ELEVEN years after Terry Owens and the comedian Arthur English launched Aldershot Town Football Club at the bottom of the footballing pyramid, following the closure of the old Shots, they are now just one division away from regaining Football League status.

On Saturday almost 3500 fans crammed into the Recreation Ground for a carnival celebration of their achievement in winning the Ryman League championship and gaining promotion to the Nationwide Conference. The final confirmation had come on Easter Monday when Shots drew away at Sutton United while their only rivals, Canvey Island, lost.

Club chairman Karl Prentice told the Star: "I don't think this achievement will ever be matched. But we have not finished yet -we are looking to go further."

Farnborough Town saved their Conference position as did Woking, so there will be lots of local derbies next season. Shots did not disappoint on Saturday. After trailing Hendon 2-1 they embarked on a five-goal blitz in not much more than a quarter of an hour to win 6-2.

The club is now hoping to amass 100 points in its final season in the Ryman Premier Division.