NOW let’s go for the hat-trick.
That was the message from a delighted Chester public on Saturday as the Town Hall Square became a sea of blue and white when hundreds of fans paid tribute to Chester FC’s back-to-back championships.
Despite a week of bad weather, the rain held off on Saturday lunchtime as management, players and fans celebrated the club’s latest success together.
The Blues proudly held aloft the Evo-Stik Premier Division championship trophy as they enjoyed an open top bus parade from their Exacta Stadium home to the city centre before manager Neil Young and his jubilant players and backroom staff took the acclaim of fans on the steps of the Town Hall.
It was the second successive year the reformed Chester FC have been granted an open top bus tour and civic reception at the Town Hall after winning promotion. And now fans are hopeful the buoyant Blues can make it three championships out of three in the Blue Square North League next season.
The Blues scored 102 goals and racked up 100 points this season, wrapping up the league title after drawing with Northwich Victoria on Easter Monday.
Their double championship success has been achieved since Chester City folded in March 2010 and were reformed by supporters’ group City Fans United.
The civic reception, attended by club management, players and officials, was hosted by Cllr Eleanor Johnson, Lord Mayor of Chester, with Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Cllr Mike Jones also offering a congratulations speech.
Mr Young, club captain George Horan and forward Chris Simm all gave brief speeches and thanked the fans for their loyalty, with supporters equally happy to offer their congratulations to the championship-winning squad.
Roy Williams, who has followed Chester for more than 50 years, said: “I am delighted with how well things are currently going.
“What is being achieved now has helped make up for many years of misery and it is great to see how many fans are attending our matches.
“I am confident we can enjoy another successful season next year. I don’t think we need to make wholesale changes at all.”
Jane Hill, 59, of Blacon, said: “This has been a very happy day. It has been a great two years so far and we are looking forward to next season.
“The way the club is run is great and everyone feels they are part of it.”
The open top bus parades and civic receptions held in the last two years are in contrast to 2004, when Chester City won the Nationwide Conference title but planned celebrations in the city centre were cancelled.
Graeme White, 64, from Upton, said: “When we won the Conference there was no open top bus tour or civic reception.
“The fact that we have now done this two years in a row speaks volumes about the current relationship between the club and the city.
“It all bodes well for the future. Hopefully, we can do this yet again next year.”
All ages attended Saturday’s celebrations, including a large number of young fans.
Sue Cunningham, of Flint, who was accompanied by her grandson Nathan, six, said: “We are very happy with what has been achieved.
“So far it has been very good and hopefully it is a case of onwards and upwards.”