housands of West Ham fans lined the streets for the club’s trophy parade to celebrate the end of a 43-year trophy drought.
Jarrod Bowen’s dramatic winner in Prague on Wednesday night gave West Ham a 2-1 win over Fiorentina to ensure what has been a largely frustrating season for David Moyes’ side ended on the ultimate high with victory in the Europa Conference League final.
The squad flew back to London on Thursday afternoon for a parade that began at the Champions Statue on Barking Road and finished at Stratford Town Hall, though that is unlikely to be where celebrations end for either players or fans. It’s believed as many as 70,000 fans turned out for the occasion.
This is the club’s first major trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 1980, and the first European triumph since 1965, and it is one that ensures there will be more adventures on the continent to come, with West Ham qualifying for the Europa League next season.
“To lift this trophy for this club hasn’t hit me yet,” captain Declan Rice said. “It is so special. I am lost for words.
“These are the best fans in the world again for me – two years in a row now we have been in Europe and they travel all around to follow us.
“The future is bright, we have some top players. Let’s see what it holds.”
Mark Noble, the club’s sporting director, had his moment on the balcony with the trophy and said: “West Ham’s not a club, it’s a religion.”
Moyes revealed his sleep had been unsurprisingly limited since the celebrations began, as he revealed the magnitude of his side’s achievement only hit him when they returned from Prague and were greeted by tens of thousands of supporters.
“I had about three hours of sleep, but that’s only because the bar shut in the hotel very early when we wanted it to be open much longer,” he said.
“For me, the thing about it, being a football manager, in the football industry, the majority of weeks you go home disappointed because your team hasn’t won, so to actually get to the final of a European competition and win it was massive.
“It sunk in for me when we got back to the East End of London tonight and saw the supporters on the streets. It was incredible.”
Click through our gallery above to see the images of West Ham’s trophy parade!