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Sea of pride washed over Trawler Boys

PUBLISHED: 12:27 23 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:28 05 July 2010

THEY lined the streets, stood outside their homes, held scarves aloft, waved flags, clapped, cheered and showed their appreciation for the FA Vase finalists from Lowestoft Town Football Club.

THEY lined the streets, stood outside their homes, held scarves aloft, waved flags, clapped, cheered and showed their appreciation for the FA Vase finalists from Lowestoft Town Football Club.

But while it may not have been the victory celebrations everyone had hoped for the town centre was still awash with a sea of blue and white as over 1,000 fans of the Trawler Boys honoured the club's achievements on Sunday.

The sorrow and hurt that the players and management had been feeling in believing they had “let the town down” following their agonising 2-1 defeat to Kirkham & Wesham was replaced by smiles and a sense of pride as the community turned out to salute the team.

The footballers, staff and officials were all given a rousing reception by hundreds of fans on a special parade through the town.

It was organised by Waveney District Council, and after congregating at their Crown Meadow ground, the team left on an open top bus after 11am before travelling through the town.

After arriving at Bevan Street, over 30 players, managers and committee members then continued the procession on foot through the town led by the band of the 469 (Lowestoft) Squadron Air Training Corps.

With “Blue army” echoing round the players showed their appreciation for the fantastic support by clapping the fans, before the joint management duo of Micky Chapman and Ady Gallagher spoke and thanked the travelling army of Trawler Boys … and Girls.

“We are really touched that so many people have turned out to support the team,” Mr Gallagher said. “We were absolutely gutted not to win last week and the boys felt like they let everyone down as we wanted to bring the trophy back. Seeing so many people out today, you deserve a trophy. I'm proud of the players, I'm proud of everyone who has turned up today and proud to be from Lowestoft. A massive thank you goes to everyone.”

Mr Chapman added: “This is unreal. It's so, so emotional to see all you guys here. Last week we went through all the emotions and for 90 minutes it was the most satisfying moment ever to see you all - but the result was the worst moment.

“You are the best supporters. To give up your time and to take 15,000 supporters to Wembley was unreal, but I never imagined, in my wildest dreams, that you would turn out today because we thought we had let you down.

“I wish we could've finished the job, but it's brought us closer together in defeat and it will make us stronger for next season - and that's a promise!”

After addressing the crowd, the squad continued along London Road North and re-boarded the bus to make its way to the Town Hall for a civic reception.

And here chairman Geoff Price was equally delighted.

“Overwhelmed is the word,” he told The Journal. “As we approached Bevan Street and saw all those people, well it shows the true support this football club has got. The players and management have been down - but today has been fantastic and they now know they have done this club proud. We are really, really proud of them and it was great to see the smiles on their faces again.”

The club was then presented with a special shield to honour their success by Alan Duce, the council's vice-chairman.

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