Manchester

Manchester United Premier League trophy parade

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Media captionThe parade began at Manchester Cathedral before heading out of the city

Tens of thousands of Manchester United fans gathered to cheer their team on an open-top bus tour to parade the Premier League trophy.

The supporters lined the rain-soaked streets of Manchester as the players travelled a 4.5-mile route to celebrate their record 19th league title.

Fans cheered as the bus set off from Manchester Cathedral at 1000 BST.

The parade headed out of town and as it reached Old Trafford Sir Alex Ferguson thanked fans for their support.

The bus bore a number 19 to mark the number of times they have now won the league.

It travelled down Deansgate to Chester Road, along Bridgewater Way, Wharfside Way and Sir Matt Busby Way, then went on towards Trafford Town Hall and Stretford Mall, where the parade ended at 1245 BST.

Image caption The parade ends at the Stretford Mall shopping centre

A number of roads were closed to traffic to accommodate the crowds.

United were defeated 3-1 by Barcelona in the Champions League final at Wembley stadium on Saturday, but despite this fans were out in force to welcome the team home.

Among the players on the bus were Michael Owen and Paul Scholes - who are both out of contract - and leading scorer Dimitar Berbatov who was left out of the squad for the Champions League final.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester United winning their 19th top flight title is a remarkable and historic achievement."

Damian Martin, 43, from Salford, at the parade with his son, Damian, five, and nephew Dylan, eight, said: "The weather could have been better and it's a bit early on a Bank Holiday to be up and out of bed, but the kids really wanted to come.

"They are United daft and it's great to see the players enjoying themselves. They've done us proud this season."

Dave Edgar, 33, from Salford, added: "I'm not disappointed at all - it's not 'only' one trophy.

"City and Liverpool can say what they want, we are the best in Britain and we'll have another crack at Barcelona next season. United have done Manchester proud."

It is the second victory parade in Manchester in a week.

On Monday, up to 100,000 Manchester City fans celebrated their team's first trophy in 35 years with an FA Cup victory parade from Albert Square to the City of Manchester stadium.

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