TO the people of Colne this is a special day in history and the events of April 23, 1988, will always live long in the memory.

It wasn’t a natural disaster, it wasn’t the day the town hall clock stopped. This was the day when the players of Colne Dynamoes wrote their names into East Lancashire sporting folklore after an occasion that still brings a moist eye to those who were there.

It seems scarcely believable that it is 25 years to this very day that the Dynamoes claimed the pride and glory of winning the FA Vase beneath the long departed Twin Towers of the old Wembley Stadium.

The journey Colne had taken from being founded on Pendle park pitches in the 1960s by Graham White and his and his old Primet High School pal Trevor Riddiough was one that would almost be impossible to replicate. Football doesn’t work that way any more.

Such was the drama of that journey, William Shakespeare, who was also born on April 23, albeit 424 years before Colne’s big day out, would have struggled to get his quill pen around the best words to describe it.

That jouney of thrills led the Dynamoes all the way to Wembley and their date with destiny against Emley.

Despite being wealthy, Colne still had their local stars. Duncan MacFadyen, Clive Dunn, Nigel Coates and the skipper Simon Westwell were all key cogs for a good team, who left the Crown Hotel to the reception normally afforded to heroes on the Thursday before the final.

On the morning of the game a quarter of the population of the town piled into buses, on to trains and into cars to make their way to London.

If people didn’t know where Colne was – as was suggested by official merchandise branding them Colne Valley Dynamoes – they did as soon as the throngs of Lancastrians took their place in the stadium.

Yes, the Colne fans were outnumbered by Emley, who had drafted in thousands of supporters of their neighbours Huddersfield, but the Pendle voices were the ones you could hear.

They were there for a party – and the Dynamoes knew it was their duty to deliver.

On the pitch beforehand ex-Claret Billy Rodaway laughed and joked that Wembley’s pristine surface was not suited to him. Rodaway had been the semi-final hero and one of the most endearing images of his career came as he charged down the Holt House slope to score the killer goal to see off Sudbury Town.

Emley, with soon-to-be Burnley star John Francis impressive, started the better and Colne were on the back foot.

Francis missed two decent chances...and he was made to pay the ultimate price.

A nervous second half followed, still with no goals, before the final went into extra time and Stewart Anderson, a paint sprayer from Chadderton, became the goal-den wonder.

Anderson struck a sweet right foot shot into the bottom corner after current Colne FC boss Coates headed into his path.

There were a few minutes left – but the terrace party started. The celebrations went on into the night and even on the team coach back North on Sunday morning.

A few of the players rolled their sleep deprived eyes when they were told that the Mayor of Pendle wanted to see them and they were going to Colne town hall that afternoon.

As the team coach pulled into the Fence Gate for a spot of freshening up ahead of the celebratory open-topped bus ride those eyes were wide open in amazement. Hundreds of people had headed to Fence...and that was just for starters.

The road into Colne was lined by cheering well-wishers – and the streets of the town were thronged.

No-one could quite believe it was the bus journey turned into an inch-by-inch crawl up the hill.

“It was a fantastic occasion for myself, the rest of the players and management, but most of all the town of Colne,” said defender Steve Bentley.

“They turned out in their thousands and on the following day when the outside of the town hall was bedecked with scarves, flags and adoring fans, some even hanging from trees, buildings and any vantage point.

“The memories of this occasion will live with me for evermore.”

Bentley is not the only one with those sentiments.