IT was a 30,000 strong celebration of 30 years as the world's biggest boyband.

Take That started their two night stint in Southampton with a storming set that included some of the greatest hits in three decades of pop.

They delighted fans with a host of classics from their back catalogue.

Fans, many painted in glitter or wearing retro Take That memorabilia, had enjoyed a day in the sunshine in Southampton.

They poured into St Mary's, the home of the Saints, in their droves, ready to enjoy support from 80s comeback king Rick Astley.

The Never Gonna Give You Up singer declared them 'already in the mood' as he opened with Together Forever.

The sense of anticipation was palpable as the musical accompaniment started building, ready for the appearance of Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald.

The trio burst onto stage out of a revolving giant Pac-Man icon to perform Greatest Day, just as the wind picked up and blew ticker tape across the pitch. Clad in glittery blue shell suits, in a tongue in cheek throwback to their early days, they continued with It Only Takes a Minute.

Robbie Williams appeared on stage briefly during Everything Changes, but only as a video. The whole show was interspersed with soundbites from interviews with the Take That of three decades ago.

They took the party down a walkway into the centre circle as the sun set over St Mary's, playing Said It All, How Deep Is Your Love, The Flood and Let It Shine, the latter to a mass singalong and fireworks.

Southampton's own Love Soul Choir joined Lulu on stage for an incredible rendition of Relight My Fire.

Rule The World, with tens of thousands of phone lights raised into the night sky, provided a fitting finale to an amazing night.

The fun continues tonight.