Wembley return closes dark chapter in O’s history, but now future’s so bright!
- Credit: Archant
For our Redemption pullout we looked back on the last five years and reflected on how this final ends a terrible period in Leyton Orient’s history
Leyton Orient fans can start to dream again with the club in a fantastic position on and off the pitch ahead of this trip to Wembley.
The last time O's played at the national stadium, the prize up for grabs was Championship football the following season and this time it is the FA Trophy.
It tells you everything you need to know about what Orient have gone through during the last five years, but the positive is this visit to Brent is the closing of one bad chapter and the start of a much more promising period.
After Russell Slade's team lost on penalties to Rotherham United in May 2014, two months later the whole direction of the London club was about to change.
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Barry Hearn sold up and you know who took over and his three years in charge were more than a disaster. One current player said it was a shambles.
He was absolutely right. Orient went from being within touching distance of the Championship to dropping out of League Two and the Football League in April 2017.
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No one knew it at the time, but Wembley was the start of a dark chapter in the O's history and yet less than two years after a change of ownership, things have not felt this bright for a long while in E10.
Nigel Travis, Kent Teague, Matt Porter, Martin Ling and Co picked the club up off its knees in June 2017 and now Orient are moving in the right direction again.
But they were only able to do so because of the fans. Without the O's supporters, there may not have been a club to follow.
The roles of secretary Lindsey Martin, kitman Ada Martin and other loyal staff, who went weeks without being paid in the 2016/17 season, must be remembered too.
O's were close to more than just relegation - extinction was a genuine concern and it took the people who love this club the most to prevent that.
Fans marched down the streets, turned up at court, invaded the pitch at full time and finally went on during a game. Orient's story had to be heard and it was.
Then almost a thousand made the trip to Blackpool after O's had already been relegated. Teague saw this and had to get involved.
And now here they are, back at Wembley again thanks to Justin Edinburgh and this special squad, but not for the play-offs; they are already promoted as champions.
Orient are a Football League club and officially when that full time whistle blows at Wembley.
Everyone is looking for a win, but above everything else the day can be enjoyed because no matter what happens, the future is bright again for this wonderful club.