HUNDREDS of proud Hull City fans turned out at the city’s Paragon train station yesterday to welcome home their FA Cup heroes, writes Richard Sutcliffe.
The Tigers squad had flown down to London on Friday ahead of the final at Wembley.
But they returned north via train, leaving King’s Cross shortly before 1pm and arriving back in East Yorkshire two-and-a-half hours later.
Supporters had been waiting for the Hull party and the arrival of the train brought huge cheers.
As the players walked down the platform, applause broke out and defender James Chester, the scorer of Hull’s first goal, said: “I didn’t expect this turnout and it shows how much this means to people here.”
Many of the squad made their own way home after the weekend in London but those on the train included Alex Bruce, Stephen Quinn and Paul McShane.
Robbie Brady was also on board along with Cup-tied striker Shane Long and the players boarded a waiting coach outside with fans chanting: “No silverware, but we don’t care, we’ll follow City everywhere.”
Hull’s popularity in their home city was, no doubt, matched by how delighted television executives were with figures for Saturday’s final.
ITV’s coverage of the epic contest peaked at 10.13m, which represented an audience share of more than 50 per cent.
BT Sport shared coverage of Saturday’s game with ITV and their peak audience was 360,000, or a 1.9 per cent share.
Clashing with the Hull v Arsenal final was the finale to the La Liga season in Spain as Atletico Madrid went head-to-head with Barcelona in the Nou Camp.
The game, which ended 1-1 to hand Atletico the title ahead of this weekend’s Champions League final against city rivals Real, was shown live on Sky Sports, who according to industry figures saw their coverage peak at 430,000 (2.4 per cent).
Around 150 countries broadcast the final to an estimated global audience of 500 million.