Thousands line the streets of Islington as Arsenal parade the FA Cup
Thousands of Arsenal fans lined the streets of Islington yesterday as the Gunners paraded the FA Cup.
The wet weather didn’t deter fans from coming out in huge numbers to celebrate Arsenal’s 4-0 FA Cup victory over Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
It meant the Gunners picked up the trophy for a second year in a row, and have now won the trophy a record-breaking 12 times.
It was also Arsene Wenger’s sixth FA Cup win as Arsenal manager.
Despite the weather the Arsenal players and staff toured the streets of Islington in two open-top buses.
Crowds lined streets as the buses traveled from the Emirates Stadium, via Highbury Corner, to Islington Town Hall on Upper Street.
Mayor of Islington, Cllr Richard Greening, greeted the players on the steps of the Town Hall.
Cllr Greening said: “It has been an absolutely fantastic day. I’ve been on the council for long enough to remember the celebrations in the late 90s early 2000s but because it has been a long gap and we’ve retained the FA Cup, and got a record number of wins, it makes it a very special occasion. And of course to be lucky enough to be mayor when all this happens is absolutely brilliant.”
The players and Arsène Wenger showed off the trophy to the thousands gathered outside the Town Hall, before a civic reception in the Assembly Hall.
The players and staff then made the return journey to the Emirates Stadium, where skipper Mikel Arteta and vice-captain Per Mertesacker presented the FA Cup to the fans above a stage erected on the Armoury shop.
Theo Walcott led tributes to the fans, having not been able to join in the celebrations 12 months ago through a combination of injury and personal issues.
“I sadly missed all of this last year, and you guys have made this so special, not just for me, but the whole squad, and everyone you do not see behind the scenes at the club, I cannot thank you enough,” Walcott said over the public address system.
“The whole squad is fantastic. I have been here a long time and this is the best group of players I have ever worked with and will continue to work with.
“The most important thing we have now in this team is trust, when you have that in a squad you are going to be determined to win big things.
“The excitement here is absolutely incredible and to be part of it is a great honour.”
Arsene Wenger also had a message for the Arsenal supporters: “We want this to be even more regular. I would just like to thank everybody here, which shows just how great this club is.
“We want more, there is great cohesion inside our group, great quality and a great ambition.
“In 2015, we have done extremely well, and we want to continue of course.”