Chelsea fans cheer victory parade
Tens of thousands of Chelsea fans have lined the streets of west London to welcome home their footballing heroes to revel in their historic Champions League and FA Cup double.
Players, including captain John Terry, showed off the European Cup, which they won yesterday in a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Bayern Munich in the German club's home stadium.
Jubilant fans waved blue and white flags, blew whistles and honked horns as the open top blue bus crawled by. Some supporters climbed lampposts, traffic lights and trees to catch a glimpse of the players as they stopped for around 20 minutes beside Eel Brook Common on the New King's Road.
Others hung out of windows and crammed onto balconies to see the bus with Champions of Europe and FA Cup Winners 2011/12 written on the side. Players looked bemused and even annoyed when fans pelted them with celery - the subject of a favourite Chelsea chant - but the celebrations were soon ramped up when the team passed around the microphone.
Terry, who was banned for the final, led chants of "Champione, champione, ole, ole, ole", then called for their star striker to stay at Stamford Bridge, singing: "We want you to stay, Didier Drogba, we want you to stay."
The Ivorian frontman, who scored the equalising goal in the dying minutes of normal time and netted the spot kick to win the shootout 4-3, shouted for the crowd to jump up and down, and the bus visibly bounced as his teammates joined in.
At 34, Drogba is said to be leaving Stamford Bridge, so his winning goal could well be his last kick for the club. But the star will now certainly be immortalised as a Chelsea legend by the fans.
Interim Manager Roberto Di Matteo told the crowd: "We've waited a long time for this, so celebrate tonight. It's a fantastic day for Chelsea Football Club. Champions of Europe, here we come. This cup is yours. Thank you for your support every year."
There have been calls for the caretaker boss to take the reins full time, but neither Di Matteo nor his players gave anything away during the parade. Frank Lampard said: "I just want to say, we've been a long time waiting to win this thing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The best club in the world - easy."
Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner who is said to have pumped £1 billion of his own money into the club, sat at the front wearing big blue glasses.