Their were wild celebrations in Wrexham following the Welsh Clubs return to the Football League for the first time since 2008, and also jubiliant scenes Stateside in Las Vegas as the clubs owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney celebrated a famous triumph.
Central to Wrexham’s success and promotion back to League Football was Tullogher Native Thomas O’Connor who produced a host of solid displays on their way to winning the National League.
Thomas played underage hurling for his Club Tullogher-Rosbercon, before leaving as a 15-year-old to join Southampton. He made an immediate impact with The Saints as he scored the winning goal with a stunning effort to knock Manchester United out of The FA Youth Cup.
Unfortunately he didn’t make any appearances with the Southampton Senior Team, and after 4 years on the South Coast Thomas made the move to Gillingham where he spent two seasons on loan making 62 appearances.
Following the expiry of his Southampton contract, he signed for League one outfit Burton Albion in June 2021 where he flourised, as he scored 5 goals in 18 appearances.
Thomas was on the move again when he joined Wrexham in January 2022 under the Clubs new owners.
He made an instant impact with The Welsh Club as they finished Runner-up to Stockport County in The National League, while also reaching The Final of The FA Trophy in Wembley.
Unfortunately for Thomas and his Wrexham Teammates it ended in disappointment as they lost out 5-4 to Grimbsy Town after extra-time in an epic Play-Off Semi-Final, while they lost 1-0 to Bromley Town in The FA Trophy Final.
However, they made amends this season with a tally of 111 points this season, a record for the top five divisions of English League Football.
Central to Wrexham’s success this season was a run to the last 32 of The FA Cup, where they lost out to Premier League Promoted and eventual Semi-Finalists Sheffield United after a replay.
Thomas was among the goalscorers as Wrexham caused a Cup shock courtesy of a 4-3 win against Championship outfit Coventry City. The Tullogher native was on the mark again, as The National League Club were on the verge of another famous Cup victory having led 10 man Sheffield United 3-2 deep into stoppage time.
However, Republic of Ireland International John Egan grabbed a last gasp equaliser for The Blades to deny Wrexham victory. Thomas was introduced as a substitution in the replay, as the Wrexham dream ended with a 3-1 defeat having missed a penalty to go 2-1 ahead.
They bounced back though and their League Championship victory reaped rewards for the investment provided by their Millionaire owners, and they were rewarded by their owners with a trip to Las Vegas as part of the celebrations.
Thomas could potentially come up against fellow Kilkenny man Gavan Holohan in a League Two clash next season, as Gavan plies his trade with FA Cup Quarter-Finalists Grimbsy Town.
The two were in opposition in last years National League Play-Off Semi-Final, as Grimbsy won 5-4 after extra-time following an epic battle before then going on to win The Play-Off Final against Solihull Moors.
This is the third consecutive year that a Kilkenny Man has been involved in Promotion to The Football League, as Gavan played for Hartlepool United during The 2020-2021 season that gained Promotion to League Two following a Play-Off Final win against Torquay United.
Thomas O’Connor is contracted to Wrexham until 2025 and having had a great run in this years FA Cup, the potential is there for further progression to continue their adventure on an upward curve.