to book a place in the FA Cup first round for the first time since 1971, when they qualified automatically as winners of the FA Amateur Cup. This year, starting in the extra preliminary round, they had to win six matches to reach the same stage.
Skem, as they’re affectionately known, from the ninth tier, will be the lowest ranked team in today’s draw, in with Sunderland, Portsmouth, Ipswich and other former FA Cup winners including nearby Wigan and Bolton.
And the euphoria at the final whistle, when players dragged Kev Panther, long-suffering supporter, committee member and club historian, from the terraces and into the celebrations and reduced him to tears.
“It’s so emotional” said Panther, having wiped away some of the tears and retrieved his flat cap. “I watched them in the Sixties and Seventies. I am that old. First game was Bishop Auckland at home in the FA Amateur Cup in 1967. The club returned to Skelmersdale from exile in December but have not played a home game in the NW Counties this season because lockdown regulations stop them using the changing rooms at the JMO Sports Park”.
Fantastic, and so lucky not to be under the management of Serco Leisure Operating Ltd!
NB They have been drawn away to Harrogate Town in the next round.