Friends of St Albans City at the House of Lords

Friends of St Albans City Football Club attended an end-of-season reception hosted by Lord McNally a

Friends of St Albans City Football Club attended an end-of-season reception hosted by Lord McNally at the House of Lords. From front left: Malcolm MacMillan, John McGowan, Lawrence Levy and Lord McNally; back row, Tom Norman, James Gray, Nick Archer and Graham Golds - Credit: Debbie White/Archant

There must have been plenty of good luck flowing alongside celebrations at a House of Lords function for friends of St Albans City Football Club last week.

Just four days after Thursday’s event in London, the Saints ended their three-year absence from the Conference after beating Chesham 3-1 in the play-off final.

Friends of St Albans City FC descended upon Parliament Square in the capital for the end-of-season reception, held on behalf of club president Malcolm MacMillan.

It was hosted by Saints’ supporter Lord McNally, who has lived in St Albans for over two decades. He described the squad as “a genuine community club.”

Saints’ co-owner Lawrence Levy paid tribute to joint managers James Gray and Graham Golds and thanked the club’s many supporters and loyal sponsors.

He went on: “We have spent a lot of time building up friendships in our community.”

Representatives of the club regularly talk to pupils at local schools about sport participation, the importance of keeping active and eating healthily.

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Lawrence also reflected upon how far the Saints had come following past “struggles”.

The club’s promotion to Conference comes three years after Lawrence and co-owner John McGowan took control of the Saints, at a time when it was under-capitalised and faced with mounting debts.

He said proof of the club’s success was game attendance increasing from 350 people a few years ago to over 600 through the gates at the club’s base at Clarence Park.

Lawrence said the challenge was to continue building the club’s profile as an asset to St Albans, and engage with even more people.

Following Monday’s success Lord McNally asked the Herts Advertiser, “what better postscript to our Lords’ reception than to clinch promotion?”

He added: “To win promotion is an astounding achievement by all concerned at St Albans City. Now everyone in St Albans should get behind the club to give it the support and resources to prosper in the Conference.”

Full match report and special promotion coverage in Sport.