Ormerod's goal on the stroke of half-time earned Blackpool victory
Blackpool twice came from behind to defeat Cardiff and reach the Premier League for the first time after an engaging and, at times, breathtaking final at a sun-soaked Wembley.
The Tangerines won 3-2, with all the goals coming during an opening half of unbelievable excitement and occasionally awful defending.
Michael Chopra and Joe Ledley twice put Cardiff ahead with crisp strikes but a Charlie Adam free-kick and a close-range finish from Gary Taylor-Fletcher drew the Lancashire side level on each occasion - before Brett Ormerod struck the winner shortly before the interval with a low strike.
The result completes a remarkable season for Blackpool, who can now plan for the top-flight for the first time since the 1970-71 campaign.
It also caps a sensational first season in charge for Seasiders boss Ian Holloway, who has stuck to his attacking principles all year and did so again at Wembley by sending his team out in a bold 4-3-3 formation.
Holloway defends attacking philosophy
Blackpool will arguably be the smallest club to have played in the Premier League, but they can now look forward to rubbing shoulders with English football's elite after beating Cardiff in a match estimated to be worth £90m to the winners.
The result was perhaps a little harsh on the Bluebirds, who struck the woodwork twice through Michael Chopra.
Manager Dave Jones saw his Cardiff side have the better of the second half but, after one of the most scintillating opening periods in play-off history, they could not find an equaliser.
The Bluebirds' aim of becoming the first Welsh club to play Premier League football is on hold for at least one more season and rather than celebrating promotion they instead have financial issues to address over the summer.
They have survived several High Court winding-up orders over the season and have estimated debts of £15m as a Malaysian consortium prepares to invest in the club with Peter Ridsdale standing down as chairman.
The match could not have started much better for the Welsh side, who laid down an early marker of intent when Chopra got across Alex Baptiste to toe-poke a cross from Peter Whittingham that smashed against the crossbar after just four minutes.
Chopra, a lively and industrious presence throughout, had Jones's men in front five minutes later when he timed his run perfectly to stay onside before collecting Whittingham's threaded through ball and drilling his angled shot into the bottom corner.
Cardiff looked capable of taking a firm stranglehold on the final but the inspirational Adam quickly restored parity with his left-foot free-kick over the Cardiff wall.
Downbeat Jones pinpoints Cardiff errors
And the match took another twist when the influential Jay Bothroyd, who had already found plenty of space in wide areas, limped off to be replaced by Kelvin Etuhu.
Pool enjoyed a period of dominance as the Bluebirds tried to come to terms with their double blow, but Stephen Crainey shot wide and DJ Campbell, who scored a hat-trick in the play-off semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest, failed to connect with a precise low cross.
It was developing into a pulsating encounter and Chopra might have restored Cardiff's lead from Whittingham's floated cross but the striker scuffed his volley.
Ledley, out of contract this summer, had been relatively anonymous but he collected a delicious return pass from Whittingham before striking the ball beyond Matt Gilks, who got his angles wrong as he advanced out of goal.
Cardiff's joy was again short-lived. Taylor-Fletcher struck the post from 20 yards after 39 minutes but a minute later he stabbed home from a corner after Mark Kennedy had cleared Ian Evatt's initial effort off the line.
Michael Chopra's early joy turned to tears at the final whistle
And in first-half injury-time Campbell slipped as he attempted to shoot but the ball ran to Ormerod, who shot beyond David Marshall to put Holloway's men 3-2 up at the end of a breathtaking half.
Cardiff defender Darcy Blake had the ball in the net before the interval but his effort was quite correctly ruled out for offside.
Blackpool, fearless to the last, continued to attack after the break and should perhaps have made more from an early promising position but Taylor-Fletcher delayed his pass and Campbell's eventual shot was blocked.
Taylor-Fletcher was replaced by striker Ben Burgess after 53 minutes and shortly afterwards Holloway brought on another forward, Stephen Dobbie, for Ormerod.
There were signs of frustration from the Cardiff players, a feeling that only increased after Chopra collected a pass from Chris Burke and drilled another strike against the woodwork.
Ledley went close after beating the unsure Gilks to a corner at the near post but his header flew narrowly wide, while Etuhu drew a save from the Tangerines keeper as the Bluebirds mounted a sustained period of pressure.
