As most Middlesbrough fans are still drawing breath from the emotionally charged rambunctious Riverside celebrations on the penultimate day of the season, a host of former Middlesbrough stars affectionately shared their happiness for the North East club through Twitter posts.
Teesside has, in the past been given a slightly poor reputation by foreign imports, notably Fabrizio Ravanelli who criticised the area and the facilities in the late 90’s. However there was no shortage of top stars clamouring to congratulate the newly promoted Boro heroes following their successful bid to return to the Premier league.
Particular praise and congratulations seemed to be reserved for chairman Steve Gibson who was reduced to tears after moving scenes at the Riverside. He rescued the struggling club in 1986 and has continually bankrolled campaigns for success at the club and a chairman often referred to as the best chairman in football has finally been rewarded with a return to the top flight.
Even some of Boro’s rivals were quick to praise Middlesbrough with arch enemy Newcastle legend Alan Shearer tweeting
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) May 7, 2016
Arguably Boro’s best ever player, the Brazilian genius Juninho congratulated Boro too. He did so via Brazilian club Ituano’s twitter site. Note he still refers to Boro as ‘we’.
— Ituano Futebol Clube (@ituanooficial) May 7, 2016
All of Middlesbrough fans will remember the little magician sat with his hands around his knees as Boro were cruelly relegated on the final day of the season after reaching two cup finals the same year.
This talented Turkish striker once scored a hat-trick in the champions league against Man Utd before signing for Boro, he was part of the squad that was in the premier league the last time around.
Who remembers World cup winner Christian Karembeu? the classy, dreadlocked French midfielder showed his excitement at the prospect of seeing Boro back at the top. He played for Boro between 2000 and 2001.
— Christian Karembeu (@Karembeu) May 7, 2016
Now a Football journalist/commentator in Germany, Jan Aage Fjortoft who famously had the aeroplane celebration played for Middlesbrough in the 90’s and showed his elation at Boro’s win.
Boro!!!! We're back where we belong !!!
Just LOVE IT!!!!!! @Boro
— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) May 7, 2016
Former Middlesbrough and Sunderland midfielder Julio Arca must be going through a mixture of emotions with the Black Cats desperately trying to secure their top flight status, but he still found time to congratulate Boro.
Congrats Boro,after so many years great to c u back in the the top level.Well done to all the players,fans and everyone involve in the club
— Julio Arca (@julioarcaOK) May 7, 2016
Captain of promotion rivals this season Burnley Joey Barton even congratulated Boro (maybe through gritted teeth).
Well done to Boro on finishing as runners up. And good luck to Brighton, Hull, Derby and Sheff Wed in the playoffs. Great way to go up.
— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) May 8, 2016
It is certainly a refreshingly pleasant thought that, in todays fickle and in some extreme cases disloyal culture of football, all of these former players still hold Middlesbrough a place in their heart and are pleased with their achievements.