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Ebbsfleet United owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi emotional after seeing them promoted


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Ebbsfleet owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi was close to tears after watching his club get promoted.

Dr Al-Humaidi flew over from Kuwait for the play-off final and saw Fleet come from a goal down, with 10 men, to beat Chelmsford 2-1 in a Stonebridge Road thriller.

The man who saved the club from ruin in 2013 was given a fitting reception by supporters after the game when he walked around the pitch during the celebrations.

Dherar Al-Humaidi has joined his brother Abdulla on the Ebbsfleet board of directors Picture: Andy Payton
Dherar Al-Humaidi has joined his brother Abdulla on the Ebbsfleet board of directors Picture: Andy Payton

Dr Al-Humaidi said: "I was thinking whether to be here or not because I couldn't stand another defeat. But I think I made the right decision coming over. I was speechless (after the game).

"Like everyone else, I was quite tense (towards the end of the game) but what happened today sums up the entire season; 1-0 down with 10 men and coming back from that.

"I'm really proud of the players and everyone involved with the football club."

Mr Varney was sat next to Dr Al-Humaidi in the main stand as the goals went in before accompanying him on the lap of honour.

He said: "I have to pay a huge tribute to Dr Abdulla. I’ve never seen him too emotional but he was definitely close to tears when he walked round the crowd.

"Virtually every person was on their feet, clapping. That means a lot to somebody who’s funding a football club.

"You can say ‘he’s an individually-wealthy guy so he can afford to do it’ but looking at his face, and a few tears, he massively has bought into this club and he wants it to be successful.

"He’s paid for the £5million stand from his own pocket, he’s paying for the hotel from his own pocket and the further developments. He wants to see this club grow and he’s got real feeling for it.

Fleet fans celebrate Dave Winfield's equaliser Picture: Andy Payton
Fleet fans celebrate Dave Winfield's equaliser Picture: Andy Payton

"Anyone who saw his reaction to the two goals… He’s a very quiet, shy man but when he hugged me, I thought it was a big change.

"He deserves everything he gets for saving this club. It was bust, finished so that was money he put in to save it. From then on, he’s invested in the team and he’s given huge support to Daryl (McMahon) and he’s now building up the stadium."

Dr Al-Humaidi in turn praised the Fleet players for overcoming adversity in the biggest game of the season.

He said: "It says something about the spirit and it says something about Daryl and his management team.

"Between the two halves, hearing some Chelmsford directors saying the football match is theirs... It gives you an idea of the spirit of the team, turning that round with 10 men.

"They played for 45 minutes with just 10 men and seeing the team in the second half with their chins high, heads high and attacking Chelmsford, it was really amazing.

"It sums up the entire season."

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