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Promotion paradise... a look back at the last time the Bluebirds entertained Charlton...

Byline: Steve Tucker Football correspondent steve.tucker@walesonline.co.uk

WHO will ever forget the night Cardiff City clinched promotion to the Premier League for the first time ever? More than half a century of hurt since the Bluebirds graced the top flight was poured into the occasion as supporters poured onto the pitch to hail their heroes.

An impromptu disco broke out at the Cardiff City Stadium and players were held shoulder-high as emotions that had been held back for a long time were finally allowed to flow.

The unwitting, and obviously jealous, opponents that April 2013 night were Charlton Athletic, and never has a 0-0 draw been greeted with so much relief and excitement in the history of the club.

As the Addicks prepare to return to the Welsh capital, we relive some of the unforgettable images of that great night as Cardiff fans began to realise what they had just witnessed.

Chairman Vincent Tan was all smiles, giving the fans the thumbs up wearing his red shirt, while manager Malky Mackay was mobbed.

Favourite players like Kevin McNaughton were captured showing the passion and joy it meant to them to finally reach the Premier League after years of heartache with, ironically enough, on-loan Leon Barnett, hardly a household name at the club, providing one of the most iconic images of all of the whole occasion.

This weekend's clash Charlton might not have the same thrill-factor or importance as that night nearly two years ago, so wallow in these classic pictures of the moment the Bluebirds finally made the big time.

CAPTION(S):

One little Bluebirds fan enjoying the party atmosphere

Aron Gunnarsson and Craig Noone celebrate in front of the cameras while right, Malky Mackay is embraced by his opposite number, Charlton boss Chris Powell

|Bluebirds fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate a real red letter day for the club... promotion to the Premier |League! Meanwhile top right, Vincent Tan gives a thumbs up, bottom left, Craig Bellamy is mobbed and right, fans wave a banner welcoming nights with the club featured on Match of the Day; hello Gary. goodbye Manish! |Bluebirds fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate a real red letter day for the club... promotion to the Premier |League! Meanwhile top right, Vincent Tan gives a thumbs up, bottom left, Craig Bellamy is mobbed and right, fans wave a banner welcoming nights with the club featured on Match of the Day; hello Gary. goodbye Manish!

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 7, 2015
Words:412
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