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Leicester City fans mob restaurant to catch glimpse of heroes

Published 03/05/2016

Leicester City fans celebrate in Hogarths pub
Leicester City fans celebrate in Hogarths pub

Hundreds of Leicester City fans mobbed an Italian restaurant to catch a glimpse of their heroes as celebrations for the side's remarkable Premier League success entered a second day.

The Foxes secured what has been deemed the most unlikely triumph in team sport by winning the Premier League title with two games left in the season after Tottenham could only draw their must-win game against Chelsea on Monday night.

The party started in many pubs and bars in Leicester with Eden Hazard's 83rd minute equaliser for Chelsea on Monday and did not wrap up until the small hours.

Outside the King Power flares were lit, chants of "Leicester 'til I die" rang out, and men selling Champions flags were doing a swift trade.

One fan who was there, Stuart Hamilton, 68, said: "I just didn't want the party to stop. I can't put into words how it felt when that final whistle went."

The festivities continued throughout Tuesday, with supporters congregating at the King Power stadium, some driving past beeping their horns, others blaring Queen's We Are The Champions.

Claudio Ranieri's men trained as normal on Tuesday morning before heading into Leicester city centre for a celebratory meal at the San Carlo Italian restaurant on Granby Street.

As word spread of the lunch - which consisted of a "special menu" according to general manager Andrea Villotti - hundreds of fans congregated outside the restaurant hoping to see the newly-crowned champions.

Star striker Jamie Vardy left the lunch early - to a chorus of cheers - for a "scheduled England commitment", while Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater were also mobbed by supporters as they were whisked away in cars.

Fans chanted "Championes, Championes!" as they awaited the arrival of the team coach to take the remaining staff from the restaurant where table cloths had been taped to the windows to maintain their privacy.

As the coach pulled up, police and security staff created a channel for the remaining players, manager Claudio Ranieri and other staff to walk through while hundreds of fans held smartphones aloft to get pictures of the side which have defied all expectations.

The team will receive the Premier League trophy at their next home game on Saturday against Everton, with Steve Worthy, 39, of Wigston, having the honour of handing the trophy to captain Wes Morgan.

He said: "It's brilliant, I cannot wait to give that trophy over, especially to Wes (Morgan). I'll try and take it all in, every moment."

The league win, which was a 5000/1 shot at the start of the season, is expected to be worth around £22 million to the city's economy next season, the East Midlands Chamber said.

But fans have described the feeling of watching their side receiving the Premier League trophy will be priceless. Harry Phillips, a 21-year-old student, said: "I woke up this morning and had to check my phone because I thought I was dreaming.

"I saw dozens of photos from last night with thousands of people celebrating and realised it wasn't a dream and it was like I felt that feeling of us being champions again.

"Saturday is just going to be a party. No other word for it. The whole city will be rocking."

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From Belfast Telegraph