SLIDESHOW: Heroes’ welcome for promoted Rotherham United

Blue skies shone above a sea of red and white as thousands turned out to give newly-promoted Rotherham United a heroes’ welcome.

The sun smiled on a loyal army of Millers who packed into the town centre as an open-top bus carrying the players and bosses who led them to League One rolled in.

Rotherham Utd Celebrations......Open top bus enters All Saints Square

Rotherham Utd Celebrations......Open top bus enters All Saints Square

Fans were still riding high from the victory over Aldershot which saw the team secure promotion at the New York Stadium in front of a crowd of 11,300.

The bus made its way from the ground, passing streets lined with fans waving flags and scarves. Children perched on their parents’ shoulders and supporters stood on tip-toe to get a glimpse of manager Steve Evans and his squad in All Saints Square.

“It has been amazing,” club chairman Tony Stewart told the 2,000-strong crowd.

“To win in front of all of those people was the icing on the cake.”

Frank Sinatra’s honeyed tones urged the crowd to start ‘spreading the news’ as New York, New York echoed out of the speakers.

“I’m really happy, I’ve been supporting Rotherham United since I was a baby,” said 10-year-old Thomas Nichols, of Kimberworth.

Mr Stewart, the man who delivered on his promise of success and a new stadium, then waved the trophy proudly in the air to rapturous applause. Much more than a celebration of sporting success - this was civic pride at its most glorious.

Manager Steve Evans said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people here to celebrate.”

Supporters welcome new era for Rotherham United

For Rotherham fans the promotion to League One signified a light at the end of a very long tunnel.

After going into administration in 2008, the club was forced to play matches at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium for four years before moving to the New York Stadium.

Irene Furnell, 72, of Clifton, said: “It has been doom and gloom for Rotherham for such a long time - this has given the whole town the lift it needed.”

Season ticket holder Dawn Abreutorres, Rotherham-born but now living in Balborough, Chesterfield, said: “We are so proud of them. They have done so well.”

“I love Rotherham!” added nine-year-old daughter Holly.