Martin O'Neill's side certainly did it the hard way; twice coming back from behind to seal a memorable victory in front of over 40,000 spectators, of which around 17,000 were the Chairboys faithful.
After starting the game on top, Wycombe found themselves behind on 32 minutes courtesy of a spectacular overhead kick by Ian Bryson. Despite the setback, Wanderers wasted no time at all to level the scores. Steve Thompson raced down the left wing, finding space before slotting home.
Preston regained the lead on 38 minutes with Paul Raynor finding the target, and they would take that lead into the half, with Wycombe fans nervously biting their nails as their season hung in the balance.
They only had two minutes of the second half until their nerves were eased. Simon Garner nipped the ball past the Preston keeper after cooly controlling a ball pumped long from halfway.
Garner would then turn provider soon after after receiving the ball from Thompson in an advanced area. The striker threaded it through to David Carroll who converted with precision with the goal at his mercy.
With excitement growing in the Chairboys end, Wycombe knew they had to seal it, and up stepped Carroll with the goods. After picking up the ball inside his own half, he set off, jinking in and out on a mazy run. Carroll had options but he kept going, putting the defenders’ legs in knots before curling one in off the left-hand post and into the net with just under 20 minutes remaining.
The full time whistle was met with a roar of Wycombe jubilation as promotion was confirmed - their second in two years with largely the same squad. O’Neill described it as a classy performance in his post-match interview and few would disagree with a man who was very much writing his name in Wycombe Wanderers folklore.
Wycombe (4-4-2): Hyde; Cousins, Crossley, Creaser, Titterton; Carroll, Reid, Ryan, Thompson; Guppy, Garner.
Substitutes not used: Brown, Hemmings, Moussaddik (gk).
Preston North End (4-4-2): Woods; Fensome, Moyes, Squires, Kidd; Ainsworth, Cartwright, Whalley, Bryson; Raynor, Ellis.
Substitutes not used: Conroy, Lucas, Berryman (gk).
Referee: K Cooper