Excitement In Manchester For FA Cup Victory Parade

Manchester will turn sky blue for the Manchester City FA Cup victory parade.

Roberto Mancini and his team will parade the cup from an open top bus before a spectacular fans' event at the City of Manchester Stadium.

The celebrations will begin at around 6pm with Mancini and players expected to address 10,000 fans gathered in Albert Square outside Manchester Town Hall.

Two buses will then set off, winding their way through the city centre, where tens of thousands of fans are expected to cheer the team along the route.

The parade will then travel along Great Ancoats Street and Ashton New Road for the climax of the celebrations at Eastlands. The stadium event, including former players and special guests, will finish with a firework display.

Admission is free but supporters are warned they will need a ticket to gain entry. Police say they expect around 100,000 fans to attend and they will have around 400 officers, including mounted patrols, to keep order.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, of Greater Manchester Police said: ``The message is we want people to come and enjoy themselves and have a memorable evening but behave sensibly and do not let the club, themselves or the city down.''

Members of the public are also warned the city centre is likely to be extremely busy throughout the day as fans gather in anticipation.

Tram services will be affected and there will be extensive road closures in the city centre.

Man City's 1-0 victory over Stoke City in the FA Cup final ended a 35-year trophy drought for the club, now the world's richest after the takeover by oil-rich Arabs.

A second victory parade will be held on Monday, May 30, for City's rivals Manchester United, whose 19th League title this year overtook the record held by bitter rivals Liverpool FC.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men could be parading the Champions League trophy as well as their Premier League laurels if they beat Barcelona at Wembley in the final on May 28.

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