Leicester were crowned Heineken Cup winners after an unforgettable final against French champions Stade Francais at Parc des Princes.

The Tigers outscored their opponents 3-0 on tries, but left it late before securing the success they so richly deserved.

Centre Leon Lloyd’s 80th minute touchdown gave Leicester glory, and stunned Stade whose 30 points came from the boot of their Italian Test fly-half Diego Dominguez.

Dominguez landed a tournament-record nine penalties, while his points tally also set a new best for a European final, but Leicester were not to be denied in the face of such an onslaught.

Despite having their captain – England and Lions leader Martin Johnson – sin-binned for punching in the second half, they dug deep into their limitless supplies of courage and resolve.

They trailed 15-9 at half-time, but scored three tries after the break, two from the impressive Lloyd and one by England flanker Neil Back.

Tigers’ scrum-half Austin Healey was a deserved man-of-the-match winner, after threatening the Stade defence through his sniping breaks and attacking invention, but the closing seconds were simply pure theatre as Leicester held on.

They follow Bath and Northampton as previous English winners of this trophy, landing a spectacular hat-trick of European glory, Premiership title success, and Zurich Championship play-off honours.