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Leicester and Vardy throw the ultimate champions' party


The England striker returned from suspension to lead the celebrations with two goals as the Foxes crowned the greatest season in their history with its greatest day

They may have won the title on Monday night, but Leicester saved the best for Saturday evening. Never has English football seen scenes like those on show at the King Power Stadium, and it may never again. For those who were there, they can say they played some part in the footballing party to end all parties.
Wes Morgan lifting the trophy on the same field he has marshalled his troops to the most unlikely of league triumphs is a moment that will go down in English football history. On a day of deafening noise, it raised the loudest cheer the King Power Stadium has seen this season even before the fireworks show that followed. Even if this team fails to repeat this success the players, staff and supporters have most certainly earned their day in the sun.

Though only around 30,000 supporters had managed to get their hands on tickets for the clash with Everton, there was a feeling that the whole city had descended on the home of the Premier League champions to join in the celebrations. Hundreds had dyed their hair blue, while a variety of t-shirts plastered with the word ‘Champions’ adorned those queuing up for their free bottle of beer. It was hard not to feel sorry for those who were forced into making cardboard signs to beg for any spare tickets to this most historic of occasions.
Stories of how fans celebrated Eden Hazard’s dramatic equaliser for Chelsea were told as 100-person long queues waited to receive the free alcohol laid on by chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Sporadic chanting routinely turned into a full-scale sing-song on the streets surrounding Filbert Way. Not one local was willing to allow themselves to miss out on such a remarkable occasion.

Once inside, the sight on Andrea Bocelli singing ‘Nessun Dorma’ alongside manager Claudio Ranieri in the centre circle prior to kick-off was the most spine-tingling moment in a season where a week has rarely gone by in which Leicester have failed to spark scenes that make hairs stand on end. Greeted by supporters as if he had scored the goal to seal the title himself, the Italian opera star delivered a performance on par with anything the team in blue have produced this term.
He was not alone in being cheered to the rafters, however. World snooker champion Mark Selby was serenaded with a rendition of ‘Championes’ during half-time, while Ranieri delighted supporters with a backheel flick on the touchline as the ball floated out of play in the opening seconds. Even when bright sunshine turned to heavy rain, the claps of thunder were greeted with an ‘Ole!’. Nothing was going to halt this celebration – not even the adverse weather.
After all the celebrations of the week, the match against the Toffees came as something of an afterthought, but if we have come to learn anything from Jamie Vardy’s remarkable rise it is that the man loves a party. His goal after just five minutes confirmed he was not about to miss out on this one. The biggest shock was that the decibel level could top the height it had reached prior to kick-off.
Leicester and Vardy throw the ultimate champions' party
From there Everton put in the kind of performance that most of the visiting supporters have become accustomed to in the final weeks of the season. Andy King was left free on the edge of the box to make it 2-0 before Vardy made no mistake from the penalty spot after the break. He did blaze a second spot-kick over the bar minutes later, but very few cared. The moment they had waited for since Monday for was about to arrive.
The trophy was aloft. The dream was a reality. Leicester were champions, and anyone who witnessed their crowning glory will likely cherish their afternoon for as long as they live.