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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May, 2005, 19:55 GMT 20:55 UK
Your reaction to Liverpool triumph
Liverpool fans celebrate victory at John Lennon Airport
Liverpool fans turned out in their thousands to celebrate their team's return from their staggering Champions League triumph.

Our team of reporters, pundits and fans kept BBC Sport in the picture from start to finish on Thursday.

Here's what they had to say...


2226: Anita Anand, BBC Radio Five Live presenter
The latest estimates are that 300,000 people were gathered to greet the Liverpool bus at St George's, and a further 750,000 people are lining the parade route. So that's more than a million people who have gathered for the parade altogether.

2225: Cllr Alan Dean, new Lord Mayor of Liverpool
You couldn't see the pavement between Lime Street and St George's Hall a couple of hours ago. There must be at least half a million out to see this. And it wasn't just red and white - a lot of Evertonians were out to see the parade.

2054: Jimmy Tarbuck, comedian
This will be one of those historic nights. A lot of people won't be in work tomorrow because they'll be nursing hangovers!

2048: Catherine Marston, BBC News presenter
It's difficult to estimate how many people are here at Anfield, but I think there are more than expected. The bus was late and there are people everywhere. There are certainly tens of thousands here. I've genuinely never seen anything like it in Liverpool before.

2016: Tommy Smith, former Liverpool player
We went on an open-top bus tour through Liverpool after winning the 1977 European Cup. It was like being on a magic carpet - you don't take it in.

1951: Catherine Marston, BBC News presenter
I would not like to begin to estimate how many people are here. They have been flocking here as they finish school and work.

1933: Dave Guest, BBC North West Tonight presenter, from a platform above the crowds at Anfield
It is a cliche but this is just a sea of red. I do not know how the bus is going to make its way along the street here. There are thousands of people here. This is a street party which is going to go on all night long.

1930: The bus continues to move slowly along streets which are thronging with cheering Liverpool fans.

1908: Vassos Alexander, BBC Radio Five Live on the streets of Liverpool
Swift is not a word I would use to describe this parade. The sheer weight of people is making it difficult for traffic to move through the streets. I would estimate there are at least 50,000 people where I am.

1853: The open top bus begins its journey - albeit slightly behind schedule - along the Liverpool streets.

1817: Cllr Alan Dean, new Lord Mayor of Liverpool
It's got to be the best comeback in football history. This has to be better than any of the celebrations for any of the previous four European Cup wins.

1748: Liverpool legend Terry McDermott
It is the best result that any club in British football has achieved in any European competition. It was just fabulous... It would be absolutely scandalous if they were not allowed to defend the trophy. They are the champions of Europe and we should be proud of that. They must be allowed to defend it.

1724: A convoy of two Liverpool team coaches sets off from John Lennon Airport ahead of the victory parade through the city at 1830 BST.

1706: Phil Higgins, Leeds, via text
If Sir Alex Ferguson got his knighthood after winning the Champions League, so should Stevie G.

1643: Jonathan Halliwell, Anfield, Radio Five Live news correspondent
This place has been transformed in the last 40 minutes. It's a sea of red and the crowds are six or seven deep with people hanging off lamp posts. People are dancing across the road and stopping the traffic, shaking hands with the drivers - who don't seem too bothered. I can't imagine what it will be like here three hours from now.

1632: Rafael Benitez and Steven Gerrard lead the team off the plane holding the Champions League trophy aloft before the team board a bus and are whisked away.

1630: Keith, Warrington, via text
At 3-0 my seven-year-old daughter said we should start supporting the whites. I told her it doesn't work like that and she went to bed bemused. This morning her face lit up when I told her the Mighty Reds had won. You've gotta have faith!

1624: The Liverpool team flight touches down at John Lennon Airport.

1607: Danny Savage, Anfield, TV news correspondent
It brings a whole new meaning to painting the town red. There's a carnival atmosphere building outside Anfield, with horns blazing, ready for the parade.

1601: The Queen
Congratulations on your remarkable win last night. It was a magnificent achievement which will be remembered for many years both in Liverpool and across the country.

1559: Tony Blair, Prime Minister
It was absolutely amazing. Liverpool can be very proud of itself, and Britain's very proud of them.

