THOUSANDS are expected to paint the town red on Wednesday when Barnsley FC’s promotion-winning heroes will be paraded through the town in recognition of their achievements this season - which the town’s leaders say will have wider benefits beyond football.

Daniel Stendel’s Reds secured automatic promotion on Tuesday night without having to kick a ball when League One rivals Portsmouth and Sunderland lost to Peterborough and Fleetwood respectively, guaranteeing their top-two finish.

It means the Reds, who were relegated from the Championship under Jose Morais last season, bounced back at the first time of asking with a game to spare and could snatch the title if they better league leaders Luton’s result tomorrow away at Bristol Rovers.

The club and the council are encouraging fans to join the celebrations in the town centre at 6.30pm on Wednesday when a bus will leave Oakwell en route to the town hall.

The players, along with head coach Daniel Stendel, will be welcomed into the town hall by the Mayor of Barnsley, Coun Steve Green, before they take to the balcony to speak to fans about their heroics this season.

In Text Promo Image

Barnsley fans are encouraged to help paint the town a sea of red by bringing flags, banners and wearing red.

Coun Green said: “We’re over the moon that the super Reds have secured promotion to the Championship - it has been a fantastic season and the players and head coach have been terrific. We hope that there will be a sea of supporters in the town centre on Wednesday to show the Tykes how proud Barnsley is of them.”

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton, who is also a Reds fan, hailed the young side’s achievement and said the impact will be welcomed by the town centre’s businesses - both current and incoming.

“Firstly it’s the result of a huge, season-long effort from Barnsley Football Club and it’s thoroughly deserved,” he told the Chronicle.

“They’ve played brilliantly and hopefully they will go on and win the title on the last day of the season.

“It adds to the feelgood factor that’s currently in the town at the minute as there’s a lot to be encouraged by, whether it’s new businesses opening or increasing the offering for those visiting.

“The Tour de Yorkshire is in town today and the new library’s due to open in the summer, so it’s another positive for the town.

“This achievement will mean more fans from big clubs in the Championship will come to Barnsley and the economic impact of that can’t be underestimated as there will be thousands of supporters here every other week.

“We’re creating a vibrant, modern town centre by investing millions into it and the promotion is fantastic news for everyone in the town, not just football fans.”

During the course of the campaign the Reds went 20 games unbeaten - equalling a club record in the process - beat their clean sheet record and will achieve their highest-ever points tally, regardless of tomorrow’s result, all while fielding the youngest squad in the whole English professional league system.

Goalkeeper Adam Davies, defenders Dimitri Cavare and Ethan Pinnock, midfielder Alex Mowatt and striker Kieffer Moore were all named in the PFA League One team of the season.

Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis told the Chronicle the consistency shown was a fitting tribute to ex-owner Patrick Cryne and ‘Mr Barnsley’ Norman Rimmington - both club veterans who have died in recent years.

“I want to congratulate everyone at Barnsley FC and our fantastic supporters, who have all been a credit to the club and the town,” he added.

“Promotion is a massive boost for Barnsley as it has lifted our spirits and is a major economic boost for the town.

“I could not be more delighted that we will be seeing Championship football at Oakwell next season.

“I know that Patrick and Norman would be so proud of everything that the Reds have achieved this season, as am I.”

‘The Reds Are Going Up’ will be available for £1.50 from our reception on Church Street and selected supermarkets and newsagents from Thursday.

Advance copies will also be available at the civic reception on Wednesday.