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City heroes thank super Blues fans

thanks for the support banner stoke parade

thanks for the support banner stoke parade

City's FA Cup winners - and potential third-place Premier League finishers - performed not so much a lap of honour as a stroll of acknowledgment at the City of Manchester Stadium.

The players and management followed their second win over Stoke in four days by repaying Blues fans for their fantastic backing over the best season City have enjoyed in a generation.

Micah Richards and Shaun Wright-Phillips, the two former Academy players to figure prominently in the current squad, held up a banner with the simple legend: "Thank you for your support."

Manager Roberto Mancini and his teenage daughter joined in what became a family walk around the Stadium, with Carlos Tevez carrying one of his young daughters and Joleon Lescott his baby son.

The 45,000 crowd, delighted with a 3-0 win that takes City into third place ahead of Arsenal with a game to play, behaved impeccably and not one fan encroached onto the pitch at the end.

Of course, the real celebration will come next Monday when the Blues parade the FA Cup that Yaya Toure's goal secured at Wembley 42 years after Neil Young clinched the last one.

Brian Kidd finished up wearing one of the red and black scarves that honours Young's memory and that famous 1969 victory. Vincent Kompany, last man into the tunnel, tossed his shirt to a fan.

Stoke's players, reluctant guests at a party being held at their expense, had been generously applauded off earlier. But the night rightly belonged to Mancini and his merry if weary men.

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