SUNDAY’S emotional tributes to Justin Edinburgh at Rodney Parade offered a chance to reflect on his legacy at Newport County AFC and the progress the club has made over the last decade.

And, as we prepare to enter the 2020s tomorrow, what better time to look back on the highlights of the 2010s?

I’ve been extremely privileged to witness some historic moments in Welsh sport over the past 10 years so picking may favourite moments was no easy task.

But here are my favourite memories of events that I saw in person over the last decade in chronological order.

South Wales Argus:

March 2010 – County win promotion

The 2009-2010 season was one of spectacular success for the Exiles as they final escaped the Conference South to win promotion to the Conference as champions under Dean Holdsworth.

The title was wrapped up with seven games to spare as a Sam Foley brace sealed a 2-0 home win over Havant & Waterlooville at Spytty Park and sparked wild celebrations in Bar Amber with players and management dancing on tables.

South Wales Argus:

October 2010 – Europe win the Ryder Cup

I’m not the biggest golf fan in the world and I can barely swing a club but even I got swept up in Ryder Cup fever when the self-styled ‘third-biggest sporting event in the world’ came to the Celtic Manor.

The Welsh weather failed to dampen anyone’s spirits and the added bonus of a Monday finish in glorious sunshine provided a superb finale as Graeme McDowell sunk the winning putt to see off the Americans in style.

South Wales Argus:

May 2012 – County at Wembley

English football’s national stadium has become almost like a second home for the Exiles in recent years, but there was real excitement when the aforementioned Edinburgh led the club to the famous stadium for the first time in its 100-year history.

The match itself, a drab 2-0 defeat to York City in the FA Trophy final, was a disappointment for Edinburgh’s men but it signalled the potential in the team and gave the travelling amber army of more than 10,000 a grand day out.

South Wales Argus:

September 2012 – Paralympics

Cast your mind back to London 2012, to a time before Brexit when Britain was united like never before. I didn’t get to cover the Olympics, but it was a pleasure to witness sporting history being made in the Paralympics.

Watching Tredegar cyclist Mark Colbourne claim a silver medal in the men's C1 road time trial at Brands Hatch was a highlight, as was seeing Cwmbran’s Kyron Duke compete in the Olympic Stadium.

South Wales Argus:

May 2013 – County win promotion (again)

A mere 12 months on from their first visit to Wembley, Edinburgh’s men were back under the arch and it was a much happier occasion as goals from Christian Jolley and Aaron O’Connor sealed a 2-0 win over Wrexham in the Conference play-off final.

A quarter of a century on from losing their Football League status, and much more a year later, County were back in the big time and it’s a day no fan who was there will ever forget.

South Wales Argus:

Summer 2014 – Commonwealth Games

Two years on from the Paralympics, I was lucky enough to be sent to Glasgow to cover the Welsh athletes at the Commonwealth Games and it was a memorable mix of Irn-Bru, Tunnock’s Tea Cakes and sporting superstars.

Seeing the legendary Usain Bolt in action was the undoubted highlight but watching Frankie Jones claim gold in the rhythmic gymnastics was almost as exciting.

South Wales Argus:

October 2015 – Rugby World Cup

Wales may have made it to the semi-finals in 2011 and 2019 but I wasn’t fortunate enough to be sent to either New Zealand or Japan.

The 2015 tournament in England and Wales was within budget and it was a pleasure to accompany my esteemed colleague Chris Kirwan to Twickenham to see Warren Gatland’s warriors effectively dump the hosts out of their own world cup.

South Wales Argus:

Summer 2016 – Wales at the Euros

In terms of my working life, it’s unlikely that anything will beat spending a month in France as Wales shocked everybody by making it to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

Thank you to Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Hal Robson-Kanu and, most of all, to Chris Coleman for a magical summer.

South Wales Argus:

May 2017 – Exiles’ Great Escape

It feels a bit like celebrating failure, but there’s no denying that County’s miraculous survival against all odds was one of the most memorable moments of the decade.

Michael Flynn somehow saved his hometown club and Mark O’Brien made himself a hero for ever more. So good, I wrote a book about it and it’s still available via an online retailer named after a South American river.

South Wales Argus:

May 2019 – Stags stunned in shootout

The Great Escape proved to be just the start for Flynn’s men, who have earned a reputation as cup kings thanks to their never-to-be-forgotten clashes with Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Middlesbrough and Manchester City in the FA Cup.

But even more impressive was the run to the League Two play-off final last season with a 10-game unbeaten run followed by a thrilling penalty shootout win at Mansfield Town, sparking scenes of jubilation in the away end at Field Mill.

Here’s hoping for more of the same in 2020. Happy new year all.