Leicester City is a professional soccer club situated in the East Midlands, England. They are nicknamed “The Foxes” and plays in the English Premier League.
Leicester City was founded in 1884 by a group of men from the Wyggeston School. They play their home games at the King Power, a stadium with a capacity of 32,261 seats. The team has achieved much success since its creation. Their most significant achievement is the English Premier League title they won during the 2015-16 campaign. Besides, The Foxes have won 1 FA Cup trophy, 7 Second Division / Championships trophies, 3 League Cups, and 1 Charity Shield.
Leicester City history is an amalgam of joyful moments together with some tragedies. During the past few years, the club has upped its standards as no one has ever imagined. Without wasting any time, let us dive right into the formation of the club.
|Leicester City Football Club
|King Power Stadium
The Foundation Of Leicester City
As mentioned earlier, the East Midlands club came into formation in 1884. A group of youngsters, who were from Wyggeston School, formed the team. Back then, the name adopted by the team was Leicester Fosse. The club became associated with The Football Association (FA) in 1891.
Leicester did not have its soccer turf. It is the main reason they had to move multiple times until they settled at Filbert Street in 1891. During the same year, they joined the Midland League. Three years later, they got promoted to Division Two after securing a second-place finish.
First Football League Game
Leicester Fosse first football league game took place on September 1, 1894. They faced Grimsby Town in an away match. Archibald Hughes and David Skea played their first-ever game for The Foxes after moving to the team one month earlier.
The encounter produced a total of seven goals. The game ended in a defeat for the away team with a full-time score of 4-3. The players on the scoresheet for Leicester were William McArthur and newly signed David Skea. The latter scored a brace on his debut match.
First Football League Win For Leicester Fosse
Leicester Fosse first home game of the campaign happened on September 8, 1894, against Rotherham Town. The fixture marked the introduction of Andrew Whitelaw, who arrived in August.
During the mouth-watering clash, David Skea scored another three goals for his new club. Hugh Gallacher scored one goal, and the game ended full-time at 4-2. It was the first Football League win for Leicester Fosse.
Leicester also recorded their highest ever win to date that season in the FA Cup. The Foxes humiliated Notts Olympic by 13-0.
Promotion To The First Division And Change Of Name
During the 1907-08 soccer campaign, Leicester finished second to book their ticket for top-flight soccer. Due to the competitiveness of the first division, they were unable to perform at the highest level. Consequently, they were relegated to the second division the following season.
The year 1919 marked the renaming of Leicester Fosse to Leicester City Football Club. It happened mainly thanks to the City status received by Leicester.
Between 1924 and 1940, the club enjoyed promotion to the first division on two occasions, but they could not remain in the top-flight for long.
Record Goal Scorer, Arthur Clarence Hillier Chandler
Arthur Chandler was a striker who played for Leicester City for 13 years. He joined The Foxes at the age of 27 during the 1923-24 Second Division campaign.
Chandler is Leicester City all-time highest goalscorer. The prolific striker has an impressive goal-scoring record with The Foxes.
In 393 appearances in the league, he scored 259 goals for the East Midlands club. Chandler never scored a penalty for Leicester during his career. He took the role of the penalty taker twice during his playing time but failed on both attempts.
Thanks to Chandler’s impressive goal scoring record, Leicester City maintained top-flight soccer for 11 consecutive years, from 1925 to 1935.
First FA Cup Final
Leicester City qualified for the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949. They faced Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Wembley Stadium.
Wolves defeated The Foxes by 3-1 to lift their third FA Cup trophy. Jesse Pye scored a brace, while Samuel Smyth scored the third goal for Wolves. Meanwhile, Mal Griffiths scored a consolation goal for the Foxes.
Top Scorer And Top Flight Soccer
Under the management of Dave Halliday, Leicester City got promoted to the First Division in 1957. During the same season, Arthur Rowley scored a club record of 44 goals. It is the most goals scored by any player in a single season for The Foxes.
The Foxes maintained their stay in top-flight for 12 consecutive years, a record for the East Midlands team.
A Taste Of Silverware
In the 1964 League Cup final, Leicester faced Stoke City. It was a two-leg final, with the first leg taking place at Victoria Ground. A total of 22,309 fans attended the event as the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Keith Richard Bebbington was on the scoresheet for The Potters and David Wedderburn Gibson for The Foxes.
The second leg took place one week later, on April 22, 1964. The match happened at Filbert Street, and 25,372 soccer lovers responded with their presence.
