Craig Bellamy calls on Cardiff to secure promotion as champions

Premier League football is now assured for the Welsh side

Forward Craig Bellamy has called on Cardiff to go up to the Barclays Premier League as champions after they confirmed their promotion last night.

A goalless home draw against Charlton was enough to secure the Bluebirds' return to the top flight for the first time in 51 years.

Next season will therefore be their first in the Premier League, where Bellamy made a name for himself at the likes of Manchester city, Liverpool and Newcastle.

The 33-year-old returned to his hometown club last year in an attempt to try to help them back to the top stage and, with that mission complete, he is eager to ensure a fairytale season.

"We can see where we go in the next couple of weeks and see if we can finish it off properly as champions," he told Sky Sports News.

"It's so nice to share this with the people I love.

"We wanted to get the game won and get it over with. It's just nice to get over the finish line. We deserve to go up."

Manager Malky Mackay paid tribute to the club's long-suffering supporters.

The delirious Bluebirds fans invaded the pitch to lift their heroes on their shoulders after the whistle.

The City faithful have suffered play-off and cup final heartache on a regular basis in recent years and Mackay says the success is for them.

"I am very proud of the football club," he said.

"It is an occasion the people of this football club have waited an awful long time for.

"There has been a lot of disappointment in that time and the backroom staff and directors here have been through some tough times.

"Obviously the players and especially the people of Cardiff have been waiting a long time to be back in the top division and we've never been in the Premier League.

"They have backed me and the team in the last 18 months and for that I'll be forever grateful. I hope this goes a little way to repaying the backing they have given me since I came in."

Vincent Tan, Cardiff's Malaysian owner, was a contented man as he spoke after the match and congratulated Mackay for his role in the club's promotion.

"This is great, I am very happy," he said.

"Malky is a fantastic manager, we work very well (with each other). We have a great working relationship.

"I have a lot of respect for him and he has a lot of respect for me. It's a great mutual relationship."

Tan was key to the controversial decision to change the team's home strip from its traditional blue to red - a move that enraged some die-hard fans.

The decision was supposedly based around the success related to the colour as well as its marketability.

"Lucky red, you know, lucky red," added Tan.

PA

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