Cardiff backer upbeat after loss
The second half lacked the you-score, we-score, theatre of the opening 45 minutes but as the match moved into the final 20 minutes of normal time, the players started to tire in the heat and there was an increasing sense of anxiety emanating from the stands.
Gilks dropped a cross under pressure from Chopra, with the ball almost running into his own net, but it was Pool who had the better of the late chances as they tried to hit their opponents on the break.
Poor decision making prevented Holloway's team from scoring a fourth but they closed out the match to seal their place in the top flight.
90:00+4:24 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
90:00+4:09 The ball is sent over by Peter Whittingham, save by Matthew Gilks.
90:00+1:34 Direct free kick taken by David Marshall.
90:00+1:34 Substitution David Vaughan leaves the field to be replaced by Barry Bannan.
90:00+1:34 Stephen Crainey challenges Peter Whittingham unfairly and gives away a free kick.
90:00+0:47 Mark Kennedy crosses the ball, Michael Chopra takes a shot. Save by Matthew Gilks.
90:00+0:13 Foul by Stephen Dobbie on Mark Kennedy, free kick awarded. David Marshall restarts play with the free kick.
89:25 Short corner taken by Charlie Adam from the right by-line.
89:16 The ball is swung over by Dudley Campbell, Joe Ledley makes a clearance.
86:25 Keith Southern challenges Mark Kennedy unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Marshall restarts play with the free kick.
86:13 The ball is crossed by Ian Evatt.
85:28 Ben Burgess fouled by Anthony Gerrard, the ref awards a free kick. Charlie Adam delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed
from left wing, Joe Ledley makes a clearance.
84:51 Michael Chopra gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Baptiste. Free kick taken by Matthew Gilks.
82:54 Free kick awarded for a foul by Charlie Adam on Peter Whittingham. Free kick crossed left-footed by Peter Whittingham, clearance
made by Charlie Adam.
81:08 Mark Kennedy crosses the ball, clearance made by Alex Baptiste.
80:16 Darcy Blake takes a shot. Save by Matthew Gilks.
79:26 Ben Burgess challenges Anthony Gerrard unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by David Marshall.
78:32 The ball is delivered by Ross McCormack, clearance by Stephen Crainey.
78:01 The ball is delivered by Darcy Blake.
77:28 The ball is sent over by Darcy Blake, Alex Baptiste manages to make a clearance.
76:20 Effort from deep inside the area by Ross McCormack misses to the left of the goal.
76:10 Stephen McPhail delivers the ball, clearance by Alex Baptiste.
75:45 Peter Whittingham takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Ian Evatt.
75:32 Mark Kennedy produces a cross, save made by Matthew Gilks.
73:42 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Adam from the left by-line.
73:19 Substitution Anthony Gerrard replaces Kevin McNaughton.
72:47 The ball is crossed by Dudley Campbell, Stephen Dobbie takes a shot. Kevin McNaughton gets a block in.
72:20 A cross is delivered by Mark Kennedy, Ian Evatt makes a clearance.
72:08 The ball is crossed by Mark Kennedy, clearance made by Charlie Adam.
67:10 Ben Burgess is ruled offside. David Marshall restarts play with the free kick.
66:39 The ball is crossed by Stephen Crainey, Mark Kennedy makes a clearance.
65:53 Ross McCormack produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.
65:26 Corner taken left-footed by Stephen McPhail, Ian Evatt makes a clearance.
63:28 Kelvin Etuhu takes a shot. Save by Matthew Gilks.
62:12 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Charlie Adam.
60:29 Keith Southern takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.
59:57 Substitution Stephen Dobbie is brought on as a substitute for Brett Ormerod.
59:06 Corner taken by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line played to the near post, Header from close in by Joe Ledley misses
to the left of the goal.
58:23 Charlie Adam produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
57:47 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Matthew Gilks.
57:04 Substitution Ross McCormack joins the action as a substitute, replacing Chris Burke.
56:43 Michael Chopra takes a shot.
54:44 Joe Ledley challenges Charlie Adam unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ian Evatt takes the free kick.
52:22 Substitution Gary Taylor-Fletcher goes off and Ben Burgess comes on.
51:18 Kevin McNaughton fouled by Keith Southern, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Hudson.
50:32 Dudley Campbell takes a shot. Blocked by Mark Hudson.
49:33 Chris Burke fouled by Charlie Adam, the ref awards a free kick. Peter Whittingham crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed
from right channel, Matthew Gilks makes a save.
