“WHAT he did is right up there. We’re down here.”

Mike Penny gestures with his hands to illustrate his point.

He was responding my suggestion the team he coached with Danny Townsend, which triumphed in the final of a national cup competition at Twickenham, had delivered one of the defining moments for sport in Northwich.

I’d mentioned them in the same sentence as Matthew Langridge winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games last summer.

He is right, of course.

What the rower achieved in Rio can never be surpassed, but a team made up largely of lads that came through their club’s junior ranks are a worthy second.

Northwich Victoria lifting the FA Trophy at Stoke, which they did in 1984, is football’s equivalent.

I was at Headquarters that sun-drenched Sunday morning in April 2007, watching with admiration the Moss Farm outfit’s finest hour.

“Those who were there watched the final agonising minutes through trembling fingers, but their Twickenham tales will live long in the memory,” reads the second line of my match report.

“Unbeatable” was the headline, succinct but a fact with it, I picked for the back page of that week’s print edition.

Blacks had already secured the South Lancs/Cheshire Division One title without losing a game, and they went on to add the Cheshire RFU Vase before a historic campaign’s finale.

A decade on, most of the players from that squad will be lauded at a reunion in their honour this weekend.

Four of them – Dave Farley, Chris Heywood, Chris James and Rick Smith – have featured for the first-team this season.

It is fitting that Martin Poste’s current crop, history-makers themselves after winning 27 successive league matches during a 12-month period from October 2015, will play on a pitch next door to the party on Saturday.

The similarities between Northwich now and the side Penny and Townsend inspired to glory, are striking.

“I can see them,” Jonathan Simpson, captain of the treble-winning side, said to me.

“Of course there’s a straight-line connection because some of the guys I played alongside are still out there.

“But they have the same charismatic leadership we did, and a core of players that have been at the club for a number of years.”

Looking back is important, particularly to remember an achievement that remains unique.

To paraphrase Penny, what his exceptional Northwich side did a decade ago remains, for me, ‘right up there.’