For the second year running, South Shields FC is to be part of the South Tyneside Festival Summer Parade this Saturday.
Players and staff will board an open-top bus to celebrate the club’s achievements in the 2017-18 season, which included winning a third consecutive promotion and title.
They will parade the Evo-Stik North Division trophy, with joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton to join a host of players and staff on the bus.
The parade will begin at South Shields Town Hall at 1pm and head along Fowler Street, passing South Shields Museum on Ocean Road and on to the seafront, where the fun will continue all afternoon at Bents Park.
The club was also involved in the parade last year, when thousands of people lined the streets of South Shields and cheered the Mariners after their historic quadruple-winning campaign.
Another trophy will be on show this time around, and chairman Geoff Thompson has thanked South Tyneside Council and the organisers of the event for extending an invitation to the club again.
He said: “It’s a real honour for the club to again be involved in the summer parade.
“It was such a humbling experience to be part of it last year, and we’re hugely grateful to have been invited again.
“This event gives us a real opportunity to thank all of our magnificent supporters for the backing they gave us last season, and to see them again ahead of what should be another exciting campaign.
“We’d like to say a huge thanks to South Tyneside Council and all those involved in the event for inviting us again.”
This year’s South Tyneside Festival Summer Parade is based around the theme of Monsters, Myths and Magic.
About 2,000 people from across the area will be joining professional carnival artists in the parade, again under the artistic direction of the talented team at Creative Seed.
The club enjoyed a day to remember on Saturday when it led the South Tyneside summer parade on an open-top bus.
The Mariners were invited by South Tyneside Council to lead from the front in the annual parade in recognition of their achievement of winning four trophies in the 2016-17 season.
Thousands of people lined the streets on a glorious day in South Shields, with the Mariners heading from the Town Hall to Bents Park via Fowler Street, King Street, Ocean Road and Sea Road.
They were granted a superb reception for their entire journey, and afterwards, players and officials spoke of their pride and amazement.
SSFC chairman Geoff Thompson said: “I was absolutely gobsmacked by the amount of people that were there.
“I didn’t know what to expect really, but there must have been 30,000, maybe 40,000 people along the way.
“It was an incredible turnout and an amazing occasion. Shocked is the word I’d use. It was absolutely incredible.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but that certainly surpassed anything I could ever have imagined.
“It was great for the club and great for the lads, and great for the town.
“If we could get 5% of those people along to a few home games next season, we’d be delighted. It was an absolutely amazing day.”
Joint manager Graham Fenton said: “I can’t believe how many people turned out.
“When we turned onto King Street and Ocean Road, it was unbelievable to see the amount of people there.
“With the amount of South Shields scarves and shirts that were on display, you can tell the level of passion there is in the community for the football club.
“We just hope we can give them another good season now.”
Midfielder Julio Arca said: “It was fantastic to see so many people turn out. We enjoyed every minute of it.
“Not many of us expected to see that many people, but that shows how much the club is growing.
“What we did last season was fantastic and that’s how you get people interested in turning up.
“The support we’ve been getting over the last two years has been fantastic, and it’s good to see the fanbase and club growing.
“We need to carry on doing our thing on the pitch and the club can keep growing.”
Striker Carl Finnigan said: “It was phenomenal from start to finish.
“The crowds were all the way from the Town Hall to Bents Park, so it was a fantastic day and everyone enjoyed it.
“It was nice to be able to celebrate with everyone and get the trophies out on show.
“The numbers were unbelievable. You expect to turn a corner and for it to be quieter, but it just kept getting busier and busier the closer we got to the seafront.”
The club would like to thank South Tyneside Council for kindly inviting us to lead the parade.
The main image attached to this article was captured by Kev Wilson.