THE leader of Oxford City Council backed Oxford United’s search for a new stadium as the club celebrated promotion to the second tier of English football with an open-top bus parade.

The U’s won the Sky Bet League One play-off final at Wembley on Saturday, beating Bolton Wanderers 2-0, to secure promotion to the second tier for the first time since the 1998/99 campaign.

United’s players and staff were met by thousands of supporters in the city centre yesterday evening, as an open-top bus tour gave fans the chance to see their heroes with the play-off final trophy.

The parade started at The Plain and then went over Magdalen Bridge, and along the High Street all the way to Oxford Town Hall.

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Players and staff then entered the Town Hall, where they were invited by the city council as guests for a civic ceremony.

Giving a speech to those in attendance at the ceremony, city council leader Susan Brown said: “I’ve been following Oxford United since we won the Milk Cup, so it’s been a while. We’ve had some disappointments along the way and some fantastic triumphs, as well as the disappointments.

“I also remember going to see the late Joey Beauchamp play at the Manor Ground, and I know how proud he’d be today.

“From the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of Oxford, a huge thank you to Oxford United. We will continue to support you, as we have done with the training ground, and we will support you in your move to a new stadium.

“This is the start of a fantastic new future for Oxford United.”

Oxford Mail:

The U’s are looking to build a new home at The Triangle, south of Kidlington Roundabout, with the club’s licence agreement at the Kassam Stadium running out in 2026.

United want to build a 16,000-capacity stadium and complex, which is set to include a 180-bedroom hotel, restaurant, conference centre, health and wellbeing space, and community plaza.

It was announced earlier this month that a legally binding lease option between the U’s and Oxfordshire County Council, for land at The Triangle, has been signed, in addition to a community collaboration agreement.

Lord Mayor of Oxford, Mike Rowley, said in a speech at the Town Hall: “Nothing brings people together like football. When the final whistle went on Saturday, thousands of fans, of all ages and backgrounds, were at Wembley and enjoyed the celebrations.

“To the team and everyone at Oxford United, thank you for the pride you have given us all.”