GLOUCESTER Rugby lost but the city won as hordes of Munster fans made a weekend of it when the two teams clashed in the Heineken Cup.
The special link between the sides which goes back more than a decade was strengthened again when around 3,000 Munster followers came to the city for the pool six match.
The city welcomed them with open arms and were rewarded with a weekend that at least some should be able to remember.
“It was fantastic,” said Mark Illingworth of Cafe Rene in Southgate Street.
“It started on Friday and there’s been no let up.”
He said landlord Paul Soden was impressed at the number of supporters who returned after Munster’s last visited almost six years ago.
“They’re great fun - we’ve been under a lot of pressure to deliver but it’s good pressure.”
The city’s Irish Club in Horton Road hosted many fans from both sides at an event for the Irish community on Friday night.
“Everyone at Kingsholm enjoyed the atmosphere and the friendliness of the Gloucester and Irish supporters,” said club spokesman Steve O'Connor. “It was great at the Irish community centre, enjoying the evening entertainment from Pholk Law and the young Irish dancers, who put on a wonderful performance. People travelled from far and wide to be with us. This just proves what Gloucester's all about.”
Cherry and Whites fans were buoyed by the Gloucester team’s application and attitude, despite the loss and the city buzzed on Saturday night.
“I felt proud of the team for probably the first time this season and it brought a buzz to the city,” said Kingsholm Supporters Mutual chairman Bob Rumble. “It started on Friday and by the time the match started, the atmosphere was incredible.
“It did a lot of lift people’s spirits. The Munster fans don’t just arrive in big numbers - they’re great people too.”
As expected, Gloucestershire Constabulary confirmed they dealt with no incidents connected with the match and fans on Saturday.