrating as Chelmsford City reached the Conference South promotion final with a 2-1 win at Dartford.
Rod Stringer’s team included Ross Fitzsimons, Robbie Willmott and Ashley Miller together with Max Porter who was with the Blues long before Rodders, while Elliott Buchanan and Anthony Church will hope to recover from injuries in time for Saturday’s final at Ebbsfleet. It would be remiss not to mention other former Blues Nick Haycock and Tony Fenn, especially as the latter avoided recreating that incident at Brackley when a Dartford fan tried to punch a City player after the final whistle. Dartford included former Blue Danny Harris in their side.’