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Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Sammy falls but team hits heights
sammy mcilroy
Sammy McIlroy slipped up - his team didn't
Former Northern Ireland boss Sammy McIlroy experienced the highs and lows of football on Sunday.

The east Belfast man guided his team Morecambe into the football league for the first time in its history.

The 87-year-old club - known as the Shrimps - beat Exeter 2-1 in the Conference play-off final at Wembley.

Mr McIlroy then got a close-up view of the Wembley turf as he first fell then was knocked over as he ran to congratulate his players.

"It gave a lot of people a bit of amusement," Mr McIlroy said.

"I've had nearly 100 texts and they're all mentioning the slip and getting knocked over by one of my players. It's a bit embarrassing but I'd do it all again.

"The hardest, probably best built player in the team to hit you at full force - it wasn't nice I'll tell you.

"The suit's ruined, but I don't care, it was a fantastic moment and a great achievement for Morcambe to become a football league team."

Sammy McIlroy
Mr McIlroy's Morcambe won the Conference play-off final

Mr McIlroy said there was a real sense of excitement in the town about the club's achievement.

He said an unprecedented 12,000 fans supported the team at Wembley.

"As you could imagine the whole town is buzzing at the moment," the former Northern Ireland international and Man Utd legend said.

It is the second time Mr McIlroy has guided a team out of non-league football, having done so with Macclesfield Town in 1997.

"It's a dream come true. We've been thinking about it and dreaming about a situation like this," he said.

"It was a fantastic day and I'm very proud of all my players and everyone connected with the club."

League elevation delights McIlroy
21 May 07 |  Morecambe
Exeter 1-2 Morecambe
20 May 07 |  Eng Conf
McIlroy basks in play-off success
08 May 07 |  Morecambe

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