Belfast Telegraph

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Now Baxter's Crusaders' legends have eclipsed Walker's wonderful Seaview side

By Steven Beacom

Published 20/04/2016

Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Paul Heatley celebrates during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders players celebrate winning the league
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Craig McClean celebrates with fans
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders players Mathew Snoddy and Charlie Murphy celebrate
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Sean ONeil celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Craig McClean celebrates with fans
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Paul Heatley celebrates with fans
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Andy Mitchell celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Gavin Whyte celebrates with fans
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders players celebrates with fans
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates with Jeff Speers
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates with Jeff Speers
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates with coaching team
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Sean O'Neill and Jordan Forsythe celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Sean O'Neill and Jordan Forsythe celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Mathew Snoddy and Paul Heatley celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders captain Colin Coates celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders captain Colin Coates celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders captain Colin Coates celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders captain Colin Coates celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Mathew Snoddy celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Mathew Snoddy celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Richard Clarke , Mathew Snoddy and Gavin Whyte celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Captain Colin Coates celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Captain Colin Coates celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Captain Colin Coates celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Crusaders celebrating after they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Paul Heatley scores his second at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Cliftonvilles' Martin Donnelly and Crusaders Gavin Whyte in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Cliftonville's Ryan Catney in action with Crusaders' Paul Heatley. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton /Presseye
Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Cliftonville's Caoimhin Bonner in action with Crusader's Jordan Owens. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton /Presseye
Crusaders Gavin Whyte opens the scoring at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pictured is Crusaders Gavin Whye scores in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Pictured is Crusaders Gavin Whye scores in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Pictured is Crusaders Gavin Whye scores in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Pictured is Crusaders Gavin Whye scores in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Finish the job: Paul Heatley wants Crusaders to beat Cliftonville and win back-to-back titles

Glen Dunlop was one of the finest Irish League footballers ever. He would be in the top three that I have seen alongside the great Glenn Ferguson and the glorious Jim Cleary.

Dunlop was a peerless defender in the mid-90s when Crusaders were the top team in the country.

Guided by inspirational boss Roy Walker the Crues won two titles in that period as well as a host of knockout competitions.

They were renowned for being tough to beat and often played up to their Hatchetmen nickname, but that side had high quality footballers too. They could mix it and milk it.

Champions in 1995 and 1997, players like Dunlop, Kevin McKeown, Aaron Callaghan, Alan Dornan, Gary McCartney, Trevor McMullan, Liam Dunne, Martin Murray, Sid Burrows, Kirk Hunter, Glenn Hunter, Gavin Arthur and Chris Morgan became favourites at Seaview.

More:

Crusaders title win: We'll get even better and win more, blasts boss Stephen Baxter

Crusaders' title party kicks off in style at Solitude  

As did a certain Stephen Baxter. He was a menacing striker back then who formed a deadly partnership with Glenn Hunter and up there with the dynamic Dunlop in terms of influence.

After gorging themselves on silverware, some lean years followed for the Crues.

Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Paul Heatley celebrates during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders players celebrate winning the league
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Craig McClean celebrates with fans
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders players Mathew Snoddy and Charlie Murphy celebrate
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Sean ONeil celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Craig McClean celebrates with fans
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Paul Heatley celebrates with fans
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Andy Mitchell celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders Gavin Whyte celebrates with fans
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders players celebrates with fans
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates with Jeff Speers
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates with Jeff Speers
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates with coaching team
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Sean O'Neill and Jordan Forsythe celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Sean O'Neill and Jordan Forsythe celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Mathew Snoddy and Paul Heatley celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders captain Colin Coates celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders captain Colin Coates celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders captain Colin Coates celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders captain Colin Coates celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
Press Eye - Northern Ireland -19th April 2016 Photograph: Cameron Hamilton /Presseye Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter celebrates
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Mathew Snoddy celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Mathew Snoddy celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Richard Clarke , Mathew Snoddy and Gavin Whyte celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrate their win during this evenings game at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Captain Colin Coates celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Captain Colin Coates celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Captain Colin Coates celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders celebrates after winning the League Title at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Crusaders celebrating after they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - April 19, Pictured is Crusaders Celebrating as they win the league in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/04/2016 Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership Crusaders Paul Heatley scores his second at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Cliftonvilles' Martin Donnelly and Crusaders Gavin Whyte in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Danske Bank Irish premier league match between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Cliftonville's Ryan Catney in action with Crusaders' Paul Heatley. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton /Presseye
Cliftonville and Crusaders at Solitude Belfast. Cliftonville's Caoimhin Bonner in action with Crusader's Jordan Owens. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton /Presseye
Crusaders Gavin Whyte opens the scoring at Solitude in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pictured is Crusaders Gavin Whye scores in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Pictured is Crusaders Gavin Whye scores in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Pictured is Crusaders Gavin Whye scores in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Pictured is Crusaders Gavin Whye scores in action on April 19, 2016 Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Finish the job: Paul Heatley wants Crusaders to beat Cliftonville and win back-to-back titles

Enter Baxter as boss in 2005 and a wind of change blew through the north Belfast outfit after the club had been relegated to the Intermediate League.

Once he won promotion the following year and established the Crues as a top flight outfit again, he went about making them the best team in the land.

Claiming Irish Cup, League Cup, County Antrim Shield and Setanta Cup glory was welcome, but the championship was what Baxter craved. Now he has two as manager having collected the same number as a Crues player.

Winning a title is one thing. Defending it is even more difficult - and impressive.

No wonder Baxter wore a wide smile at Solitude last night when the Danske Bank Premiership crown was secured for the second season running.

What a manager Baxter has proved to be. The current Seaview stars revere him just like the 90s side respected Walker.

There is a strong argument to state that Baxter is the greatest Crusaders FC servant ever.

Baxter, himself, will point to his players as being the real heroes in what has turned out to be another hugely successful campaign for the Shore Road outfit.

Last season's title glory, the club's first since 1997, was an unforgettable experience for all of the squad. When they reflect on their latest one they will consider it even more satisfactory.

At times their style has been questioned this term, but no one can query the substance of the Shore Road side. They have become masters of the late goal, a trait of champions, illustrating character and class.

And now players like Sean O'Neill, Billy Joe Burns, Colin Coates, Josh Robinson, Andrew Mitchell, Jordan Forsythe, David Magowan, Declan Caddell, Craig McClean, Matthew Snoddy, Paul Heatley and Jordan Owens can bask in the fact that they are history makers.

Last night the club, formed in 1898 and elected into the Irish League in 1949 following Belfast Celtic's withdrawal from the senior ranks, savoured a sixth championship adding 2016 to triumphs in 1973, 1976, 1995, 1997 and 2015.

This was the first time though that Crusaders have retained the crown. Not even Glen Dunlop and the rest of Walker's commanding team did that.

Manager Baxter and his champion players have much to feel proud about.

Belfast Telegraph

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