The Empress won the second tier of the Liverpool County Premier League and booked their spot in the top-flight after winning the league by three points.
In a stop-start season, it was a three horse race between Empress, Bernie Mays and Garston will the latter falling late in the race.
The run went down to the wire as Empress finished their games weeks before Bernies and had the anxious wait of learning their outcome.
Despite the best efforts of Bernie Mays, Empress’ impressive form saw them get across the line and book an opportunity to mix with the big boys in the Premier Division.
John Graves told Off The Park: “Yes definitely [proud to win], the season when COVID hit, we were in a good position and missed out on promotion by 0.03 on Points per game, so to come back better and stronger to win the league made up for that.
“Credit has to go to the lads though a good few could easily have gone and played in the Prem or higher up but they stuck by us and their loyalty paid off in the end.
“It wasn’t as smooth as we would’ve like it, we started off slow dropped a few points from winning positions before the lockdown at Christmas.
“After the lockdown, we got beat by Roby but the lads kicked on then and we went on a good run and only dropped two points from the rest of the games, but credit has got to go to Bernie Mays aswell for taking it right down to the last game with us.
“It’s unbelievable to think how quick we’ve got there, we’ve been a team three years. Even 18 months ago, we were all over the place as a club and had no manager, luckily a few of the lads managed to get Paul Dawson to come in and manage us and we got players in to strengthen were needed and we haven’t looked back since.
“We know the Premier Division is going to be a lot harder than what we’ve faced so far but with the players we’ve got already and a few new additions this summer, we’re looking to compete and not just to make the numbers up.”