Open top bus parade date pencilled in for Northampton Town’s League Two triumph

David Buchanan held aloft by fans after the final whistle
David Buchanan held aloft by fans after the final whistle

A civic ceremony to celebrate Northampton Town Football Club’s League Two championship is likely to be held on a Sunday in May.

Speaking at last night’s full Northampton Borough Council meeting, leader of the authority, Councillor Mary Markham (Con, Park) said a provisional date for an open top bus parade for the public to cheer on the victorious Cobblers team has been set for Sunday, May 8.

She said: “We are in discussions about holding a civic ceremony.

“A provisional date has been set for May the 8th.

“It’s provisional because we have to consult with all our partners, police and highways.

“When it is confirmed we will update you all.”

A ceremony would follow the bus parade outside the Guildhall.

Speaking on the matter, Councillor Sally Beardsworth (Lid Dem, Kingsthorpe) added the council should consider giving the title-winning Cobblers side the freedom of the borough.

She said: “I just think they have been through an awful time and they have come through to triumph.”

Councillor Markham said it was too early to make that decision at this stage.

Today Chairman of Northampton Town, Kelvin Thomas, said: “The Council have very generously offered us the chance of an open top bus tour and plans are being drawn up.

“It will be a huge celebration, plans are being made for Sunday May 8th and we are looking at it taking place late in the afternoon to allow everyone who is staying over the chance to come home from Portsmouth. It will be a fitting finale to a wonderful season.”

The Cobblers clinched the League Two title on Saturday with a draw away to Exeter City.

Travelling fans showed their joy by storming the pitch after the final whistle but some have called for a set-piece occasion for the whole town to show its appreciation.

Yesterday Michael Ellis, MP for Northampton North, welcomed the growing calls for an open top bus parade to be held.

He said: “I’m thrilled with the success of our town club. I would be keen for the borough council to arrange for a special event.

“We had a huge crowd for the Saints’ open-top bus parade when they won the Premiership title and I’d love to see the same this time.”

Thousands of people packed Northampton town centre in June 2014 to pay tribute to the Saints team after their last-gasp Twickenham victory in the Premiership final.