Hundreds celebrate Northants Steelbacks bus parade

Bus parade in Northampton
Image caption The parade bus finished its tour of the town at the Guildhall

Hundreds of people have lined the streets for an open-top bus parade to celebrate the success of Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.

On Wednesday Northants sealed promotion to Division One of the County Championship after nine years.

And last month the club gained their first one-day trophy for 21 years by winning the FLt20 title.

The parade began outside the County Ground, Northampton, followed by a civic reception at the Guildhall.

'Unexpected' success

After leaving the Guildhall, the team headed to Franklin's Gardens to parade the T20 trophy on the pitch before Northampton's premiership rugby game against Sale.

Image caption Stephen Peters said the turn-out pleased the team

Head coach David Ripley said he could not have predicted his side's success at the start of the season.

"There's a lot of effort gone into it by the players and the staff and it's great to get over the line," he said.

"We had some good days in the 80s and 90s - we had some very good players and we were generally competing on all fronts - but to get a promotion and win a trophy, I can't remember us pulling that off.

"It was unexpected."

He added that he was "moved" by the numbers that had turned out for the parade.

'Rich sporting town'

Opening batsman Stephen Peters said it would take a few days for the promotion to sink in.

"It's so nice so many people have come out - that will mean an awful lot to the lads and we're delighted we can bring a bit of silverware back to what is a rich sporting town," he added.

Northampton Borough Council leader David Mackintosh said The Steelbacks" had had a "fantastic season".

"Friday evening will be a chance for supporters to join the players in celebrating a year that has seen the team improve in all three formats of the sport," he said.

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