Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Sunday, 18 May 2008 16:53 UK

Defeated Cardiff team return home

City's Kevin McNaughton and Steve Thompson enjoyed the celebrations
Striker Steve Thompson salutes the fans in Cardiff Bay

Thousands of people gathered in Cardiff Bay to welcome home Cardiff City after their FA Cup final loss.

In their first appearance in the tournament's final since 1927 the Bluebirds lost by a single goal to Portsmouth.

Around 25,000 supporters travelled to Wembley, and another 7,000 watched it on a big screen in Cardiff Bay.

The team was welcomed home at a celebration in Roald Dahl Plass on Sunday afternoon.

The players arrived in Cardiff Bay via boat from Penarth to be greeted by thousands of City fans waiting for them.

While there, the players gave interviews and the crowd were treated to renditions from striker Steve Thompson and James Fox who had both written Cup Final songs for Cardiff.

Families from across the city and south Wales were at the even on Sunday afternoon.

If the players had managed to repeat their historic feat of 1927 and take the FA Cup outside England for only the second time, an open-top bus tour through the city had been planned by Cardiff Council.

But Kanu's first half goal scuppered the Bluebirds' chances and also dampened the homecoming celebrations.

The Cardiff City team played their hearts out but it just wasn't meant to be
Rhodri Morgan

However, Sunday's welcome home at Roald Dahl Plass still gave city residents the chance to thank the players for their achievement in reaching the final

Both Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy and First Minister Rhodri Morgan congratulated the Bluebirds on their performance.

"The Cardiff City team played their hearts out, but it just wasn't meant to be," said the first minister, who was in the Wembley crowd.

Meanwhile, Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman said the club's "success this season attracted great interest throughout Cardiff and south Wales and the FA Cup fever that swept the city was wonderful".

The FA Cup final is one of the premier events in world sport, attracting a global television audience of 400m people.

Fans had travelled to the game by air, rail and road, with Cardiff City Supporters' Club taking 60 coaches up the M4 to London.

More than 50 Cardiff fans from Bluebirds Down Under, a group of City fans in Australia, flew over for the final.

What you thought:

Yes I will be going down to the Bay later to welcome the Cardiff team, who deserve nothing less after getting to the final of the FA Cup in Wembley. They played brilliantly and were very unlucky. It could have easily got into extra time.
Sian, Cardiff, Wales

I was lucky enough to be at Wembley yesterday. It was a great occasion, gutted by the result but proud of our performance. There was also great mutual respect between the fans. A great day, from which Cardiff has to build on for the future. The future is bright, the future is Cardiff City!
Martin Gibson, Barry, South Wales

I was one of the lucky 25000 that made the trip to london yestarday. Great performance from our boys who knew the world would be watching. They played their hearts out and did the championship proud. As well as that they made the whole Welsh nation proud and have hopefully baged a few more supporters who quite frankly couldnt pick a better team to follow. We can hold our head high and 2008, when big clubs were at their best, we were at wembley!
Dr, Rumney, Cardiff

I would just like to say to all of the Cardiff City fans that Cardiff played brilliantly so please dont feel too bad that you lost. I have a lot of respect for the Cardiff fans, they were respectful and courteous to us. The weather could have been better however the whole days experience is one never to forget. Good luck next your Cardiff.
Richard Philips, Portsmouth

I'm gutted we lost the game, cos i felt we were the better team on the day... but we all have some great FA Cup memories that will now live with us forever.
Simon CF24, Cardiff

Went to Semi went to Final best days of my life hopefully we follow our history 1925 lost to sheffield united 1927 beat arsenal and hopefully we will be back in wembley to win the fa cup for a second time.
Kurt, cardiff

I was also there amazing atmosphere and now we all can hope that we will come a better team.
Joshua Thomas, Whitchurch Wales

Gutted we lost, but it will be a day that will live with us for a very very long time! Well Done City, lets hope we can go onto bigger and better things from this!! Congratulations Portsmouth, you've only got one song but your fans were great! Big respect for them too, as the Cardiff Coaches left Wembley most of the Pompey fans stood outside their coaches clapping us past! A great moment that rounded off a memorable day!
Nick, Cardiff

I am gutted too ... yesterday, I made all efforts to wish the boys good luck. It was a good day for Cardiff in the end ... the boys played brilliantly ... well done! We can always try again next season.
Winston Chim, Cardiff

Went down to Cardiff to watch the game in the Millenium Stadium. The whole town was buzzing, and it was a credit to Cardiff, and Welsh football as a whole. The matched Portsmouth for the majority, and were unlucky to lose out in the end. Best of luck to The Bluebirds for next season; lets hope they can join the elite sides in the Premiership.
Kevin, Hay-On-Wye, Wales

watched the game in the local yesterday-proud to still be a city fan, the boys were great and at the end of the game the pompy fans came up to me and shook my hand and agreed they were lucky to win and said we have the makings of a great team. cheers.

texas taffy
barrie mules, houston texas

Even though I am a lifelong Swansea fan, I thought that city were excellent and probably deserved more. They did themselves and Wales proud.
Tony , bridgend

Well done City.You played a fantastic game and you should be proud of what you have done.Lets hope that next year, Dave Jones will lead you to the final and hopefully bring the FA Cup back home...
Greg Johnson, Newport UK

Cardiff city was fantastic yesterday im so proud to be a bluebird.. i went to see the boys down the bay today and it was like we had won it.. to put a damper on it i got a parking fine... cardiff city have done wales proud. well done
mark williams, cwmbran

Well done Cardiff City!! It doesn't matter that you lost, you've shown that the little clubs can achieve big things like playing in the F.A cup final. Those memories will live in our minds forever. You played brilliantly up until the very end. Lets hope we can build on this and get into the Premiership next year!!
Bethany, Cardiff, Wales


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