Party time for Northampton Town fans for final game and victory parade
Around 6,500 fans took part in the Cobblers Sky Bet League Two title party at Sixfields last Saturday - and thousands more will be joining in this weekend.
As well as 3,000 Town supporters heading off to the south coast to see their team wrap up their triumphant campaign at Portsmouth, many thousands more are expected to line the town centre streets for Sunday’s open top bus parade.
The top bus carrying the Cobblers players, and a second carrying the club’s staff, will depart Sixfields at 4pm on Sunday, and head into town.
The buses will travel along Weedon Road, past the railway station, up into Marefair and across Horsemarket and into Gold Street and Mercer’s Row, when they will undertake a lap of All Saints Church.
They will then move up the Drapery and perform two laps of the Market Square before pausing near the fountain for speeches from some key players in this memorable story, and then moving on past All Saints again and into George Row and then St Giles Square before heading into the Guildhall for a civic reception in honour of the club’s achievements this season.
It is a great chance for the people of Northampton to salute their football team, who have overcome such adversity this season – the club almost going out of business in November – to win the league two title in some style.
Unbeaten in the league in their past 23 matches, a record stretching back to December 19, 2015, the Cobblers were promoted on April 9, had their league title success confirmed on April 16, and finally got their hands on the silverware last Saturday, following their 2-0 win over Luton Town.
After the players had left the field at full-time, the podium was set up in the centre of the pitch for the presentation, and the trophy was taken out by chairman Kelvin Thomas and Graham Carr, Cobblers manager when they last won a divisional title, back in 1987.
Current boss Chris Wilder was the first to emerge from the tunnel to huge applause, before making his way to the podium to collect his medal.
He was followed by his players one by one, as well as all of the club’s coaching and backroom staff, before club captain Marc Richards and Dave Buchanan, who has skippered the team in Richards’ recent absence through injury, were the last to make their way to the podium.
Once there, Richards wasted no time in getting his hands on the impressive silverware, and a huge roar of delight rang out when he lifted the trophy.
The team then proceeded to partake in a lap of honour, spending 30 or so joyous minutes parading the cup in front of the east, north and finally west stands as the title party got into full swing.
The players and management were milking their moment of glory, and who can blame them?
The party went on long into the night, and carried on to the next day when 500 fans and sponsors crammed into the Lynn Wilson Centre at the club’s spiritual home, the County Ground, for the end of season awards night on Sunday evening.
It was certainly a weekend to remember, and here’s to another one coming up...