LONDON - Blackpool were promoted to the Premier League on Saturday after winning the Championship play-off final 3-2 against Cardiff City at Wembley stadium.
Ian Holloway's side entered the play-offs as underdogs, but will now rub shoulders with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in the top flight next season.
"This is absolutely magnificent, not just for the team but for the whole area we come from," said a hoarse Holloway.
"You don't understand what it means, we're going to have so much money," he told Sky Sports, referring to the estimated £90 million reward for the winner of the match dubbed the 'richest game in football.'
The Seasiders twice had to come from behind, firstly through a brilliant Charlie Adam free-kick after Michael Chopra had pounced to put Cardiff ahead, and secondly through Gary Taylor-Fletcher's close-range header following a tidy finish from Cardiff's Welsh international Joe Ledley.
And it was Tangerines veteran Brett Ormerod, who played for the club in the third and fourth tiers of English football for four years from 1997 to 2001, who fittingly scored what turned out to be the the winner in first half stoppage time, prodding home after some good work from on-loan Leicester forward DJ Campbell.
The game had started at a blistering pace, and Adam's thirteenth minute equaliser meant that for the first time since Ipswich beat Barnsley 4-2 at the old Wembley Stadium in 2000, both teams had scored in normal time in a Championship playoff final.
The second half was tepid in comparison to the thrilling first, with the best chance a Chopra drive from 20 yards which rattled the crossbar - but that woulcn't dampen the Blackpool celebrations at the final whistle, as the 1953 FA Cup winners returned to the top flight for the first time since 1971.
Blackpool join Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion as the teams promoted to the English top flight for the 2010/11 league season.comments