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‘Victory parade memories will last a lifetime’

By May 17, 2016No Comments

Leicester winger Marc Albrighton admitted the Foxes were blown away by their title parade as almost a quarter of a million fans celebrated their Barclays Premier League victory.

The squad and boss Claudio Ranieri paraded the trophy through the city’s streets on Monday after winning the league by 10 points following Sunday’s 1-1 final-day draw at Chelsea.

The club estimated around 240,000 fans packed the streets and Victoria Park to see the squad while Leicester rockers Kasabian finished the party in the evening.

Leicester were 5,000-1 shots at the start of the season, when boss Claudio Ranieri replaced Nigel Pearson, but romped to the title having not lost top spot since January.

They were greeted by a sea of blue in the city and Albrighton struggled to comprehend the scenes.

“We knew there would be a lot of people but we weren’t expecting that,” he said. “It is memories that will last a lifetime.

“We had girls lifting up their tops and people swinging on lampposts, hanging out of windows. People were standing on seven-storey ledges leaning over. You were scared for their lives but they were only doing it because they are interested in you and what we have done.

“We had been told to expect a lot of people in the park but you don’t realise it until you are out there and you see it. You stand on the stage and say to yourself, ‘wow’.”

Boss Ranieri – named manager of the year by the League Managers Association later in the evening – looked emotional as he took to the stage along with the squad as fans were treated to a showreel of Jamie Vardy’s record-breaking scoring run of 11 straight league games.

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, vice-chairman, also seemed close to tears before the players lifted the trophy.

“We shouldn’t be in this position but we are. We are trying to let it sink in still, we are champions and we are going to embrace it,” said captain Wes Morgan.

“Looking out you feel very proud, seeing all the people, flags, everyone enjoying themselves and it shows what we have achieved this season. I’m trying to let the moment sink in.”

Austria international Christian Fuchs echoed Morgan’s thoughts and admitted he will only start to believe their achievement while away with his country for the European Championships.

He said: “I cannot believe it yet. After the last game at Chelsea you kind of get a taste but I’m still not there that I can tell what happened. During the vacation and during the Euros I’ll be able to realise what happened.”

Addressing the crowd at Victoria Park Ranieri, who will lead the club into the Champions League next season, said: ” Keep dreaming, keep dreaming. Don’t wake up.

“I want to say thank you for everybody, because all season they push behind us. Every time we were down, they push, they push, they push.”

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