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Fans jubilant at Premier League promotion party

Saints fans wave flags and hold their arms in the air outside St Mary's Stadium
Nearly 5,000 Saints fans celebrated outside St Mary's Stadium [BBC]

Jubilant Southampton football fans have celebrated their team's promotion to the Premier League at a party outside St Mary's Stadium.

Nearly 5,000 supporters attended the all-ticket event in the rain on Monday, following Sunday's victory over Leeds United in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Saints players took to a stage to brandish the play-off trophy, taking turns raising it to cheers from thousands of fans.

Manager Russell Martin told supporters: “Thank you for coming. You were incredible yesterday. It’s been really emotional. I haven’t stopped crying off and on."

Captain Club captain Jack Stephens (left) and manager Russell Martin
Manager Russell Martin (right) told the crowd he had not stopped crying since the victory at Wembley [BBC]

The 38-year-old was appointed in June 2023 after Southampton were relegated from the top football tier, finishing bottom of the table.

The club's chief executive Phil Parsons told the crowd: "It’s been emotional and it hasn’t quite sunk in. We’ve really come together as a group. It’s been tremendous.”

BBC Radio Solent broadcaster Adam Blackmore and presenter Kenzie Benali also introduced former Saints captain Francis Benali.

He took the stage and led the vocal crowd in a chant of “We are Premier League, say we are Premier League".

With fans calling on star on-loan midfielder Flynn Downes and the club to “Sign him up” - Downes’ teammates and manager joined in to apply more vocal pressure.

The West Ham loanee applauded, before adding: “I can’t say too much, but let’s just say, let’s see what happens.”

Each player took it in turns to orchestrate the crowd’s cheers with a lift of the trophy, and band The Delorians kept the party atmosphere going after the players departed the stage.

Proceeds from the event went to the club's charity, the Saints Foundation.

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