JUBILANT York City players were met with roaring cheers as they paraded through the city to celebrate their historic Wembley double.
City-centre streets became a sea of red, white and blue yesterday evening as thousands celebrated the Minstermen’s stunning triumphs, which have seen them land the first major trophy in the club’s 90-year history and promotion back to the Football League.
Supporters chanted and cheered and basked in the spring sunshine, as City’s players, management, staff and directors took an open-topped bus ride from Bootham Crescent to the Mansion House.
The FA Trophy and play-off trophy were displayed from the bus as it wound its way along Bootham, Blake Street, Davygate, Parliament Street and Coney Street.
Crowds were already packing behind barriers outside the Mansion House in St Helen’s Square at 5pm, more than an hour before the bus was due to arrive and chants of “We Are York!” and “We...are...going up!” rang around the square.
Katherine Chalmers, 28, from Huntington, said: “It’s lucky we got here early because there was no way we’d miss this. It feels like the whole of York is coming out to celebrate.” Nick Spence, 34, from Haxby, said there was a brilliant feeling in the city. He said: “It’s like people are walking on air.”
Matthew White, 30, from New Earswick, said: “You could just feel how happy everyone is. It’s put the pride back in the club.”
Gary Haynes, 39, from Acomb, said: “To see everybody just so happy and proud of what City have done is something really special. It’ll never be forgotten.”
City won promotion with a 2-1 victory over Luton Town at Wembley on Sunday, only eight days after winning the FA Trophy at the same venue, and three days after City of York Council approved plans for a new stadium at Monks Cross.
York City director Sophie Hicks said: “We have brought pride back to York.”
Chairman Jason McGill said: “This had been the culmination of a great eight days. Sunday’s game was the biggest in the club’s 90-year history.”
Council leader James Alexander and MP Julian Sturdy both praised the team for a fantastic season. The parade was City’s first since they were promoted to the old Second Division in 1993.