Just 16 supporters witnessed Hartlepool United’s “finest hour” on May 6, 1968 - but the whole town celebrated the history-making promotion.
“Years of struggle conditioned fans to expect little; though a hard-core few still had hope,” said Mail archivist Susan Swinney.
“Before promotion in 1968 the club’s highlights were restricted to cup battles and the occasional sorties into the top League places.
“But, it was always a temporary success - until Pools beat Swansea Town 2-0 at Vetch Field. Sadly, few witnessed that magic moment.”
An on-going “discussion” still rumbles on today over who built the promotion-winning team - Brian Clough or Gus McLean.
But, following the game, the Mail’s football pundit was in no doubt: “McLean has built up an entirely new regime since he took over.”