Chelsea Celebrate European Win With Parade

Tom Parmenter, Sky correspondent
Sky News
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Thousands of Chelsea fans lined the streets of west London to watch the players take part in an open-top bus parade, celebrating their historic Champions League win.

The parade started from the club's home, Stamford Bridge, with John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and the rest of the team displaying the trophy and also the FA Cup.

Jubilant fans waved blue and white flags, blew whistles and honked horns as the bus passed by.

It follows a dramatic victory over Bayern Munich, which saw the Blues crowned European club champions for the first time after a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties at the German side's home ground after the match went to extra time.

Around 25,000 Chelsea fans packed behind one of the goals in the Allianz Arena, while many more crammed into bars in Munich, London and around the UK to follow the action on TV.

Even Prime Minister David Cameron was pictured celebrating - the PM, who professes to being an Aston Villa supporter, put aside tribal loyalties in favour of the national interest as he watched the nail-biting shoot-out alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders at the G8 summit in America.

Club owner Roman Abramovich , who is said to have pumped almost £1bn into the team since taking over at Stamford Bridge, joined in the celebrations from the stands.

Drogba was Chelsea's hero, scoring the equalising goal in the dying minutes of normal time and netting the spot kick to win the shoot-out.

It followed his match-winning goal which saw the west Londoners overcome Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 5.

Drogba was nearly the villain when he conceded a penalty in the first half of extra time, but Dutchman Arjen Robben's shot was saved by Chelsea's other hero on the night, goalkeeper Petr Cech.

At 34, Drogba is said to be leaving Stamford Bridge, so his winning goal could well be his last kick for the club.

At the parade, Terry, who was banned for the final, led chants of "Champione, champione, ole, ole, ole", then called for Drogba to stay at Stamford Bridge, singing: "We want you to stay, Didier Drogba, we want you to stay."

Interim manager Roberto Di Matteo told the crowd: "We've waited a long time for this. It's a fantastic day for Chelsea Football Club.

"Champions of Europe, here we come. This cup is yours. Thank you for your support every year."

There have been calls for the caretaker boss to take the reins full time.

The bus celebration travelled along streets including Fulham Road and King's Road before ending in Parsons Green.

Chelsea fan David Pearce was one of many grown men in floods of tears as his team won.

Four years ago he missed the club's Champions League nightmare in Moscow, choosing not to attend after a bad experience in the city the previous year when he was badly beaten by a gang of Russian thugs before an international match between England and Russia.

The 42-year-old, from Cambridge, struggled to get a match ticket for Saturday's final but travelled to Germany anyway and watched the match with other Chelsea diehards in one of the city's many beer gardens, surrounded by thousands of Bayern Munich fans.

He told Sky News: "Somebody who isn't a passionate football fan just would never get it but this means everything."

Thomas Hahn, sports editor at Suddeutsche Zeitung, spent all night preparing a special edition of his newspaper that was supposed to celebrate a Bayern win.

He told Sky News fans felt let down by their team, saying: "There are a lot of skilful guys in the actual squad but having seen how Robben and Schweinsteiger shot their penalties, many seem to have the perception that it needs much more lion heart or Drogba power than it has at the moment."

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