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Jubilant Akinfenwa celebrates...
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Jubilant Akinfenwa celebrates Wycombe promotion to Championship in style

Ruairi Carberry
Ruairi Carberry

09:43 14 Jul 2020

Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrated Wycombe Wanderers promotion to the Championship in style on Monday evening.

Wycombe defeated Oxford United 2-1 in the EFL League One play-off final at Wembley.

A Joe Jacobson penalty late in the game sent them up to the second tier of English football for the first time in their 133-year history.

A life-long Liverpool supporter, Akinfenwa called for a message from current manager Jurgen Klopp and got his wish after the game.

Klopp, having watched the match, congratulated Akinfenwa and Wycombe for their fantastic achievement.

Having been released in 2016 by AFC Wimbledon there were doubts as to whether the striker's career would continue.

For his part, Akinfenwa never gave up his hopes of playing and Wycombe's promotion is the ultimate vindication for the 38-year-old.

He credited the Wycombe staff and his teammates for believing in him in 2018.

That belief was justified as Akinfenwa was nominated for the League Two player of the season in 2018. Although he did not win the overall award he was included in the team of the season that year.

Their finish in the top three this year is a dramatic improvement on last seasons 17th place finish.

"Four years ago I stood in front of you and I was technically unemployed," Akinfenwa said.

"For me, football is all about opinions, four years ago someone gave their opinion on me and I hope my story shows that the only opinion that matters is the opinion that you have about yourself."

The congratulations have not stopped with Klopp. Liverpool players Jordan Henderson and Virgil Van Djik have also sent messages of support to Akinfenwa.

With the win, the club will join League One champions Coventry City and Rotherham United in next year's Championship.

The dramatic win at Wembley is certainly fitting for a club waiting so long to get to the Championship.

On that note perhaps it is best to end with Akinfenwa himself who put his emotion into words.

"I'll say it for the people in the back, Wycombe's in the Championship. Wait, people in the back didn't hear me. Wycombe is in the Championship."

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Adebayo Akinfenwa Championship EFL EFL Championship League One Wycombe Wanderers

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