Blue skies for Manchester City's Blue Moon faithful

Gordon and Lesley Campbell Fans travelled from all over Greater Manchester and further afield to attend the parade

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They sang Blue Moon until they were blue in the face, but fittingly it was sunshine that graced the sky above Manchester City's FA Cup victory parade and the club's faithful supporters.

Ten thousand fans packed into Albert Square to see their beloved team finally come out of the shadows of their red rivals.

Carlos Tevez raised the trophy to a deafening cheer as a thousand blue flags fluttered in the stiffening breeze.

In an explosion of joy that many could hardly believe was happening, City fans finally were really here.

It was a moment that Gary Humphreys, 36, from Timperley, could scarcely believe.

"It was amazing, the best feeling ever. To see Tevez lift that cup - I never thought I'd see it," he said.

"I was glad for the kids growing up and seeing a bit of success. It was brilliant."

'Means everything'

Colin Bell, 42, from Carlisle - who shares his name with the City legend - was too young to watch the club's last trophy victory, but previous failed bids for silverware are etched in his memory.

"I was there in '81 when we got beat by Spurs - my dad took me down when I was only a nipper," he said.

"To be part of this club, to be part of these supporters, to be part of this tradition is just unbelievable.

"It means everything. This is the start of things to come from Man City."

Family of Manchester City fans

Many fans had waited their entire lives to see the club win a trophy

For City fans, their last taste of final glory came in the League Cup in 1976 and Dennis Tueart's spectacular overhead kick against Newcastle United.

Having supported the club for 20 years, Tracy Clays, 44, from Wythenshawe, was among those queuing at the front of the crowd in Albert Square.

She said: "I just feel like crying. I feel like I'm in a dream. Somebody slap me, punch me, wake me up.

"We wanted to get a good spot to see Mancini and the boys. To see them bring that cup home where it belongs at Eastlands."

Emma Wilson, 29, from Wythenshawe, said she had been a city fan "since the womb" and has waited her entire life to see the team lift a trophy.

"Hopefully it's not going to be the first one, it's not going to be the last one," said Miss Wilson.

Start Quote

I think it's nice to be there in the good times as well as the bad”

End Quote Gordon Campbell City fan

A total of about 100,000 fans were expected to line the route out towards Eastlands, where a ticket-only fireworks party is being held.

Among those gathering for the start of the parade was Gordon Campbell, 60, from Bolton, who has supported the club since he was five.

"We've been through a lots of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, but hopefully we are moving on now," he said.

"It means a hell of a lot really because my parents supported them before I did, and my grandfather, so there has been a long tradition of supporting City. And I think it's a tremendous occasion."

Despite a new stadium, new owners and the hundreds of millions of pounds lavished on players, Mr Campbell said Manchester City fans remained unchanged.

"The supporters are still the same. It's just the generations and the family connections and the networks and the supporters' clubs that people belong to and the whole ethos of City as the underdogs, as the other team in Manchester who are now beginning to get a lot, lot better.

"I think it's nice to be there in the good times as well as the bad. The flag I've brought is from 1999 when we were actually in the third division.

"We were losing 2-0 [in the play-off final] up until the last five minutes, then we equalised won the game and then moved on back to the Premiership.

"That gives you an indication of the travails of watching Manchester City."

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