Linnets frontman achieves a career first against Warrington in Super Play-Off final
After a memorable career spanning 16 years, more than 600 senior appearances and 190 goals, there’s not much that Michael Gash hasn’t experienced on a football pitch.
And, despite being the scourge of opposing defences for many years, the big frontman achieved a career first on Saturday – netting a goal to seal promotion.
The much-travelled striker will never need to buy another drink in King's Lynn ever again after registering the extra-time winner to sink Warrington 3-2 in the Super Play-Off.
An elated Gash said: "I can't really put it into words, I'm just so happy. I said before the game I don't care who scorers the goals but thankfully, for me, I've got the winner.
"I'd have happily scored no goals all season, just to get that one today.
"My wife, two children, mum, dad and sister were all here, so to do it front of them and to be able to go over and celebrate is such a good feeling.
"I did well to get on the wall as I was struggling with cramp at the time."
Gash knows the empty heartache of losing in the play-offs after last season's final defeat against Slough, but has also experienced the delirious ecstasy of winning promotion, having helped Barnet back into the Football League in 2015.
"I've had a promotion with Barnet, but promotion to any level, and we're going up to a really good one, is one of the best feelings you can get in football, other than winning a major trophy," he said.
"I'm coming to the end of my career so to get another promotion in is brilliant, but the other lads deserve it more than anyone.
"Some of those players in that changing room are levels above where we are playing and could easily go on and have really good careers.
"We had a bad start, but the Gaffer (Ian Culverhouse) has come in and rallied us again and it has been really enjoyable.
"Last week we were happy but a little bit down, but to come here, a long way from home and the amount of fans we brought, and everyone associated with the club, everyone deserves it. I am just so happy.
"I'm 33 in September and I couldn't have done this with a better set of lads. I've played in some big games, but this is right up there and on a par with anything else I've achieved."
Although Gash still remains as hungry as ever to find the back of the net, he admits team success comes above personal targets.
And the Peterborough-based forward, such a vital cog in the current team, was quick to recognise the contribution of fellow striker Adam Marriott, whose second half equaliser from the penalty spot took his tally to 28 for the season.
"As a striker you always want to score goals and I want to get as many as Maz (Adam Marriott) but I'm not going to," said Gash.
"I haven't scored as many as I would like but I know if I can help the team when I'm on the pitch I will always go home happy.
"We're a little bit different, but it's easy alongside him as I know he is going to play off me and always be there.
"He is a natural finisher and his movement is sharp. His goals have been vital for us, but all of the players have played a massive part to get us here."
A real bundle of trouble for opposing defenders, Gash would now love to have a crack at the National League North as long as he can agree terms with the club over the summer.
"There are some nice grounds to go to and that helps you enjoy your football a little bit more," he said.
"We know it's going to be tough and now all the hard work starts behind the scenes. I'm not signed for next season, so it's a case of crossing fingers and wait and see."
More by this authorGreg Plummer