Croydon Athletic are celebrating promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division for the first time in their history.

The Rams drew 0-0 at second-placed Folkestone Invicta tonight, leaving them four points clear with just one game to play and crowning them champions of Ryman League Division One South.

It was an emotional night all round as the match was also a tribute to Rifleman Peter Aldridge, who was killed in Afghanistan.

Tim O'Shea's side were the pre-season favourites to win the league but would have only been runners-up had Folkestone not been deducted 10 points for entering into a CVA.

Next season will be the first time Croydon, who play at the KT Stadium in Thornton Heath, have played in the seventh tier of English football.

More than 2,100 people crammed in to the stadium to honour Rifleman Aldridge, who grew up in Croydon before moving to Folkestone.

The evening commenced with the Band of the Combined Cadet Force, Sir Roger Manwoods School, playing on the pitch before.

The Aldridge family and other dignitaries were then introduced to the fourth Battalion Rifles, the Standard Bearers, Cadets and all of Folkestone Invicta's youth teams which had formed a large arc around the pitch.

Just before 7.40pm the Invicta and Croydon players joined the pitch and faced the Aldridge family and guests.

Then the ground fell silent as the Standards were lowered and the last post was played and a minutes silence was immaculately observed in honour, after which the Reveille was played and Standards were raised.