FOR the first time in what feels like an eternity, Bolton Wanderers are on the up again.

In the space of 12 months, this famous old name of English football has been reborn, its fanbase reunited.

Just a year ago a fragmented support sported banners slating their team for displaying “No Effort, No Hope” as they fell through the relegation trapdoor without even so much as a whimper.

So many lifelong fans had fallen by the wayside in recent years, either in disagreement at the way their club was being run or simply because they were no longer in love with the Whites.

On Sunday, grown men stood teary-eyed to cheer many of the same players who had reinvented themselves under Phil Parkinson to claim back their place in the Championship, while younger fans watched on with wide-eyed wonder at the promotion party and liked what they saw.

There may be plenty of work left to do to restore this club to its former glories but, make no mistake, this was a magnificent step in the right direction on and off the pitch.

No other club has achieved promotion from this division in a transfer embargo. No other club has had their financial dirty laundry aired with such regularity while simultaneously fighting a promotion battle.

But then Bolton Wanderers isn’t any ordinary club, and Parkinson has shown himself to be anything but an ordinary manager.

Transforming a team which was on its haunches on his arrival last summer into a robust, resilient and reliable outfit was remarkable in itself. Better than that, he also got the fans to buy into it too.

Not for many years has such joy spread around the stadium as it did during the second half as Wanderers cruised to a comfortable and professional victory to see themselves over the line.

From the moment Jem Karacan gave them the lead in the 22nd minute, Fleetwood’s impressive chase was rendered obsolete.

David Wheater and Adam Le Fondre steadied any nerves and made sure that by the time referee Scott Duncan did sound his final whistle, the celebrations had long since started.

Up, up and away! Phil Parkinson salutes loyal Bolton Wanderers fans after promotion

PICTURES: 298 fantastic photographs from Bolton Wanderers' promotion party at the Macron

Bolton Wanderers' Phil Parkinson: Jem Karacan fight was worth the effort

This promotion battle should probably have been done and dusted weeks ago, as a one-time 10-point lead over Fleetwood was eaten away to leave it all hanging on the last game. As so often has been the case since Parkinson’s arrival, however, he raised the players for the big occasion.

While a few nerves may have jangled before half time when Mark Beevers’ telescopic left leg was needed to make a brilliant goal-saving challenge on Tom Nicholls to keep the score at 1-0, behind the scenes it was a picture of perfect confidence.

Parkinson and his staff kept every detail of the build-up exactly the same as it would have been at any other stage of the season. The manager exudes calm, and that has passed on to his players in the last eight months.

Once Karacan put them ahead with a well-taken volley from Dorian Dervite’s fine right-wing cross there was no looking back.

The defence has only shipped 36 goals all season, a record for a 46-game campaign, and once again the back three were in imperious form, kicking into gear just before half time when Posh briefly threatened to make a game of it.

Grant McCann’s mid-table side had little riding on the game but professional pride, and few emerged with it all intact. It has been a disappointing season for the men from London Road and their 400-odd travelling support deserved better than they got.Wheater made it two 10 minutes into the second half, bravely heading his ninth goal of the season, and from there it was party time all the way.

Le Fondre got the goal his work-rate deserved, slotting home after being found by a great pass from the unselfish Josh Vela.

The only shame was that his strike partner Gary Madine could not have done the same – as once again his performance in the target-man role was top drawer. If anyone has worked hard to win over his doubters it has been the former Sheffield Wednesday man and, judging by the reaction from around the stadium when he took a standing ovation in the 90th minute, he has succeeded.

Warnings not to invade the pitch fell on deaf ears, but the good news was that the revellers retreated back into the stands soon enough to allow the team to lift their second-place trophy in the traditional manner.

Glasses were raised right around town well into the night, and about time too. But as we wake up this morning to consider what next for Wanderers it is important to recognise there is still a sobering situation which needs to be rectified.

The on-going ownership issue has not been resolved, indeed news of an impending winding-up order on behalf of BluMarble, the finance company which funded Sport Shield BWFC’s takeover just over 12 months ago, would be enough to sober many a mind.

Wanderers are a club on the up and one can only hope Ken Anderson and Dean Holdsworth are able to keep goodwill on their side this summer to give Parkinson a chance to continue building.

He has already shown what he can do in a transfer embargo. Imagine what he would be able to do with a free reign in the market?