Paul Hodgson says Sutton & Epsom’s promotion to the National Leagues is testament to how the club is run.

Despite still having two games to play, Sutton wrapped up the London Division One South title in style at the weekend with a 25-18 victory at Medway.

Hodgson began his career at Rugby Lane before leaving in 2002 to kick-start a pro career which would see him make more than 300 appearances for Bristol, London Irish and Worcester.

PICTURE GALLERY: Sutton & Epsom crowned London Division One South champions

Desperate to fire the club to promotion, the scrum-half returned to Sutton in the summer and insists achieving the goal feels special.

“The whole team is absolutely delighted,” he said.

“I wanted to go back to help the club get promoted so it’s amazing for that to become a reality.

“The club really is close to my heart – I’ve been involved with Sutton since the age of six.

“Growing up I was always at the club with my mum, dad, brother and sisters, so to win the title feels special, it really does.”

While Sutton have been title contenders for the entire campaign, Hodgson insists it was a relief to get over the winning line in Rochester on Saturday.

The 33-year-old said: “It was a mixture of relief and joy – it’s a great achievement. To be able to share that moment with the group was great and almost surreal.

“It’s testament to the way the club is run. There is a professionalism around the place. We have over 30 turn up for training, this is a proper club.”

Lee Cholewa’s side had won 20 of their 23 league games prior to the Medway clash and knew victory in Kent would see them crowned champions.

After opening up a 15-9 lead, the hosts battled back to draw level but Hodgson says the squad was never too concerned about a rare slip up.

“Medway are a good team with good individuals so it was always going to be tough,” he added.

“But they didn’t score a try which is credit to our defence who have been superb all season.

“It was a little tense but we always felt we had the players to punish them.”

With the title in the bag, Sutton & Epsom can look forward to two home games to finish off the season.

Hodgson, who has nine England caps, is looking forward to the atmosphere at Rugby Lane.

“We have a great home support and they deserve real credit for our success,” the Epsom-born star said.

“To play there as champions will be really special and we want to finish with a bang. We’ve still got targets we want to hit as a team.”

Hodgson added: “The second XI have a play-off semi-final on Saturday so I need to give them a shout out as well.

“They’ve pushed the first-team all season and without the competition who knows where we would be. We all wish them the best of luck.”