Barry Town United win promotion to Welsh Premier League

Champions League flashback: When little Barry Town beat mighty Porto

A football fairytale came to a happy conclusion as Barry Town United sealed promotion to the Welsh Premier League with a 3-0 win against Goytre United.

The historic club completed its journey from the footballing wilderness to the top flight thanks to goals from Luke Cooper, Tyrell Webbe and Drew Fahiya.

It is quite a turnaround for a club which little more than four years ago had basically ceased to exist.

The win means they will definitely finish in the top two of the Welsh Football League Division One.

Barry Town over the decades wove itself into Welsh football folklore with FA Cup clashes against QPR and Reading and, after entering the Welsh League Division One in 1993, before dominating the domestic game throughout that decade in the League of Wales.

It was a period which saw them venture into Europe to battle the likes of Dynamo Kiev and Boavista with players likes of Andriy Shevchenko and Sergei Rebrov gracing Jenner Park.

In 2001, Barry became the first Welsh club to win a Champions League qualifier when they beat Azerbaijan side, FK Shamkir, over two-legs to set up a mouth-watering tie with Portuguese giants Porto.

Despite an 8-0 hammering away in the first leg, Barry pulled off a now legendry 3-1 victory in the second-leg in front of their own fans.

'It's galvanised the whole town'

But despite all that, under the eccentric ownership of Stuart Lovering, the senior team were withdrawn from the Welsh Football League in 2013, virtually killing the club in the process.

It took a High Court battle with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) by the band of supporters intent on saving what was now called Barry Town United, to get the club back into the bottom tier of the Welsh League

And now, four years later, the Welsh Premier awaits. club secretary David Cole believes the club has made its own fairytale come true.

"The lowest point was when there seemed no way back for the club into the Welsh Leagues," said Cole, prior to the win against Goytre.

"Since then really it has been like a fairytale to have climbed back up through the leagues.

"The whole thing has not just galvanised the fans and the players at the club, but the whole town. Reaching the Welsh Premier, where we once were, would be the perfect ending to all that we have struggled to achieve."

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