49:21 Charlie Adam gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen McPhail. Free kick taken by Stephen McPhail.
48:33 Kelvin Etuhu crosses the ball.
46:45 Michael Chopra produces a cross.
45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
45:00+2:37 The first half comes to an end.
45:00+2:29 The offside flag is raised against Darcy Blake. Indirect free kick taken by Matthew Gilks.
45:00+1:37 Stephen Crainey challenges Chris Burke unfairly and gives away a free kick. Peter Whittingham crosses the ball in from the
45:00+0:14 GOAL - Brett Ormerod:Blackpool 3 - 2 Cardiff Brett Ormerod scores a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Blackpool 3-2 Cardiff.
44:01 Dudley Campbell challenges Kevin McNaughton unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Hudson.
42:57 The offside flag is raised against Dudley Campbell. David Marshall restarts play with the free kick.
42:07 Keith Southern fouled by Joe Ledley, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Keith Southern.
40:07 Ian Evatt provided the assist for the goal.
40:07 GOAL - Gary Taylor-Fletcher:Blackpool 2 - 2 Cardiff Gary Taylor-Fletcher finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Blackpool 2-2 Cardiff.
40:05 Overhead kick right-footed shot by Ian Evatt. Joe Ledley makes a clearance.
39:56 Corner taken by David Vaughan from the right by-line.
39:32 Brett Ormerod takes a shot. Mark Kennedy gets a block in.
39:17 Gary Taylor-Fletcher takes a shot from just outside the area and strikes the post.
38:28 A cross is delivered by David Vaughan.
36:52 Assist by Peter Whittingham.
36:52 GOAL - Joe Ledley:Blackpool 1 - 2 Cardiff Joe Ledley grabs a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Blackpool 1-2 Cardiff.
35:09 Chris Burke takes a inswinging corner.
34:19 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by David Vaughan, Darcy Blake manages to make a clearance.
34:11 Centre by Stephen Crainey.
34:04 A cross is delivered by Charlie Adam, Joe Ledley manages to make a clearance.
31:29 Charlie Adam gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Ledley. Stephen McPhail takes the direct free kick.
28:20 Centre by Peter Whittingham, Shot by Michael Chopra from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
27:15 The ball is delivered by Peter Whittingham.
26:50 Peter Whittingham takes a short corner.
26:20 Corner taken by Peter Whittingham played to the near post, Keith Southern makes a clearance.
26:14 The ball is delivered by Chris Burke, blocked by Stephen Crainey.
25:10 The ball is sent over by Seamus Coleman.
25:00 A cross is delivered by Keith Southern, clearance by Mark Hudson.
22:34 Charlie Adam produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.
20:14 Effort from outside the penalty box by David Vaughan goes wide right of the goal.
19:10 The ball is delivered by Stephen Crainey.
17:48 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Marshall by Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Direct free kick taken by David Marshall.
17:22 A cross is delivered by Ian Evatt, clearance made by Darcy Blake.
16:37 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Hudson on Gary Taylor-Fletcher. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Charlie Adam
from left wing, clearance by Joe Ledley.
14:41 Substitution Kelvin Etuhu on for Jay Bothroyd.
12:51 GOAL - Charlie Adam:Blackpool 1 - 1 Cardiff Charlie Adam finds the net with a goal direct from the free kick from outside the penalty box to the top right corner of the
goal. Blackpool 1-1 Cardiff.
12:06 Stephen McPhail handles the ball and concedes a free kick.
10:10 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Marshall by Brett Ormerod. Direct free kick taken by David Marshall.
8:20 Assist by Peter Whittingham.
8:20 GOAL - Michael Chopra:Blackpool 0 - 1 Cardiff Michael Chopra fires in a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Blackpool 0-1 Cardiff.
6:28 Centre by Jay Bothroyd.
5:36 The assistant referee signals for offside against Jay Bothroyd. Indirect free kick taken by Alex Baptiste.
4:46 Chris Burke sends in a cross, blocked by Stephen Crainey.
3:02 The ball is sent over by Peter Whittingham, Michael Chopra has an effort at goal from inside the six-yard box that strikes
2:33 Ian Evatt crosses the ball, David Marshall makes a save.
1:02 Gary Taylor-Fletcher produces a cross.
0:06 Unfair challenge on Charlie Adam by Jay Bothroyd results in a free kick. Ian Evatt restarts play with the free kick.
0:00 The referee gets the game started.
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