Middlesbrough promoted: In pictures

Middlesbrough's Adam Clayton celebrates with fans on the pitch after being promoted Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A happy Adam Clayton celebrates with fans who record the occasion on smartphones

Middlesbrough FC clinched promotion to the Premier League with a dramatic 1-1 draw against rivals Brighton.

The club had languished in the Championship for seven years, and suffered Wembley heartbreak last season as they were beaten by Norwich in the play-off final.

Now they are back in the top flight, and head coach Aitor Karanka says he intends to keep them there.

"I said when I arrived, Middlesbrough are a Premier League team," he said.

Promotion will be worth at least £170m and up to £290m if the club avoids relegation next season, financial analysts Deloitte said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A pitch invasion ensued after full time

Describing the pitch invasion that ensued at full time, ex-England captain Terry Butcher said there were "spectators on the pitch before the referee even blew his final whistle".

The game was "brilliant in terms of passion and tension", he added.

"It had everything - goals, sendings off, incidents. Well done Middlesbrough, you deserve to be back in the Premier League."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The fans soaked up the fantastic cup-final atmosphere

There was drama and there was tension as Boro led comfortably at 1-0, before Brighton's Dale Stephens scored a rousing headed goal for the Seagulls.

But after Stephens was shown a red card for a tackle on Gaston Ramirez - who had to be stretchered off the pitch - Boro seized the initiative and hung on for the draw, despite eight minutes of injury time.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image copyright PA
Image caption Aitor Karanka leads his team's celebrations

The result ultimately meant Boro finished second in the Championship, as Burnley clinched the title with a win at Charlton.

Yet as the players ecstatically waved their runners-up trophy at the Riverside, the Championship's top prize was only a few hundred yards away.

If Middlesbrough had won, the Football League planned to present the trophy straight after the match.

Burnley or Brighton would have had it "presented at a later date to enable a greater number of the winning club's fans to join in with the celebrations", a spokesman said.

Image caption Andrew Frost (second from right) was among the fans celebrating

Fan Andrew Frost, from Acklam said: "I wouldn't say I was confident going into the game but it was a game we thought we could win and we got it in the end."

On Karanka dropping stars Jordan Rhodes and Steward Downing, he added: "It looked brave, a few people raised a few eyebrows, but in the end it was genius."

Downing eventually saw some action, coming off the bench for Ramirez.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stewart Downing played after coming on as a substitute

Burnley took the Championship title with a victory at relegated Charlton, whose head coach Jose Riga resigned shortly after full-time.

But Grant Leadbitter seemed happy enough to take the runners-up spot and enjoy the prospect of top flight action.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Grant Leadbitter celebrates

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