On Monday Manchester City players went on an open top bus parade through the City Centre to celebrate their unprecedented domestic trophy treble with over 100,000 fans lining the streets.
In the glorious sunshine, the Manchester City fans came out in their droves to pay their respect and join in the celebrations. For the second year running the fans had the beautiful Manchester weather to thank for keeping the customary May rain away. By early afternoon – hours before the event was due to start the City centre began to start filling up with fans. People came in their blue shirts and carrying their flags. The Shambles Square was filling with fans and City songs began to echo out around the streets.
By the time the convoy of buses started to wind their way from the Town Hall towards the cathedral, there was little space to be had in the City Centre. Fans hung from every lamp post and window sill, clinging to their vantage points for dear life in some cases as health and safety concerns evaporated in the sun.
This though was a different type of parade to those we have become accustomed to. This was not just due to the domestic treble and the Community Shield. It was not just the fact that the Man City Women’s team were also there with their double of trophies of their own. It was not just the exhilaration of back to back Premier League wins. This was different because of the poignancy awarded to the day by the announcement of Vincent Kompany just before.
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The fans came to celebrate with the players, see the trophies and bask in the success but they also cam e to say goodbye to our beloved Captain Kompany.
Seeing the buses shuffle past and then trying to get close enough to the stage to see whilst also maintaining a connection with alcohol semed an impossible task. So we squeezed into the stage area the best we could and watched as Kompany said his goodbyes.
The new meaning afforded to the Oasis song “Wonderwall” as Noel Gallagher sang it to Vinnie was a joyous shared experience for us all, and for me has transformed it from a dirgey rock ballad to a real anthem for City.
But the real moment for me was when Vinnie was giving his speech and he said that he knew it was time to go and had “given everything”. We all knew he was telling the truth because we have seen and felt every ounce of what Vinnie has given to us as the best Captain I can recall seeing in my time.
It was brilliant to see the players and the playing staff who clearly value the effort they have put in and the rewards they have gained. Anyone who tells you that these elite players are motivated by money are missing the point. The money is the reward which follows the ability.
So, anyway I found myself listening to our Captain and trying very hard not to let a tear out in public at the thought of the passing of Vinnie. I’m not crying, you are. Still not recovered.
Fireworks came and went, which I can’t understand too much in the daylight, but what a great day! Manchester City are very good at these events now. Must be all the practice. The fact so many fans came out was wonderful to see as it certainly seemed busier than last year. I am nevertheless feeling a little underwhelmed by the branding of “The Fourmidables” but I wouldn’t be a Manchester City fan if I was not worrying about something! So, 2018/19 is now over and what a great season it has been. Probably the best I have seen.
Here’s hoping next season brings some more success and another parade!