Manchester United are champions of England once again and today they will celebrate the success with thousands of adoring fans around the streets of Manchester.

Sir Alex Ferguson has successfully wrestled back the Premier League crown from Manchester City and the city (well the red side at least) gets ready to party as United revel in their glory.

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Manchester United parade route
 
 

16.40: The weather is really getting to our man Chris Wheeler now…

‘Well, it’s pretty miserable at Old Trafford right now. The rain is easing off but everyone’s a bit soggy and there’s still two hours to go. Even those used to the Manchester weather didn’t expect that. If I wasn’t getting paid to do this …’

Oh well, at least Rio Ferdinand is having fun in the pub. He tweeted the following picture, with the message: ‘#theparade gathering pace with the big dog in the boozer!’

If I was Rio I would be watchful of where ‘big dog’ places his left hand next.

 
Company: Rio Ferdinand tweeted this picture of him and 'big dog' in a pub

Company: Rio Ferdinand tweeted this picture of him and ‘big dog’ in a pub

16.15: While I’m at it, this picture shows someone selling merchandise in Manchester.

The shirt on display in the top right corner of the rack outlines, for the avoidance of any doubt, that United have won 20 titles and City just the three.

It is exactly a year to the day since Sergio Aguero’s last-minute goal won the title for City last year. Now, though, they are going through a torrid spell after an FA Cup final defeat by Wigan. How times change.

 
Cashing in: A stall holder sells Manchester United merchandise in the rain

Cashing in: A stall holder sells Manchester United merchandise in the rain

16.03: A few more pictures to show you.

A couple of stewards brave the awful weather in Manchester which left our man Chris Wheeler a tad bemused (to say the least).

 
Dampening the mood? Stewards brave heavy rain and hail stones in Manchester

Dampening the mood? Stewards brave heavy rain and hail stones in Manchester

Robin van Persie, meanwhile, looked rather more relaxed when he went for a stroll earlier.

 
Star striker: Robin van Persie takes a stroll in Alderley Edge before the title parade
Star striker: Robin van Persie takes a stroll in Alderley Edge before the title parade
 

Star striker: Robin van Persie takes a stroll in Alderley Edge before his team’s title parade

15.54: As if his poster getting taken down wasn’t enough bad news for the day, Wayne Rooney had no luck at Doncaster races, either. His first horse Switcharooney finished 10th at 50-1, while Pippy came sixth at 9-1. Next they’ll be asking for a transfer …

15.40: How about this. The giant ‘to be continued’ poster featuring Wayne Rooney has been taken down at Old Trafford. Rooney requested a transfer and was booed yesterday during United’s home match against Swansea. Read into this what you will..

WITH POSTER:

 
Poster

WITHOUT POSTER:

 
Man Utd fans

Also, the heavens have opened in Manchester. Sportsmail’s Chris Wheeler is not a happy bunny…

‘Storm clouds overhead and it’s hailing like crazy now. Back at the ground after driving the parade route before they close all the roads. Not much sign of a celebration down the A56 into Manchester but the moment you hit the city centre, the cones are out and so are scores of volunteers in yellow jackets. Albert Square, where the parade ends, is already blocked off, and most roads will be closed until 10pm.

‘This is ridiculous. Thunder, lightning and a hailstorm. You couldn’t pick worse conditions for a parade. Thank heavens there’s still two hours to go. At this rate, the United players will be sat downstairs on the bus with the trophy strapped to the top deck.’

15.30: And the parade begins in the pub!

Judging by his Twitter account, Rio Ferdinand is excited about tonight. He’s just tweeted this picture with the message: ‘The boys are out…..always nice being in the 1st group out! #theparade’

 
Party time: Rio Ferdinand tweeted this picture of him and his team-mates in a pub

Party time: Rio Ferdinand tweeted this picture of him and his team-mates in a pub

Earlier in the day, Ferdinand tweeted: ‘I Can’t wait for later when we can share this moment with our fans in Manchester! #Champions #TheParade

Someone is clearly in the spirit.

15.06: This just in! Manchester United have tweeted a first look at the bus…

 
first pic

first pic

No surprise to see Sir Alex features prominently, as does the large Nike tick next to his head.

