Bromley FCSport

Byron Webster on being Bromley’s National League play-off spot-kick hero – and uncertain playing future


Byron Webster has revealed he was close to quitting football before joining Bromley – with the 37-year-old scoring the winning penalty on Sunday to take them into the Football League for the first time in their 132-year history.

The ex-Millwall defender joined the Ravens in 2020 after leaving Carlisle United and has made 140 appearances.

Webster, who was made club captain by Bromley manager Andy Woodman, took responsibility for the fifth penalty of the shootout against Solihull Moors and calmly converted.

When asked if getting back into the Football League was the goal when joining Bromley, Webster said: “Not at all. It seems a long time ago. After Covid, I was ready to jack it in.

“I didn’t enjoy my time at my previous club. Football became a job – it wasn’t a thing I loved.

“I played with Dunny [assistant manager Alan Dunne] a few years previously. He asked me to come to Bromley and it reignited the light and burning of enjoying football.

“I have loved every minute. The gaffer has banged on about it all year – make history.

Bromley v Solihull Moors – Vanarama National League Promotion Play-Off Final , Wembley Stadium 05 May 2024
Picture : Keith Gillard
Bromley v Solihull Moors – Vanarama National League Promotion Play-Off Final , Wembley Stadium 05 May 2024
Picture : Keith Gillard

“I can only use Millwall and Yeovil as an example for when I was there. I was never the greatest player, but I created history at those clubs and I have always been welcomed back.

“It will hopefully be the same for all of us boys at Bromley now we have gone down in the history books. I’m sure we will be welcomed back in 20 or 30 years.”

TV replays showed Webster grinned at Solihull keeper Nick Hayes before sending the Ipswich loanee the wrong way to propel the 15,000 Bromley fans at the tie into joyous bedlam.

The centre-back, who was part of the Millwall side which won the League One play-offs in 2017, added: “He (Hayes) said to me: ‘I know where you’re going’. I thought: ‘That’s a lie – because I don’t even know where I am going’.

“I don’t know why I was calm or relaxed.

“We have practised penalties since losing to Solihull in the FA Trophy. But every time, I have gone the other way. This time, I have seen the keeper go more or less every time to his right, so I’m thankful it went in.

“I was relatively calm.

“The nerves kicked in afterwards. I don’t know if that’s because I saw my parents and kids there in the stands and their smiles.

“Nine times out of 10, if you’re 12 yards out and there is only the keeper in front of you, you have a chance.

“I was confident. It wasn’t until after that I thought: ‘What do I do now?’ I just stood there like a numpty.”

Bromley v Solihull Moors – Vanarama National League Promotion Play-Off Final , Wembley Stadium 05 May 2024
Picture : Keith Gillard

Webster is out of contract this summer and admitted to broadcaster talkSPORT that he was unaware of what his Bromley future could hold.

“It could be the last game and last time at Wembley,” he said. “But I don’t overthink things. I’m not bright enough to think about things – it hurts sometimes.

“It’s one of them where I go into the game and I just play football.

“I have robbed a living – I should have never achieved what I have in my career.

“I just said that to my son and I’m dying for the penny to drop for him.

“My son and daughter have more talent than me. I have just worked hard for everything in my career.

“My son walked out with me today before the match – he was over the moon.

“We, as players, are selfish. Throughout the whole year, we miss birthdays and parents’ evenings – everything. It’s not a nine-to-five job.

“If the manager is in the mood, we can be in. So days like this, when they’re able to enjoy it, means a lot.”

Michael Cheek scored a brace for Bromley in normal time to twice put Woodman’s side ahead.

Bromley v Solihull Moors – Vanarama National League Promotion Play-Off Final , Wembley Stadium 05 May 2024
Picture : Keith Gillard

The 32-year-old netted 23 times in all competitions for the Ravens this season and is now set to play in the top four divisions of the pyramid for the first time in his career.

“He deserves it,” said Webster. “It’s crazy he has never played in the Football League.

“He has scored so many goals at the National League and below that.

“I played with Lee Gregory at Millwall and he came from Halifax in the National League.

“If you’re a goalscorer, it doesn’t matter what league you’re in.

“He’ll admit he’s not an all-round fantastic footballer, but he knows where the back of the net is.

“When he’s in your team, you know you have half a chance of winning.”


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