All week the Swindon Advertiser will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Swindon Town's promotion to the Premier League following their 4-3 play-off final victory over Leicester City at Wembley on May 31, 1993.

RECALLING on their dramatic 4-3 win over Leicester City, midfielder Martin Ling believes Swindon Town are the smallest club to have ever reached the top tier in English football.

An exhausting league campaign, which had Swindon finishing fifth behind Tranmere Rovers came to a cathartic close at Wembley Stadium as fans flocked to the capital to watch Glenn Hoddle’s side bid for promotion.

Paul Bodin’s 84th minute penalty sealed Swindon’s promotion the Premier League - back in a time where Roy Keane became Britain’s most expensive player, priced at £3.75m – for some sense of scale.

Ling, now 51, believes comparatively Swindon were overachieving in Division Two, let alone getting promoted through the play-offs, something he largely attributes to player-manager Hoddle.

“I’ve been quoted saying that it won’t ever happen again, people say Huddersfield Town but we were a smaller club,” said the former Swindon Town manager.

“I think we were the smallest club that have ever been in the Premier League if I am honest. It was just the build of having Glenn coming here.

“People took more notice because he was out player-manager, but outside of the club we had no other justification to be in the Premier League.

“We weren’t a big budget in the Championship, just getting up looked like we had over achieved, but to win the play-offs as well was unheard of and very unlikely to happen again.”

The game itself was a turbulent one as Swindon rushed into a 3-0 lead, before being pegged back level after a benumbing comeback from the Foxes.

However, Bodin delivered from the spot to secure the win late on and Ling revealed at the time, he and his teammates thought the end result was never in doubt.

“The game was weird, even though it looked like it was all falling apart around us after were we 3-0 up and looking so comfortable it never felt like that,” he added.

“I was shell shocked in the time they got the three goals. I remember Glenn in particular calmed us down and told us to get back to what we had been doing.

“His belief went through the players. When they equalised everyone expected them to get the goal, but we had as good a spell then as we had for the rest of the game.

“Those three goals would have put a lot of people out but there seemed to be a calmness out there on the pitch.

“Looking back at it it’s scarier watching the game than it was when we were playing in it to be honest.”

Since the end of his playing career, Ling , like many other members of that promotion-winning team, remained in football.

Ling went on to manage the likes of Leyton Orient, Cambridge United and most recently Swindon Town.

Now the director of football at the O’s the 51-year-old says despite a quarter of a century passing, he and his former teammates share an interminable bond and reveal he often crosses paths with his former colleagues.

“I can’t believe it is 25 years ago if I am totally honest. It’s just under half of my life which is quite scary,”

“Like anything in football, it just seems to go past so quickly. When we got together recently at the club for the celebration, everyone said the same.

“It didn’t feel anywhere near 25 years. It’s always good to catch up with the guys, our paths do cross occasionally.

“I worked with Shaun Taylor during my time with Torquay and I’m always in touch with Paul Bodin and David Mitchell.

“Mitchell is more through email because he is in Australia so it is always to catch up and then you almost seem to slip back into your role.

“It seems a bit strange because we know each other so well. When you have been as successful as we were together you always have that bond.”