News In Depth
100,000 fans salute City's heroes
A Manchester City victory party turned the streets of the city sky blue as 100,000 fans cheered their injury time heroes.
The "noisy neighbours" held a tumultuous celebration as legions of supporters crammed Manchester city centre for an open-top bus parade by the team.
Police estimated the crowds reached 100,000 supporters amid a carnival atmosphere, with no reports of trouble and just a single minor arrest for drunk and disorderly.
Fans climbed lampposts and jostled for position on roof tops and walls to glimpse a sight of the team.
They were just seconds away from blowing their title dreams before two goals in two minutes secured the club's first league championship in 44 years, snatching the honour away from arch rivals Manchester United.
Around 12,000 fans alone packed Albert Square in front of Manchester Town Hall singing "champione" before the open-top bus parade set off.
Supporters had queued from early afternoon to get a prime spot where players thanked the fans for their support.
Their heroes emerged one-by-one from the town hall on to a raised stage to deafening applause and cheers from fans with fists punching the air and hundreds of sky blue flags fluttering in the wind.
Manager Roberto Mancini and team captain Vincent Kompany appeared last, carrying the Premiership trophy between them and greeted with the biggest cheer of the night.
Kompany told fans: "I want to say thank you, you guys have been amazing."
Mancini added: "I think that you should be proud of these players. They did everything for you. They wanted to win this championship for you."
Many of City's army of followers were not even born when they won their last league title during the club's last glory days in the 1960s.
But the team's once long-suffering fans were in party mood heralding a "Blue Moon Rising" to mark the first of what could be many title honours for the club, now backed by oil-rich Arabs.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart told fans: "It was one of the most dramatic days of my life...and one of the best."
Finally before the parade began, an explosion of sky blue and white ticker-tape and streamers shot into the sky as players linked arms and joined fans in a rousing rendition of Queen's anthem, We are the Champions.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said despite the huge crowds the parade did not go off without another heart-stopping drama for one family.
The force used Twitter to put an alert out that a nine-year-old girl called Marley had become separated from her father but was with officers in the police vehicle at front of the parade.
The tweet appealed to Marley's parents to contact GMP and 16 minutes later police updated their Twitter with: "Marley and dad are now back together - a huge relief!"
Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said: "Tonight's homecoming parade was a fantastic opportunity for the blue half of Manchester to share in their team's success.
"We estimate that around 100,000 City fans came to the city centre to cheer on their team and there was a friendly, carnival atmosphere throughout.
"It is testament to these supporters that my officers were only called on to make one single arrest during the event.
"I also want to praise the organisers and my officers on the ground who helped ensure the parade passed off without incident and was a great showcase for Manchester."
City fan John Wilkinson, 43, from Manchester, said: "I couldn't get there yesterday so wanted to come today. It's been an emotional rollercoaster.
"My son was upset yesterday because he thought we lost and he would have go into school and face the United fans.
"I have followed City since the early 90s so when it went 2-1 I was really down and thought we had blown it.
"I can't put into words what this means."
Lauren Lloyd, 25, from Stockport, said: "Yesterday was absolute agony then ecstasy. I still haven't come down. Eastlands was banging after the final whistle."
Nat Holmes, 22, from Manchester, said: "Look at the City fans here tonight. The reds have got blase about all this, but we're proper Mancunian fans. This means everything to us after watching that lot from Trafford win things year after year."
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, added: "Manchester City fans have waited a long time for this - as can be seen from the thousands of people on the streets celebrating their victory, and suddenly the last 40 years of chasing the championship doesn't seem to matter.
"The fans have done us proud tonight as Manchester takes centre stage across the world once again."
Wreathed in smiles, Mancini and his men revelled in the atmosphere as they made their way through the city centre atop the bus.
A wave of noise greeted the team as they inched their way through the streets, fans ten deep cramming the roadside.
Fathers held young sons on their shoulders as supporters clamoured and cheered as the team passed; Mancini, in his trademark City scarf, stood at the head of the first bus with more players and club staff in a second bus following.
As soon as the buses rolled by, hundreds of young fans headed off for short-cuts through the streets to get another glimpse of the team further along the route.
Older fans headed for pubs and clubs to carry on the celebrations into the night.
what do you think?
So it's orange juice all round then.
Nah, dont geddit!
well done to city. thats the first and last time i will ever say that as no doubt they are going to dominate for years and ill soon be sick of them winning everything just like utd and chelsea and liverpool before them. im always sick of arsenal. COYS!
city.......won the premiership?wow....so how much did they win,and how much did it cost?any figures?
united fan? lol
does it still hurt lol?