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Swansea turns out in celebration
Published : 26 Feb 2013 18:17:23
Thousands of Swansea fans turned out to give their Capital One Cup heroes a rousing homecoming as Michael Laudrup and his team embarked on their victory parade.
The south Wales outfit have seen days like this before, notably following their promotion to the Premier League in May 2011, but the added edge of securing a first piece of major silverware in the club's centenary season ensured a massive presence along the 1.2-mile route.
Even the cold and overcast weather conditions could not put a dampener on the occasion as fans crammed along the city's streets to acclaim the players, management and staff.
The open-top bus carrying the players set off from the Dragon Hotel before making its way down the city's Kingsway and heading down to St Helen's Road to the Guildhall for a civic reception.
It seemed apt that part of the route took the current squad within sight of where the Swans' former Vetch Field home once stood, for it was almost 10 years ago at that very venue that this fairytale story began.
A 4-2 victory over Hull, courtesy of a hat-trick from striker James Thomas, now an ambulance driver, ensured Swansea retained their Football League status. Current squad member Leon Britton was the sole survivor from the side who beat the drop to feature at Wembley.
Club captain Garry Monk, who stood at the front of the bus holding aloft the trophy with vice captain Ashley Williams, is another who can recall the club's days in the fourth tier.
Back then, manager Brian Flynn would hold training at any available space: a local astroturf, a free playing field, or even on the beach.
There are question marks over how long the likes of Laudrup and inspirational top scorer Michu may remain with Swansea, but there were few among the cheering throngs who were too concerned by such thoughts.
Instead they will dream of forays into Europe as part of the Europa League spot secured by Wembley glory, and wonder what will happen in the next chapter of this most remarkable of sporting stories.