THOUSANDS of Aberdeen fans have lined the streets of the city centre to celebrate their team’s first trophy success for almost 20 years.
An open top bus took players and management from Albyn Place, along Union Street to Aberdeen Town House for a civic reception hosted by the city’s Lord Provost.
Around 40,000 supporters travelled to Glasgow last weekend to watch their team clinch the Scottish League Cup in a penalty shoot out after a 0-0 draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Celtic Park.
Similar numbers turned out today to celebrate the club’s first major trophy for 19 years and the parade was hailed as a success by police.
The trophy was presented to fans at Pittodrie stadium yesterday before Aberdeen’s victory over Kilmarnock, but players and fans were given a proper chance to celebrate this afternoon.
Before setting off on the parade manager Derek McInnes said: “We’ve all seen the scenes of Union Street in the past. I think it’s a special moment and it’s also good to create that special bond between the players and the fans. It’s recognition that the players have done well this season.”
Stewards were brought in to supervise the event due to the number of people that turned out. Aberdeen City councillors agreed last week that £25,000 from the city’s Common Good Fund should be made available to fund the parade.
Lord Provost George Adam said: “We’ve waited a long time to see another open-top bus parade down Union Street. It’s great that we can keep this tradition alive and give the whole Red Army the chance to see their heroes with the trophy.”
Chief Inspector Graeme Mackie said the parade was a credit to Aberdeen fans.
“As anticipated the event has gone extremely well from a policing perspective and it was fantastic to see the fans enjoying such a great atmosphere in a responsible manner,” he said.
“It was good to see the crowds enjoy themselves and it was an excellent effort by everyone involved.”
Aberdeen supporters could be given further reason to celebrate later in the day in the music charts. The 1980s Human League hit Don’t You Want Me Baby has been adopted by supporters who change the chorus to ‘’Peter Pawlett, Baby’’ at matches.
A social media campaign to get the single to the top of the charts swelled following the League Cup victory last Sunday and was in the top 10 of midweek charts.
Jo Callis, who co-wrote the original hit in 1981 told BBC Radio Scotland: “It’s quite a surprise really, it’s fantastic, unbelievable.
“It’s always been a minor ambition for someone to take one of your tunes and use it as a football chance. It’s a little bit of a dream come true all round I guess.”