They say the sequel is never better than the original, but Bradford City fans would beg to differ after watching their side get its fairytale ending at Wembley: Take 2.

The team’s 5-0 annihilation at the hands of Premier League Swansea City after a whirlwind Capital One Cup run in February meant the plucky underdogs did not get the happy ending they had hoped for during their last visit to the landmark stadium.

That chapter of the story of a football club that dared to dream was closed.

But Phil Parkinson’s men got their moment of redemption and emerged as heroes as they returned to Wembley yesterday, securing long-awaited promotion to League One with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Northampton Town.

As referee Keith Stroud sounded the final whistle at the end of the hotly-anticipated League Two play-off final, a deafening roar erupted from the side of the stadium filled with City’s 25,000-strong following.

The electricity and emotion was clear to see. There were tears of joy and relief, fans jumping up and down, strangers hugging each and thousands of claret and amber flags being waved with pride.

The Bantams' song Claret and Amber, penned by Silsden masseur Richard Thompson, got its third airing at the iconic stadium in three months as buoyant fans chanted: “We are going up!”

It was long-awaited promotion for Bradford City after six years in the Football League’s basement division and their army of faithful followers were in dreamland.

As fans floated out of Wembley, the carnival continued.

Songs usually heard on the terraces of Valley Parade echoed down the famous Wembley Way as supporters soaked up every second of their moment of glory.

“I’m exhausted from jumping up and down,” said Carl Kenyon, 51, of Wrose.

“My voice is going from chanting and singing all the way through.

“It is everything we wanted.

“Wembley was bouncing, everyone was enjoying themselves. We even had a bit of banter with the Northampton fans. It was brilliant. I can’t believe it.”

Fourteen-year-old Ewan Bagshaw, of Huddersfield, who was at Wembley with friends and family, said: “It was spellbinding.

“I couldn't believe it when the first goal went in, and when the second and third went in it was unbelievable.

“We were in the tower tier, so we were right in there. It was incredible.

“After the Burton home game I wasn’t sure we’d make it here. Walking home I thought ‘it may have to be next year’.

“But we've done it. We’re in League One!”

His friend Daniel Bates, also 14, of Draughton, near Skipton, said: “I loved every minute of it.

“It was great to see the team play so well.”

Bradford City’s exploits this season are now part of footballing folklore.

A new mantra was born when City kept calm and took it to penalties against top-flight Wigan and Arsenal.

T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan could be seen all around the stadium, among team kits and fancy dress.

Victory against Aston Villa over two legs in the semi-final was even sweeter. And making the showpiece final at Wembley was beyond their wildest dreams.

But lifting the coveted trophy on Sunday, February 24, was not to be. It did, however, set the stage for their return on Saturday.

“One team looked like they had played at Wembley before and the other didn’t,” said Gareth Holt, 34, of Idle.

“At the time we didn’t realise it, but the Capital One Cup final was a bit of a dress rehearsal.

“The fact the three goals were scored before half time and the result never looked in doubt meant we could relax, soak up the atmosphere and celebrate.

“It was just incredible. I can’t believe we’re in League One next season. It’s been an emotional season, but it was all worth it for today.”

For 17-year-old Guy Waddington, of Wrose, cheering on City at Wembley was more poignant than for most.

Last February the Telegraph & Argus newspaper boy was in hospital recovering from life-saving brain surgery after a common cold developed into a potentially deadly infection.

He was left battling for his life after the bug in his sinuses spread to his brain, causing him to lose all feeling in his left arm and leg.

The teenager has since learned to walk again and is making a good recovery.

“I’ve been getting better, although I still can’t feel my foot,” he said.

“Today has been unbelievable. I can’t find the words to describe it.

“When they got the first goal the atmosphere was incredible, everyone was jumping.

“Then when they got the second and third goal, it got even noisier “It’s been a great season. It didn’t start off so well but this has been amazing.”

Guy’s grandad Terry Butler, 73, of Wrose, a supporter since he was seven, said: “It was unbelievable.

“It was electric, especially in the first half. All we need now is for Mr Parkinson to sign a new contract.”

The occasion was also emotional for young Bantams.

Holly Berry, nine, of Keighley, had tear-stained claret and amber facepaint on her cheeks. She said: “It was fantastic, just brilliant. I was crying most of the way through.”

Eight-year-old Jonathan Cronin, of Ilkley, also got swept up in the party atmosphere. He said: “Everyone was jumping up and down and hugging me.

“The players were all fantastic!”

His mum Rachel, 47, said: “It was fantastic, Bradford have gone through so many ups and downs this year so it’s great to go up. It was tremendous in there, especially after the three goals in the first half.”

Ashley Taylor, 18, of Eccleshill, said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic. It was absolutely incredible, better than the Capital One Cup.”

Another fan, Craig Pickering, 27, of Allerton, hoped the victory would provide a springboard for success in the future. “Hopefully we will be here again next year,” he said. “It was absolutely brilliant. It was buzzing in there. We have finally done it!”

But the day was summed up by one Northampton fan, overheard on Wembley Way. Shaking hands with a Bradford supporter, he said: “Your team thoroughly deserved it, but I have to say your support was incredible.

“Whether you’re 3-0 up or 5-0 down, you cheer all the same. You are a credit to your club and city.”

No one can deny that.

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