IT TOOK a good month after his famous Wembley spot-kick for Paul Bodin to fully realise how important a role he had played in Swindon Town’s promotion to the Premier League.

Bodin fired his 85th-minute penalty past Kevin Poole in the Leicester goal to ensure that Town did not throw away the opportunity to ascend into the top flight of English football, having been pegged back to 3-3 after going 3-0 up early in the second half.

The magnitude of the achievement was evident for all to see when Town’s team bus plodded back down the M4 post-match with fans lining the streets to cheer their heroes home.

For Bodin, however, the celebrations were short-lived.

The Welsh international had to join up with his national teammates for a clash with the Faroe Islands the following day and therefore missed much of the glory that came as a result of his penalty.

He didn’t get to be a part of the open-top bus tour of Swindon and could only enjoy muted celebrations on the evening of the final itself. And it took a sandy beach and some peace and quiet for him to fully realise the extent of what he and the Robins had managed on May 31, 1993.

“It took weeks to sink in,” he told the Advertiser. “The game and coming back down the motorway was fantastic but the next day I was off to join up with the Welsh squad.

“I was planning for the next game very quickly whereas with most of the lads that was it.

“I missed the open-top bus that year. I did the open-top bus in 1990 because there were no international games then, but in 1993 it was literally the next day.

“There was a short celebration - in the De Vere I think - and then I joined up with the Welsh squad the following day.

“I didn’t really celebrate too much but over the course of the weeks on holiday over the summer, just sitting on a beach thinking about it and how much it meant.

“That’s when it started to sink in, when I was thinking about the fixtures - about playing Man United and Arsenal and Tottenham.

“It took a while to really sink in but it was a wonderful time in the Premier, something all the boys relished. We weren’t good enough to stay up, obviously, but it was a great experience.”

Bodin is currently still in discussions with Swindon Town regarding his own personal future with the club, having been off work with stress for several weeks.