Inside West Ham celebrations as players party with fans until 2am in Prague
West Ham United players danced in the streets into the early hours of Thursday morning as they savoured their historic Europa Conference League triumph against Fiorentina in Prague. As the players stepped off the team bus arriving at their hotel, their fans were waiting to greet them to kick off the official celebrations after their memorable 2-1 victory in the Czech capital, with David Moyes, Mark Noble and captain Declan Rice all joining in with the dancing on the streets.
Moyes’ side won their first European title in 47 years after Jarrod Bowen’s 90th-minute goal proved to be decisive at the Eden Arena. Said Benrahma’s penalty had been cancelled out by Giacomo Bonaventura in the second half but it was the Premier League club who were celebrating at the final whistle as their fans were sent into pandemonium.
With an estimated 6,000 fans inside the stadium and 20,000 travelling to the city overall, it promised to be a lively night of celebrations in Prague and the scenes suggested the Europa Conference League after-party did not disappoint.
Lucas Paqueta, who set up Bowen to score the last-minute winner, was in a jubilant mood as the Brazilian was spotted jinking and jiving in the dressing room after the game as his team-mates clapped along to some rap music.
As the team got off the bus at their hotel, goalkeeper Alphonse Areola held aloft a music speaker to ensure the party scenes did not die down and even manager David Moyes joined in the wild celebrations with a group of fans at around 2am.
Moyes, who was celebrating his first title as a manager in over 1,000 games, promised he would bring out his best rendition of ‘dad dancing’ if they won on Wednesday night.
And the 60-year-old was true to his word, as he was spotted cutting shapes on their makeshift pebbled dancefloor outside their hotel.
Bowen was seen laughing as his team-mates danced to a song which affectionately celebrates his partner Dani Dyer, the mother of his newborn twins.
Only hours before, the winger had shoved a fan during an live TV interview for singing the song.
Other players such as Benrahma, Rice and Pablo Fornals could be seen bopping to the music once inside the hotel.
Players posed for pictures and signed shirts as they gladly interacted with fans, basking in the reality of their success.
Later on in the night, goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski played the role of neighbourhood peacemaker as he attempted to calm down the fans with them as their celebrations continued into the early hours.
But away in the city centre, the joyous scenes turned ugly in the midst of red and pink smoke as beer-soaked West Ham fans let off flares in the Czech capital and clashed with police and officers in riot gear.
Some fans showed off their injuries with blood-stained clothing and cuts to their arms. But for the majority of Hammers supporters, it proved to be an unforgettable night of pure adulation for their heroes.
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