Tyne & Wear

South Shields parade marks club's FA Vase victory

Julio Arca
Image caption Julio Arca said it had been a great year for the town

South Shields Football Club has led the town's annual summer parade after winning the FA Vase.

Thousands of people lined the streets on Saturday to see The Mariners and their silverware on an open-top bus.

The parade coincided with the launch of the town's summer festival of concerts and arts events.

The club had planned a victory parade last month, but postponed it as a mark of respect after the terror attacks in Manchester and London.

Image caption The club's victory parade had been postponed because of recent terror attacks

The Mariners triumphed at Wembley last month, comfortably beating Cleethorpes Town 4 - 0 in the FA Vase final.

The club completed a historic quadruple after winning the Northern League Division One title as well as the Northern League Cup and Durham Challenge Cup.

South Tyneside mayor Olive Punchion said: "We are thrilled for the club and it's only fitting that we should mark their achievements with a victory parade.

"The annual summer parade is our largest civic community event, involving more than 2,000 people and supported by many more.

"It is always a real spectacle and it was fantastic to see the club heading it up on an open-top bus."

Image caption The parade featured stilt walkers and floats

The Once Upon a Time-themed parade featured floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, puppets and dance troupes.

It set off from South Shields Town Hall at 13:00 BST and made its way to the seafront.

Team captain and former Sunderland player Julio Arca said: "It's fantastic to be part of all this.

"It has been great for the club and great for the town."

Julio Geoff Thompson, chairman of South Shields Football Club, added: "Winning the FA Vase after such a successful season really was a dream come true.

"I'm so proud of the team and everyone behind the scenes whose commitment deserves a hometown heroes' welcome.

"The crowd off the pitch has given us the momentum to deliver on the pitch and I can't thank the fans enough for their support all season."

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