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Football: 30,000 TURN OUT FOR PARTY.

Byline: By KENNY ROSS

THE biggest crowd of the weekend in Scotland gathered at Ibrox last night to celebrate Rangers championship triumph.

Around 30,000 fans packed out three stands to watch the Premier League trophy return to Ibrox after Celtic's shock defeat at Motherwell. Manager Alex McLeish confessed he was minutes away from preparing his loser's speech when the news came through as Rangers held on for a 1-0 win over Hibs.

As the celebrations began in the street some fans popped champagne corks and showered the team bus with bubbly, while others danced on top of a police van.

Once inside, Ibrox pulsated to a mixture of party tunes and club chants as the tension of a nerve-shredding, roller-coaster season finally began to drain away. The crowd sang Macho Man in honour of Nacho Novo whose goal ultimately clinched the title, while several fans invaded the pitch.

Rain started to fall as the crowds spilled into the streets after the 20-minute celebrations.

But it's doubtful that anyone even noticed.

CAPTION(S):

MOBBED: Police clear a way through the crowd for boss McLeish
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 23, 2005
Words:184
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