Former Wallsend Boys Club’s Ben Pringle was one of Rotherham United’s penalty shoot-out heroes at Wembley on Sunday.
The midfielder, from Whitley Bay, enjoyed an early birthday present when his side secured their place in the Sky Bet Championship after beating Leyton Orient on penalties in the League One play-off final.
Pringle, who turned 25 on Tuesday, was a pivotal player for the South Yorkshire side throughout the 120 minutes as they came back from a 2-0 half-time deficit to take the tie to extra time with two second half goals.
Then after a tiring extra half hour which produced no more goals, Pringle was one of the five who volunteered to take a spot-kick for his side.
And he converted the Millers’ third penalty after they missed their second and had fallen 2-1 behind in the shoot-out.
But it was the Londoners who then lost their way and Rotherham secured promotion for the second season with a 4-3 win on penalties.
The win capped a remarkable season for Pringle. At the end of April he was named in the League One Team of the Year at the annual Professional Football Association awards.