Martin Gray proud after Darlington title triumph

Martin Gray

Manager Martin Gray has said guiding Darlington FC to the Northern League title represents one of his proudest days in football.

The Quakers clinched top spot by beating Team Northumbria at Bishop Auckland's Heritage Park on Saturday.

The County Durham club was demoted four divisions last season after going into administration and failing to reach a Creditors' Voluntary Agreement.

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Resurgent Darlington looking up

Gray told BBC Tees: "The emotion at the final whistle was just extraordinary."

The result means Darlington will play in the Evostik First Division North next season.

Almost 2,000 Darlington supporters travelled to Bishop Auckland to watch the game and at the final whistle former Sunderland and Oxford United midfielder Gray was chaired around the pitch.

"I'm suffering for that now, but it was just the emotion of the moment," said Gray.

"When you think where we were when we started this journey, with no players and basically no club, to go from there to winning a really high standard league is just outstanding.

"To get 120 points is a great achievement, and to finish ahead of Spennymoor, an outstanding team and a very, very well-run club, is amazing.

"I hope they win the FA Vase on Saturday, because when many people wanted to see us fall on our faces, others, including Spennymoor, conducted themselves with dignity.

He added: "You have a lot of tough times in football and you have to make the most of days like these - championships don't come round very often. I'll be looking to bring in two or three players to keep improving the squad, hopefully it will be easier to attract players than it was last season when we didn't have any.

"I'm a very, very proud person. It's the start of my managerial career and hopefully there'll be many more of these days to come."

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