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The hero's return: Modest champion Carl Frampton's delight as he is mobbed at airport after Manchester glory night

By Nevin Farrell and Chris McCullough

Published 29/02/2016

Carl arrives at George Best Belfast City Airport with daughter Carla
Carl arrives at George Best Belfast City Airport with daughter Carla
Carl arrives at George Best Belfast City Airport with daughter Carla
Wife Christine with son Rossa
The crowd waiting on their idol
Belfast City Hall is lit up green and white in tribute to the home town hero Carl Frampton

Ring king Carl Frampton returned to a hero's welcome in Belfast last night after he touched down at George Best Belfast City Airport to be mobbed by ecstatic fans.

But the modest Belfast boxer revealed he still got embarrassed over the adulation he receives from his supporters - who even roared their approval as The Jackal stepped aboard his flight home.

Now he plans to have some personal time to relax with his family.

When the Tigers Bay fighter boarded his flight from Manchester yesterday evening after winning his big fight with Scott Quigg, he said he wasn't expecting to be applauded on by fans, many of whom had watched him become unified world super-bantamweight champion at the Manchester Arena.

And he was cheered off at the other end, when Flybe flight BE484 landed 10 minutes early at the City Airport.

Chants of "Champion-ee" filled the air as Carl carried his young daughter Carla in his arms, and the little girl got in on the act by making her hand into a fist, just like her daddy.

Also there were proud wife Christine and son Rossa.

Carl told the Belfast Telegraph: "It was a great reception, I honestly didn't expect anyone to be here, that was good, it was nice. I also got a bit of a cheer on the plane, which was nice as well.

"It's a bit embarrassing for me, I am one of those guys, but it was nice."

He added that his immediate plans were to "rest, chill out and switch off my phone for a few days and have a bit of time with my family".

Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton will be honoured by Belfast City Council as the City Hall is illuminated in green and white on Sunday evening.
Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Scott Quigg is lifted up into the air by trainer Joe Gallagher after his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena
Carl Frampton during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton (R) connects with a punch on Scott Quigg during their World Super-Bantamweight title contest at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton (left) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton (left) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton (right) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton salutes the crowd prior to the World Super-Bantamweight title contest against Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Actor James Nesbitt, former jockey Sir Tony McCoy and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill watch the action at Manchester Arena.
Scott Quigg enters the ring prior to the World Super-Bantamweight title contest against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton (centre) in the ring before his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena.
Scott Quigg (centre) in the ring before his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena.
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.
Gavin McDonnell (left) knocks down Jorge Sanchez during their Vacant WBC Silver & Eliminator Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.
Actor James Nesbitt arrives at the Manchester Arena wearing a Northern Ireland shirt to watch the World Super-Bantamweight Title Fight between Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Ryan Burnett from Belfast with Anthony Settoul from France during their Vacant WBC International Bantamweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Paddy Barnes pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.
Ryan Burnett hits Anthony Settoul with a right on his way to victory in the Vacant WBC International Bantamweight Championship at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Tyson Fury watches the action at Manchester Arena.
Tony McCoy watches the Ryan Burnett v Anthony Settoul fight from ringside at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Marc McCulough, from Belfast, is defeated by Isaac Lowe from Morecambe after his corner threw in the towel during their Vacant Commonwealth Featherweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th February 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Marc McCulough from Belfast is defeated by Isaac Lowe from Morecambe after his corner threw in the towel during their Vacant Commonwealth Featherweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Barry McGuiggan pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.
Hosea Burton knocks down Miles Shinkwin during his victory in the Vacant British Light-Heavyweight Championship at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Carl Froch pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.
Josh Taylor knocks down and stops Lyes Chaibi during his victory in the Super-Lightweight Contest at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton's father Craig pictured at the Manchester Arena
Charlie Edwards from Epsom defeats Luke Wilton during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Luke Wilton from Belfast and Charlie Edwards from Epsom during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Luke Wilton from Belfast and Charlie Edwards from Epsom during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
David Teymur of Sweden celebrates his victory over Martin Svensson of Sweden in the Lightweight Bout during the UFC Fight Night at The O2 Arena on February 27, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
David Teymur of Sweden celebrates his victory over Martin Svensson of Sweden in the Lightweight Bout during the UFC Fight Night at The O2 Arena on February 27, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton during the weigh-in ahead of his fight against Scott Quigg in the World Super-Bantamweight unification fight, at Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre
Happy at his work: Scott Quigg at last night’s public work-out at the Trafford Centre in Manchester
Raring to go: Carl Frampton and his coach Shane McGuigan take part in a public work-out at the Trafford Centre in Manchester last night
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Quigg takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton poses during a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Quigg poses during a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Quigg takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Frampton added that he was "obviously over the Moon" at winning.

"It was a great night, an unbelievable atmosphere. I don't know what it came across like on the TV but in the arena it was spine-tingling. I have never heard anything like it in my life."

He said he felt elated and wished to thank the supporters.

"I feel honoured and privileged to have such a fan base, and to travel into your opponent's back yard and come with a belt he used to own and bring your own back home as well is an amazing feeling."

Frampton said he will sit down with his management and plot the next move and consider if there will be a rematch. Windsor Park has been mentioned as a potential venue.

Angela Murphy (32) from Belfast was at the fight and then on the same plane home as the champ. She said: "It was great to be there and everybody cheered when he came onto the plane. He was sitting two seats behind me and everyone was in good form."

Geoffrey Watt (34) from Belfast came to the airport to welcome Carl home. "It is brilliant, he unites everybody in Northern Ireland," he said.

There were amazing scenes at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night as well as a 'who's who' of Northern Ireland celebrities watched the big fight.

Jimmy Nesbitt was there in a Northern Ireland shirt, while Rory McIlroy bet with Wayne Rooney, a friend of Quigg's.

McIlroy tweeted afterwards: "Fought a smart fight. Get your wallet out Wayne Rooney!"

They were joined by Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, Olympic medal winning boxer Paddy Barnes, retired champion jockey AP McCoy.

Carl's dad Craig told the Belfast Telegraph: "I am over the Moon. Carl had the better skills and the better coach to allow him to win.

"Scott is a nice enough lad. I was convinced all along that Carl won the fight. I didn't think he lost any rounds at all. I cannot understand how one judge gave the fight to Quigg."

A host of other celebrities and politicians congratulated Carl via social media. First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted: "Delighted for our wee @RealCFrampton. Another reason to be proud of Northern Ireland."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: "Warmest congratulations to @RealCarlFrampton on his tremendous World title victory last night in Manchester. A most admirable young man."

Actor Nesbitt was in fine form watching the fight ringside with McCoy, tweeting that he was "walking in a Frampton wonderland".

And Belfast City Hall was lit up in green and white last night in recognition of Frampton's achievement.

Belfast Telegraph

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