1558: BB, via the 606 messageboards
English teams have knocked Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich out of the cup as well as winning the thing against favourites AC Milan. That list includes the champions of La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga. Is it now about time that the doubters started rating the Premiership?

1553: Jim, via text
I woke my two-year-old daughter last night by screaming after Alonso's goal. "Daddy's angry" she said. Daddy certainly was not angry!

1526: Jose Manuel Reina, Villarreal goalkeeper
Despite his Champions League heroics, Jerzy Dudek's position as first-choice keeper at the club is under threat.
It has still not yet been finalised but I cannot deny that I am very close to joining Liverpool. There's still not an agreement between the clubs but it's very likely it will be made shortly. If the deal is closed then I can walk away happy because I hope people understand my position in that I'm signing for the champions of Europe and that Liverpool is not just any team.

1523: Graham Jones, via the 606 messageboards
We Arsenal fans went through the same thing on Saturday. The difference was it was a good game to watch last night and credit to Liverpool for a great performance.

1515: Chris, Liverpool, via text
This is the stuff dreams are made off. I still can't believe we've done it. Well done to all the players and Rafa... oh yeah, and Kewell.

1458: Eddy, Oxford, via text
Marco Polo, Sandro Botticelli, Tintoretto, Rembrandt Bugatti, Frankie Dettori, Umberto Eco, Mario Andretti, Luciano Pavarotti - your boys took a hell of a beating.

1442: Richard Caborn, Sports Minister
When one reflects on last night then clearly Uefa, and indeed football at the European level, gained from that final. Therefore, could you imagine not having the champions defending the cup next season. I think even Uefa officials will have to reflect on that and ask 'Would that be good?'.

1426: Bunzinho, via 606 messageboard
Well done Liverpool, but with three penalty shoot-outs in the last five finals it's time for a re-vamp of the Champions League. Let's have a real Euro League where the best team win - no more knock-outs!

1408: Frank McKenna, private sector consortium Downtown Liverpool in Business
From our members' experience today, absenteeism is clearly running quite high at about 20%, but this is for a variety of reasons. Obviously, you have got the Liverpudlians ringing in with sore heads, but there are also a fair few Evertonians taking the day off to avoid gloating colleagues.

1343: Mirabelle, via text
If Uefa refuses to let Liverpool defend their title then they should refuse to play in the Super Cup and the Inter-Continental Cup.

1338: Gordon Farquhar, Radio Five Live sports news correspondent
I've spoken to David Collins, the General Secretary of the Football Association of Wales (FAW), and he says TNS's suggestion would not be feasible and said the FAW would not support it.

1309: Doug, Liverpool, via text
'Meet the Fockers', yes that's what I started watching at half-time. When my dad phoned at 3-3 I didn't believe him. Still can't believe it. Fantastic.

1248: Rahul, Manchester, via text
My plane has just touched down from Istanbul. What an amazing night. I managed to get autographs from Gerrard, Carragher and Dudek. Will be worth a lot.

1235: Mike Storey, Liverpool City Council leader
We've always assumed we were going to win and have been planning this parade for two weeks with the police so everything is geared for people to see the team come back with the cup. Safety has been paramount and we've predicted there will be as many as 300,000 lining the route.

1234: Son of a Legend via 606 messageboard
Life long Man Utd fan here, massive congrats to you all, great final, and the most impressive comeback I've ever seen, and I was at Barcelona 99! Enjoy it, I just hope Uefa let you defend it next year.

1215: LFC Forever, Whitley, Cambs, via text
Who cares or even needs Michael Owen. He didn't give Rafa or LFC a thought when Madrid came calling. Karma! What a night - I'm still on such a high. Drove to work with scarves hanging out of all the car windows.

1206: Matt Williams, Istanbul, Radio Five Live sports news correspondent
There are plenty of red shirts looking around Istanbul's tourist spots, but it's a lot quieter than yesterday when thousands of fans were in Taksim Square.

1158: Mark Wilks, Reading, via text
I just keep thinking about Michael Owen. I'm feeling very sorry for him. How difficult will it be for him to deal with missing out on the win?

1150: Mike, Kent, via text
What a night! I cant believe I was singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone', being a Man Utd fan. Proud to be British.

