Last night – after a 7-0 thrashing of Luton – Fulham were finally crowned Championship champions.
I have to confess that I watched the game and the revelry afterwards from the comfort of my sofa.
Originally the game was scheduled for 3.00pm then televised by Sky and moved to 5.15pm.
This moving of fixture times for the paymasters at Sky, rather than the convenience of supporters, is an unattractive feature of modern sport.
Then there was the consideration that the recent home losses against Derby, Sheffield United, Coventry and Nottingham Forest might indicate that champion status might not be achieved against Luton, who were in the play-offs and whose boss Nathan Jones won the Championship manager award.
Luton started the brighter but they lost Alan Campbell in the warm-up and another in the first half to injury.
They had to get in a goalkeeper on emergency loan from Hull.
Added to a lengthy injury list they racked up the yellow cards meaning they could be down to ten men.
So, after Tom Cairney opened his and Fulham’s account with his trusty left foot, the floodgates opened and for the third time this season Fulham notched seven, in so doing Alex Mitrovic bettered Guy Whittingham’s 42 goals in the first tier for Portsmouth.
My mind went back to my first promotion celebration 52 years ago.
Fulham just needed to draw with Preston to be crowned champions.
There was a crowd of 25,000 who were to be disappointed as Preston won 1-0.
It was an early lesson that Fulham will let you down.
I enjoyed promotion the following season – and also that of 1995-96 under Micky Adams – as both came after periods of Fulham decline.
This will be our third promotion in five years as there have been two relegations too.
Will Fulham survive this time?
We have more time to plan and a superb coach in Marco Silva.
He conducted himself with humility during the celebrations but we all know that it was as much due to him as it was 43 goal Mitrovic.
Tinged with optimism, there is the sad thought that this will be the last time this side plays together.
Some – like Tim Ream – will retire, others are simply not good enough for the higher level where mistakes are unforgivingly punished. Fabio Carvalho despite his coyness in interview will go to Liverpool and Neco Williams on loan from Anfield will join him
Norwich were promoted with 97 points but then condemned to relegation weeks ago.