Manager Paul Sturrock hailed Sheffield Wednesday's "unbelievable" fans as the club reached the Championship with a 4-2 play-off final win over Hartlepool.
"They kept with us when we looked like we were out of it," the Owls boss said after the extra-time win in Cardiff.
"But then we got the penalty and some luck, with them going down to 10 men.
"The players were really professional in their approach in the last half-hour and, despite some of them playing 50 games, they were still digging deep."
Sturrock conceded that he thought Wednesday may have missed their chance at 2-1 down with eight minutes remaining of the 90.
But Chris Westwood's foul on Drew Talbot in the box gave them hope. The Pools defender saw red before substitute Steve MacLean stepped up to level proceedings at 2-2 from the subsequent penalty.
And Wednesday, backed by more than 40,000 supporters, re-asserted the control they had enjoyed in the first-half with goals from Glenn Whelan and Talbot in extra-time.
"We were chasing the game and put the three subs on with 15 minutes to go, got the penalty and got back in it," added Sturrock.
"We're a young team and we've had our ups and downs this season but the kids have matured.
"It's for these people. To take 41,000 to a game like this is incredible and hopefully they'll all be there at the start of next season.
"They've had 10 years where they've been in the doldrums, they've been frustrated but you can see that they're a big club - I'm delighted for them.
"We've achieved something but we've got a hard task on our hands now with restructuring to get ready for the Championship.
"We're starting to get ourselves in the places we want to be."