Sep 26 2013 by Sophie McCoid, Skelmersdale Advertiser
OLYMPIC heroes the Skem Men-Aces enjoyed an open-top bus victory parade at the weekend to celebrate their massive achievement at the Special Olympics.
The people of Skelmersdale, Ormskirk and Up Holland lined the streets to show their support for the football team who won silver at the games earlier this month.
The players had battled their way back into medal contention after losing their first game at the event held in Bath.
They eventually beat the West Midlands to win their silver medal.
A wave of red and black with a sparkle of silver drove through the roads of West Lancashire as well wishers cheered, waved and honked their horns as the bus went past.
The classic 1965 vintage open top bus was supplied by Huntapac and organised by the Mayor of West Lancashire, Iain Ashcroft.
Carl Eaton, club manager said: “All the lads were all in exuberant spirits and waved their red and black flags and scarves.
“They held up an array of silverware that they have collected – 22 trophies and awards in just under four years.
“We wanted to thank the hundreds and hundreds of people that have shown their support in getting the lads to the Olympics.
“The lads were so excited about the whole day, which they didn't know anything about until the night before.”
The team also had a special police escort to accompany their bus on its tour of West Lancashire.
And officers spent time with the team after the tour, posing for photos and sharing jokes with all the players.
The surprise didn't end there though, the team pulled up at Skelmersdale Asda and were then treated to a lavish buffet.
Carl said: “The buffet was a wonderful gesture to finish of a truly momentous experience that will stay with the lads for along long time to come. “The Asda team have been a tremendous support and need to be recognised for all their help and understanding.”