1147: Anglo Saxon, via 606 messageboard
An emotional rollercoaster and certainly a game of two halves. Guts, determination, self-belief and hunger saw them through to the end. An unforgettable night in football history.

1130: Mike Harris, the owner of Welsh Premier League side, TNS Llansantfraid says he will approach Uefa with a proposal to allow Liverpool a way into next year's Champions' League. TNS have already qualified for the preliminary stages and Harris will offer to play against Liverpool in a knock-out tie for the right to go into the preliminary stages.

1129: David Davies, Football Association
We are asking Uefa to give special exemption to allow Liverpool to play in the Champions League next season. This is a case we've been arguing for some time and we'll go on raising it. I'm quite optimistic that over the next few days you will see a significant number of influential, non-English figures speaking out on Liverpool's behalf. We believe it is in the wider interests of European football for Liverpool to be involved.

1123: Mark Simpson, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, BBC News
The victory parade is due to start at 1830 this evening. We're expecting the team to touch down at about 1630. But the police advice is to go to the city centre for the parade and not the airport.

1112: Toffee Girl, Everton fan, via 606 messageboard
Congrats on being Champions of Europe. You deserve it after that comeback and deserve a chance to defend your title, Stevie Gerrard - as long as its not at our expense!

1105: James Pearce, Istanbul, BBC sports news correspondent
I seem to be the only person in this city with a voice left. The Liverpool supporters have sung themselves hoarse. If there is one word to sum it all up it's this... Wow!

1055: Parbu, Birmingham, via text
In the same way everyone knows where they were when JFK was killed, everyone in the world will remember the comeback Kop last night.

1046: Vladimir Smicer, Liverpool goalscorer
The cup ended up with Stevie G in his room. His girlfriend wasn't here, so he had the cup in his bed instead.

1035: Liam, Merseyside, via text
Last night in town was mental. People on buses, up lamp posts and all over statues. Everyone covered in ale and not caring. Awesome.

1031: Ryan W, via text
The best comback since Bobby Ewing in the shower!

1028: William Gaillard, Uefa spokesman
I don't expect Liverpool to be in the Champions League next season. As things stand they will be playing in the Uefa Cup.

1022: Nigel, Istanbul, via text
On the way back to the airport. No voices left. Can't wait to watch it all again. Smicer was biggest surprise to me. A great game.

1013: Matt S, via text
This is the sweetest hangover I've ever had!

1010: Bruce Grobbelaar, ex-Liverpool goalkeeper
I've got a big hangover. Jerzy Dudek was fantastic, he was like a starfish with jelly legs. I heard he was told to remember what I did in 1984 and he did it. He put the first one off and saved two penalties. That must be the most magnificent comeback in the history of the Champions League and hopefully they'll be able to defend it next year.

1006: Tom Cannon, Kingston Business School
The implications financially, and in terms of the business, are enormous. Liverpool have already earned 30m. In terms of additional sponsorship income, for example from companies around Europe who'll want to be identified with the club, I would imagine it's probably worth at least 10-15m.

0952: SPKershaw, Man Utd fan, via 606 messageboard
At half-time I was screaming with delight as AC were hammering you, but what a brilliant second-half! It totally won me around. Congratulations!! Great credit must go to everyone at the club, and particulally Rafa who has performed miracles. Hopefully Gerrard will stay and you will be able to strengthen your squad and mount a real challenge in the league next season. I hope you do get the opportunity to defend the trophy next season.

0945: Jason Christopher, Cheltenham, via text
Uefa should think how ridiculous it will be that AC Milan will play in the Champions League next year while Liverpool won't. FA should arrange a play-off between Everton and Liverpool.

0935: Rafael Benitez, Liverpool manager
My opinion is that the champion must defend the trophy. If you go to play the Super Cup and the Inter-Continental Cup but don't play in the Champions League it's not common sense. The FA and Uefa must hear the people and use common sense.

0933: Dave, Istanbul, via text
It's chaos at the airport. It seems like a lot of planes have left without fans and we could be in for a long and frustrating wait.

0926: Paul, Northern Ireland, via text
Best comeback ever! Barcelona 1999? Not even close! We're back!

0913: Chris Welch, Ople, southern Poland, via text
The Poles have renamed the club Dudek-Liverpool. They seem to think the champions are Polish.