Meanwhile, Sportsmail’s Chris Wheeler waits for the bus to arrive at Old Trafford.

‘The barriers are in place where the bus will leave outside Old Trafford, and more than a hundred fans are already here to ensure they’ve got the best view. A crane towers overhead. Either its for a camera crew or Fergie has alternative plans for Wayne Rooney.’

It’s fair to say Rooney’s future is up in the air at the moment.

14.58: That song from The Courteeners reached No 18 in the UK Chart in 2008.

Anyway, back to business, Sportsmail’s Chris Wheeler is soaking up the atmosphere in Manchester. Here’s one of his observations around half an hour ago.

‘First sighting of a United ‘Champions’ flag today, about a quarter of a mile from Old Trafford. The souvenir sellers are already setting out their stalls close to the ground even though there are three and a half hours to go. No sign of the open-top bus yet.’

I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for any tired eyes among the United squad. One or two of them were up way past their bedtime last night, as you can see from these pictures…

 
On the move: Rooney
Dutch of class: Van Persie
 

Out on the town: Wayne Rooney with his wife Coleen and Robin van Persie and his partner party on Sunday

 
 
Retired: Scholes
Legend: Giggs
 

Older generation: Paul Scholes with his wife and Giggs snapped holding hands with his wife Stacey

 
 
 
 
 
 
Walk this way: Rio Ferdinand appeared to be by himself and without his wife

Walk this way: Rio Ferdinand appeared to be by himself and without his wife

Keep up: Young England midfielder Tom Cleverley with girlfriend Georgina Dorsett

Keep up: Young England midfielder Tom Cleverley with girlfriend Georgina Dorsett

Walk this way: Rio Ferdinand appeared to be by himself and without his wife

Keep up: Young England midfielder Tom Cleverley with girlfriend Georgina Dorsett

Keep up: Young England midfielder Tom Cleverley with girlfriend Georgina Dorsett

 

 

 
 
Late one: Ferdinand
Crocked: Young
 

Late: Rio Ferdinand tweeted that he was out until 3am and even being on crutches didn’t stop Ashley Young

 

 

 
 
View from a blue: City fan Ricky Hatton was out

View from a blue: City fan Ricky Hatton was out

Leaving party? Rooney looks to be on his way

Leaving party? Rooney looks to be on his way

 
 
 
Two's company: Defender Phil Jones and girlfriend Kaya Hall celebrated his first Premier League win

Two’s company: Defender Phil Jones and girlfriend Kaya Hall celebrated his first Premier League win

Hop along: Chris Smalling was still sporting his crutches as he arrived with his girlfriend Sam Cooke

Hop along: Chris Smalling was still sporting his crutches as he arrived with his girlfriend Sam Cooke

 

 

 
Winning mentality: Diminutive French star Patrice Evra and his wife Sandra

Winning mentality: Diminutive French star Patrice Evra and his wife Sandra

A striking partner: Portuguese winger Nani with his girlfriend

A striking partner: Portuguese winger Nani with his girlfriend

 

 

 
 
Flying solo: Shinji Kagawa and David De Gea both arrived separately without partners
Flying solo: Shinji Kagawa and David De Gea both arrived separately without partners
 

Flying solo: Shinji Kagawa and David De Gea both arrived separately without partners

 
 
Full house: The low key affair featured most of the Manchester United first team regulars

Full house: The low key affair featured most of the Manchester United first team regulars

 

 
 

14.36: A few details for you…

The parade will start at 6pm from the East Stand forecourt at Old Trafford. Spectators are invited to start queuing earlier but the area will be capacity controlled so get there early or you could miss out.

If you need to log off your computer and head down to Old Trafford I won’t be offended, although MailOnline works very well on tablet and mobile devices.

Anyway, Sir Alex Ferguson and Nemanja Vidic are, according to Manchester United’s official website, expected to address the crowd at Old Trafford before the bus departs along Sir Matt Busby way at around 6:30pm.

The team will reach Albert Square around 7:30pm where Ferguson will again address the spectators. The Courteeners will play LIVE in Albert Square too. For those of you who are unsure who The Courteeners are…

 

 

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