Manchester City celebrate title in style
Sky Sports News' Peter Stevenson reports from the heart of Manchester as City celebrate their second Premier League title in three seasons in front of their own fans with an open-top bus parade...
Last Updated: 13/05/14 8:46am
Thousands converged on Albert Square for a celebration of music, comedians, brass band and of course the victorious City squad complete with the Premier League and Capital One Cup.
The fans had queued for hours waiting for the moment at 4:20 when they were allowed to pour into the Town Hall precinct that only twelve months ago hosted a party for the red half of the city.
City council leader Richard Leese, a devoted Etihad fan, was delighted to help host a civic reception wearing his lucky City socks.
"To have the city's football teams doing so well is really important. Football is the biggest single driver of visitors to Manchester," he told Sky Sports.
Above all for City fans, it was the chance to celebrate a second title win in three years, with this latest success nowhere near as nerve-jangling as 2012.
Every fan appears delighted that manager Manuel Pellegrini has brought two trophies to the club in his first season, especially as it has coincided with an alarming decline over at Old Trafford.
And there's real hope that this squad, with reinforcements, could now seriously challenge Europe's footballing superpowers.
As if fans needed any reminder, the party started with video highlights of the past nine months.
Old heroes Mike Summerbee and Tony Book revelled in the atmosphere. City even wheeled out a brass band to add to the occasion.
Then to the sounds of "Right Here, Right Now" the new crop of City stars entered the stage.
Cue flames, fireworks and ticket tape.......a spectacular way to end a spectacular season.
Then it was on to the open top bus to head slowly past thousands of adoring fans. Later the squad flies to Abu Dhabi to continue the celebrations with the club's owners.
And in the middle of a blue sea, spare a thought for Leighton, visiting the square with his new bride. There was just one problem......Leighton is a United fan.......probably the only one there.
"Not many City fans here," he said through gritted teeth before adding: "We'll be back."
Indeed they will, which makes next year's Premier League title prospects look even more mouth-watering...and it has been a pretty special season this time round.