From Israel to the Promised Land: The 6,000-mile trek to see sporting history

    Over 8,000 fans witnessed Orient's promotion to the English Football League.

    Tel Aviv, Israel (CNN)For most sports fans, the question of whether you would fly thousands of miles to watch your team crowned champions isn't one that even requires thinking about. It's no contest. Of course, if it's at all possible, you're going to jump on the plane and go.

    But when you're in the middle of a family holiday, 3,000 miles from home, the conversations around such an adventure can often be slightly more delicate. In the words of Joe Strummer: "Should I stay or should I go?"
    When my family and I left the UK for Israel to celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover, little thought was given to the possibility that a 6,000 mile round trip in under 48 hours might be in order to witness sporting history being made in a tiny corner of east London.
      A stone throw's away from London's Olympic Park and the stadium that once hosted the 2012 Opening Ceremony, sits the home of Leyton Orient, a football club playing in the fifth tier of English football. It is here, away from the bright lights and riches of the Premier League, that I fell in love with football. It's a love that has lasted 30 years and shows no sign of stopping.
      Since the age of five, Orient has been my obsession. But even in my head, as someone who has lived, breathed, written and dreamed Leyton Orient for the past 30 years, the prospect of making such a trip back home to witness a possible title triumph appeared rather extravagant.
      Standing on the balcony overlooking the glistening Mediterranean Sea, the sun beating down in the heat of the day, the proposition began to sound even more ridiculous when spelled out in its entirety.
      Here's what it was going to entail: A five hour flight from Tel Aviv to London, a 40 minute drive to my relatives' to eat dinner, a 15 minute drive home, sleep, wake up for an interview with the BBC at 6.50 a.m. followed by a quick snooze, a 30 minute drive to the stadium, a quick pre-match chat, watch the game, obviously win the title, celebrate pretty hard, go back to bed, wake up at 3.30am, drive back to airport, fly five hours back to Tel Aviv, get on the train, walk back to the apartment I was staying in, see the family, shout the word "champions" repeatedly at anyone who came within a five meter radius, and then, crash onto the bed before waking up and wondering if it was all a dream.
      Even spelling it out was enough to give me a headache.
      Jobi McAnuff celebrates with manager Justin Edinburgh.

      Risky permutations

      What added to the tension were the risky permutations involved. Orient required just a point from its final fixture against Braintree Town, a club that had already been demoted. Even a narrow defeat may have sufficed, though a big win for Salford City, a club bankrolled by Manchester United's class of '92 including Gary Neville, David Beckham and Paul Scholes, could see it leapfrog Orient to claim top spot.
      The odds were firmly stacked in Orient's favor, and only a catastrophic defeat would prevent the club from returning to the Football League after a two-year absence. The problem was that catastrophic defeats are something that tend to cling to Orient like a bad smell.
      Add that to Orient's recent awful misfortune, the slide from being within touching distance of the second tier of English football to freefalling into the fifth tier within three years and it becomes clear why fans were approaching Saturday's game with trepidation.
      But this season has been different. Under new ownership, Orient has produced some astonishing results to ensure a title challenge. A goalless draw at championship rival Solihull Moors on Easter Monday meant Orient would only require a tie to become champions and be promoted in its final game.
      For me, there was no decision to be made. I was going. In fact, it was unaminous. The family said: "You've got to go."
      Flights were booked, calls were made, and on the day before the game it was time to fly 3,000 miles back to London.
      Dale Gorman celebrates with fans.

      Missing piece of furniture

      For 30 years, week after week, I had followed Orient. I had seen them relegated, promoted, beaten in play-off finals, cause upsets against big clubs, and lose more games than I care to remember. I had laughed, I had cried, cried some more, and become part of a club that has community at its heart. In a world where so many of us crave somewhere to escape to, Orient had become my home.
      But home, has been missing a piece of furniture in recent months. Grandpa, my grandpa.
      It was his hand I held as a five-year-old while walking up those steps for the first time at Brisbane Road. It was his glasses that I used to watch the reflection of the game through. It was his pen and handwriting that is all over the match day programs, and it is him stamped on every single memory I have of following Leyton Orient for 30 years.
      When he passed away at the age of 92 in September, it was the end of an era. He was not only my grandpa, he was my mentor, my role model, and my friend. The season and Orient's success became personal. I wanted the team to do it for him.
      And so, when the chance came to fly back to London, it was an easy decision to make. I wanted to be there for him. I wanted to be there along side his two sons, my uncles, and my aunt, for a game that would transform the fortunes of the club that Grandpa supported for the best part of 80 years.
      I wanted to be there because Orient was part of his family, the club that made him smile, laugh and cry. It was the place where I began to write about football, the club that made me feel as if I belonged, and a set of supporters who know what it is to rise from the very bottom and hold dear each and every success that comes their way.