0911: Rick Parry, Liverpool chief executive
We hope Steven Gerrard is not going anywhere. He's buzzing and slept with his medal around his neck. All he's wanted to do is have success and he knows he can do that with us. As for next season, there's no reason why Uefa can't have five teams in the Champions League.

0907: Inspector Stan Powell, Merseyside police
The team will be loaded on to a bus airside and the parade will take place from 1830. It's a long route and there's plenty of space for fans to enjoy it and see the cup, but they shouldn't go to the airport.

0905: Johnny Dymond, Istanbul, BBC TV correspondent
There are reports of some fans who left at half-time with Liverpool three down. They came back to Taksim Square to watch it. They may be keeping fairly quiet about that when they get back to Liverpool. They'll be sheepish.

0858: Michael Howard, Conservative leader & Liverpool fan
At half-time, 3-0 down I thought, oh dear, all the dreams are going to dissolve, but what a second half. They were just unbelievable. I quoted Rafael Benitez during the election. He said: 'You've got to keep fighting to the end and keep believing to the end'. My goodness, didn't they do that last night.

0858: Rafael Benitez, Liverpool manager
It's a great feeling and I celebrated with the players, staff, and the families. It was an enjoyable night and I've only slept a little bit. Were my tactics wrong? We made a mistake in the first minute, lost a player and then everyting is different. Maybe you can say it was a mistake, but in my opinion it was a good decision.

0852: Gemma Griffiths, Stoke, via text
Wow! What a night! Words cannot describe how I'm feeling at work today! Well done Liverpool. Let's hope this brings more success to them!

0841: Shelagh Fogarty, John Lennon Airport, Radio Five Live
After a delay in Istanbul lots of flights are now arriving. Thousands of fans will be coming back this morning, with the team due to return at 1615 BST.

0828: Matt, Colchester, via text
I've just got the train to work in London not knowing how I got home last night! Feel terrible, not for long though. European Champs!

0815: William Gaillard, Uefa spokesman
We cannot change the rules to give Liverpool a place in next season's Champions League. It's a tough decision to make but it's not for us to make it. The FA has decided Everton are the fourth English club to qualify. I fully sympathise with the club after they made an amazing contribution to European football. I would love to have them in there - but we have rules. Liverpool are deservedly European champions, but there is nothing I can do to change the rules.

0805: James Munro, John Lennon Airport, BBC TV sports correspondent
We were expecting 21 planes to have come in by now, but only two have. A lot of fans are still stuck in Istanbul.

0802: Graham Taylor, BBC Sport pundit
Make no mistake, this was a fantastic night for English football. Liverpool's victory showed that English teams can use sophisticated tactics to overcome some of the most accomplished sides in the world. They proved we can change formation and react to situations within a game.

0801: Sue Thearle, Istanbul, BBC TV sports correspondent
The party's still going on here. There are fans out and about and the mood is still upbeat - they can't quite believe what happened.

0750: Alex G, Everton fan, via message boards
Before the game, I was fully behind Milan. So at half-time, I was happy. After those crazy six second-half minutes, I was gutted. But after extra-time and the penalties, I had to hold my hand up and say 'fair play'. A great comeback and a great result for English football. Well done Liverpool.

0745: Gary Gillespie, ex-Liverpool player and two-time European Cup winner
We're on way to the airport now - we haven't been to bed yet. It was such a remarkable atmopshere in the stadium. At half-time everybody thought it was all over - but somehow Liverpool managed to get back into it. Players like Jerzy Dudek, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher will go down as immortals.

0725: Strim, Liverpool fan, Stoke, via text
At half-time I read all the texts from my Man Utd-supporting mates. After the penalty shoot-out I replied to them...

0715: Shelagh Fogarty, John Lennon Airport, Radio Five Live
The first planes carrying Liverpool supporters are returning to the city from Istanbul. It's fantastic here - the fans coming in are desperate to celebrate, but they look like the most jaded people I've ever seen in my life.

Report: BBC Sport's Adam Parsons on the Liverpool victory parade

Liverpool parade makes its way past Anfield

Interview: Liverpool chairman David Moores

Interview: Ex-Liverpool player Tommy Smith

Ecstasy for fans as Reds triumph
25 May 05 |  Liverpool
Champions League final build-up
25 May 05 |  Europe


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