McCarthy leads Sunderland celebrations

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The Independent Football

Wearside turned out in force last night to acclaim the men who have brought Premiership football back to the city of Sunderland.

Mick McCarthy and his players paraded their Championship trophy through the streets on an open-top bus.

The party began on the final whistle of Sunday's game, but continued last night as thousands decked in red and white joined the parade outside the stadium.

"Can I just thank everybody for turning out and for giving your support all season?" said McCarthy after he and his players had been presented to the crowds on a specially erected stage.

"I speak on behalf of all of us. We did not expect to see so many people, but is makes you feel very humble and very proud to be part of the football club and part of the town.

"Can you just give the players up here, who have been absolutely magnificent, a great round of applause, please?"

The parade set off from Sunderland Civic Centre at around 6.15pm and things were decidedly low-key until the convoy turned into Borough Road to be confronted by a mass of red and white shirts, hooters and cheers.

McCarthy's players were greeted by a brass band and ticker-tape as their bus made its way over Wearmouth Bridge with men, women, children and at least one dog decked out in club colours. The noise reached a crescendo when the players walked on to the stage and were introduced individually.