Rochdale’s promotion winning football squad brought crowds to town centre on Tuesday when the team took part in an open top bus parade before attending a civic reception.
A large crowd gathered to show their appreciation as the bus drove along the Esplanade towards the town hall.
The event was staged by Rochdale Borough Council to mark the squad’s second promotion to League One under manager Keith Hill.
The team, manager, chairman and staff appeared on the town hall balcony alongside the Mayor to toast their success, with players being presented with League 2 promotion winning medals by chairman Chris Dunphy.
Mark Widdup, Director of Economy and Environment, thanked everyone for their support and said it had been a magnificent season:
“Promotion to League One is brilliant for the club, the fans and the town which is why we marked the achievement with this parade and civic reception. It was a chance for local people to show the club their support – and also for the players and staff to thank their supporters. It comes on the back of a wonderful few months of sport here in Rochdale. Last year we hosted a sell-out game in the Rugby League World Cup, Rochdale Hornets got promoted, now we have our football team promoted to League One and in July the Tour de France is coming to Littleborough. The council would like to wish the team continued success as they represent Rochdale in League One.”
Rochdale AFC chairman Chris Dunphy said it was a very proud moment for everyone connected with the club:
“It’s great news and it’s just fantastic to be a part of it. We have a superb group of professionals, superb backroom staff … it really has been a team effort, and we have all appreciated this reception and the warm welcome we received this evening.”
Manager Keith Hill said they are relishing the prospect of competing in League One:
“It’s been a tough season and an even bigger challenge is facing us next time around, but we’ll be up for it. The preparation has started. We have a great group of players and they thoroughly deserve their success. Tonight was another chance to thank the fans for their support … they have been with us all the way.”
Following the presentation, players, staff and their families enjoyed a civic reception in the Great Hall, introduced by club compere Dave Sweetmore, featuring a film of season highlights followed by words from club and council officials.
Rochdale Borough Council - We are a council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.