‘Don’t be sad’: Liverpool fans fill city streets to welcome heroes home | Liverpool

A Victory Parade planned three weeks in advance always promised to be a scourge of luck. In the end, however, it didn’t matter that Liverpool had lifted two trophies instead of four or that they fell naggingly short of European glory on Saturday night as hundreds of thousands of fans welcomed their heroes home on Sunday.

Liverpool’s players danced alongside DJ Calvin Harris as their open-topped bus was hit with fireworks, flares and flags on a raucous lap of honor through the city, where fans hung on traffic lights while helicopters hovered overhead.

Alice Ferrebe, 51, had spent all morning crafting two tinfoil trophies and a poster urging her dejected team to “don’t be sad” after losing 1-0 in the Champions League final in Paris lost to Real Madrid.

“They noticed me on the bus! I got a thumbs up from Trent [Alexander-Arnold]!” She beamed shortly after the vehicle drove through the crowd on Allerton Maze.

“We were devastated last night but we were so happy that it continued like this tonight and we just wanted to tell them that even if they won everything, we couldn’t be prouder,” she said.

Their 11-year-old son Douglas Trafford, one of many Liverpool children who stayed up past their bedtime to watch the game on Saturday, said: “I was devastated but then again we won two. It’s not really a big deal.”

Liverpool's Curtis Jones, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and team mates celebrate alongside the FA and Carabao Cup trophies
Liverpool’s Curtis Jones, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and team mates celebrate alongside the FA and Carabao Cup trophies. Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

Disappointment with the Paris result was compounded by anger at the way Liverpool fans were treated by French police, who fired tear gas at the crowd after ushering tens of thousands of the club’s fans through a narrow underpass, resulting in a 36- minute delay of the kick-off.

Joan Marney, 85, cheered for the team on Queen’s Drive and said the behavior of French security officers had been appalling. “People look for trouble with Liverpool fans, but that’s what real Liverpool fans are about. They don’t want any trouble,” the retired teacher said.

Council officials expected hundreds of thousands of people to fill the nine-mile stretch announced three weeks ago when Jurgen Klopp’s side still had a chance to become the first English club to win quadruple – the League Cup, the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League.

In the end, the club had to settle for the first two trophies, but that didn’t seem to have dampened the party spirit on Sunday.

The parade began a short walk from John Lennon’s childhood home in Allerton Maze, where thousands of flag-waving fans gathered to worship their heroes, including Egyptian talisman Mo Salah and Colombian favorite Luis Diaz.

Young fans rise above the crowd to see their team's parade
Young fans rise above the crowd to see their team’s parade. Photo: Zac Goodwin/PA

Defenders Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson danced enthusiastically in the back of the bus next to a somber looking James Milner as the entourage made their way through the crowd on Queen’s Drive.

Life-size cardboard cutouts of Klopp and Salah stood guard outside the home of Claire and Sean Doran, with Liverpool anthems blaring from a sound system two hours before the celebrations officially started.

Sean Doran, an Everton fan, insisted he had no part in decorating his home in Liverpool red but would still enjoy the party: “I’m not going to touch the bunting or the cardboard cutouts,” he said, serving Hot dogs and beer

Leon Evans, a family friend, said he was very disappointed with the result at the Stade de France but it was important to celebrate Liverpool’s successes – and even those of local rivals Everton, who narrowly missed relegation.

“It’s been a fantastic season and they’re a fantastic team,” he said. “We fell at the last hurdle in the league and on [Saturday] night but we win, lose and draw together and we’re very proud of the team. The fact that Everton stayed up makes everything better.”

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In a football era increasingly dominated by state wealth and state ownership, Liverpool still feels like a club with deep roots in its community. James Trafford, 38, said it was important that unlike some other clubs’ victory parades, it was important that Liverpool players traveled around the city so “everyone can see it and everyone is a part of it”.

Mike Burns, who had his black and white Cavapoo Oreo wrapped in a Liverpool scarf, compared his club’s trophy tour to Manchester City’s two weeks ago: “We had a nine-mile save and Man City had a 0.8-mile -parade . That says it all, doesn’t it?

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