Leicester

Leicester City parade: Thousands gather to celebrate Premier League title win

Media caption"The moment they've all been waiting for": The BBC's Sian Lloyd joins players and fans during the open-top bus parade

More than 240,000 people lined the streets to watch Leicester City parade on open-top buses in celebration of their Premier League title win.

The victory parade started at Jubilee Square in the city with the team later taking to the stage at Victoria Park.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri said it was "unbelievable" the whole city had seemingly turned up to celebrate.

Rock band Kasabian, who formed in Leicester in 1997, also performed for the crowd in the park.

Ranieri added: "I think this [the crowd] is because the team won but also they played with the heart, with the soul and I think the people understand this."

He later cried "keep dreaming, don't wake up", during an on-stage interview to thunderous roars from the approving crowd.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Leicester City fans started gathering in the city centre hours before the parade's start time of 18:00 BST
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The team cradled the precious trophy as they made their way through the city

The champions were 5,000-1 to win the title at the start of the season.

But the Foxes overcame any doubters when they were presented with the trophy after their final home game of the season against Everton on 7 May.

Highlights of the club's season, including goals from striker Jamie Vardy and PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez, as well as memorable quotes from Ranieri, were played on the park's big screens during the evening's celebrations.

At the scene: Festival feeling for Foxes' fiesta

Dave Wade, BBC News Online

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The streets were a sea of blue and white

Cancel Glastonbury. We've already had this summer's best festival.

Victoria Park was a sea of blue and white as almost a quarter of a million people came out to see the fantastic Foxes parade their trophy.

"A once in a lifetime experience" was how people described it to me again and again.

"It's absolutely fantastic - I wouldn't have missed this for the world," said Laura Day, there with her family and two young boys.

Gulab Mistry said: "It's been a brilliant day - we'll never see anything like this ever again."

The thing that struck me most was just how joyous the atmosphere was - everyone was out for a good time.

Flags waved furiously and the crowd noise rose to deafening levels as the team arrived on stage.

As Vardy's 11 goals in 11 straight games were replayed on the big screen the cheers were as big as when they were actually scored.

And then - surprise. Kasabian.

Fittingly, the band who have stuck close to their Leicester roots, started their set, saying: "This one is for the underdogs."

I'll leave the last words to Lee Jobber, a man who's famous for drumming at the King Power, who summed it up better than I could.

"I'm struggling to hold back the tears," he said. "If this doesn't pull the city together, nothing will."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Thousands gathered in Victoria Park as the team took to the stage
Image copyright PA
Image caption There were huge cheers as the team lifted the cup on the stage
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Young and old flocked to join the celebrations in the evening sunshine
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Star striker Jamie Vardy praised the team's "unbelievable achievement"
Image copyright PA
Image caption Confetti exploded into the air as the team lifted the trophy to rapturous applause
Image copyright Getty Images
Image copyright PA
Image caption Rock band Kasabian played a set after the players left the stage
Image caption Jamie Vardy and Danny Simpson posed on police motorbikes before the parade
Image caption Manager Claudio Ranieri also joined in the fun

Earlier, there was travel disruption across the city, with all park and ride sites shut and road closures brought forward early.

Hundreds of train commuters were also seen queuing in the Leicestershire village of Narborough, with CrossCountry forced to apologise due to the "extremely busy" network.

Image copyright Iain McKenzie
Image caption Train commuters wanting to get a glimpse of the action were left with long delays
Image copyright Iain McKenzie
Image caption CrossCountry said catering for the number of passengers was "extremely difficult"

The city council had warned people to expect disruption and to travel in advance of the parade.

Leicester became champions of England for the first time in their 132-year history on 2 May when Tottenham failed to beat Chelsea.

Media captionBBC Radio Leicester previews Leicester City's champions party

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