During the mouth-watering encounter, a total of five goals got scored. Leicester City was proclaimed winners as the match ended in a 3-2 win for the home side. Michael David Stringfellow, David Wedderburn Gibson and Howard Riley were the goal scorers for The Foxes. Dennis Sydney Viollet and George Kinnell reduced the score for Stoke City.
Under Matthew Muirhead Gillies’ management, The Foxes lifted their first-ever League Cup trophy. Leicester City finished as runners-up the following season as Chelsea won the two-legged final.
More FA Cup Finals
After the 1948-49 FA Cup final, which Leicester lost against Wolverhampton Wanderers, they participated in another three finals. They happened during the 1960-61, 1962-63, and 1968-69 season.
In the 1960-61 FA Cup final, Leicester faced Tottenham Hotspur. The match took place at Wembley Stadium. It ended in a 2-0 defeat for The Foxes.
Leicester City defeated Liverpool by 1-0 in the 1962-63 FA Cup semi-final to book their tickets for the finals. They faced Manchester United in the closing match. The Foxes came out runners-up as the game ended in a 3-1 defeat. Ken Keyworth scored the only goal for the Foxes.
The 1968-69 FA Cup finals took place between Manchester City and Leicester City. The Foxes advanced to the last stage of the competition thanks to a 1-0 win against West Bromwich Albion. They were unlucky in the finals as The Citizens won the game by 1-0.
Leicester had participated in four finals till 1969. Unfortunately, the Foxes came out runners-up on all four occasions.
Promotion and Charity Shield Winner
Leicester gained promotion to the First Division in 1971. Between 1968 to 1971, the team was competing in the second-tier of English soccer.
Since Arsenal participated in the European Competition, Division Two winners, Leicester, were invited for the Charity Shield. The match took place on August 7, 1971, at Filbert Street, with 25,104 fans attending the event.
Stephen Whitworth scored the only goal of the game in the 15th minute. The match ended with a 1-0 win for Leicester, and they lifted their first-ever Charity Shield.
Famous Players Who Wore The Foxes Jersey
As the years went by, Leicester City juggled between the First and Second Division. Many famous players wore the jersey of The Foxes along the years.
Some of the popular players were Frank McLintock, Gary Lineker, and Alan Martin Smith. McLintock played for the East Midlands side for nearly seven years. In 194 league matches, Lineker scored a total of 95 goals. Alan Smith played for The Foxes between 1982 to 1987. He made 200 league appearances for Leicester City and took his goal tally to 76 goals.
Qualification For The FA Premier League
The FA Premier League was founded on February 20, 1992. The league would comprise of 22 teams, with each team playing against the 21 opponents at home and away. Leicester needed to either win the First Division or come out winners of the play-off to qualify for the newly formed league.
Despite failing to qualify for the Premier League during the previous two play-off rounds, The Foxes were determined to secure promotion.
In 1994, Leicester overcame Derby County in the play-off finals to qualify for top-flight soccer. The match took place at the Wembley Stadium on May 30, 1994. The pitch was packed with 73,671 soccer fans.
Derby County took advantage on the 28th minute thanks to a goal from Thomas Johnson. Two superb goals from Steven Walsh on the 41st and 84th minute secured a 2-1 win for The Foxes. Leicester manager, Brian Little, was full of joy and emotion at full-time.
First Season In The Premier League
Leicester City created history by qualifying for the Premier League in 1994. That season campaign consisted of 22 teams. The Premier League adopted the 20 teams format one year later.
Managed by Mark McGhee, The Foxes first appearance in top-tier soccer was not successful. Club captain Steve Walsh and his teammates ended the season with 29 points. It was not enough for the East Midlands side to avoid relegation. Leicester had to play First Division soccer the following season.
Having witnessed Premier League soccer one season earlier, Leicester wanted to return to top-flight soccer. They qualified for the play-off finals during the 1995-1996 campaign.
In the finals, they faced Crystal Palace. The match happened at the Wembley Stadium on May 27, 1996. Under Martin O’Neill’s management, The Foxes defeated Crystal Palace in extra time to qualify for next season Premier League campaign.
Back To The Premier League
Leicester City returned to the Premier League in 1996. During the 1996-97 campaign, The Foxes produced some incredible performances to finish the season in 9th place.
Out of the 38 matches played, Martin O’Neill’s men won 12 games draw 11 times. They finished the season with 47 points. Leicester also qualified for the UEFA Cup first round. Athletico Madrid eventually eliminated them.
During the same season, Leicester qualified for the League Cup’s final after eliminating Wimbledon. They faced Middlesbrough, and the match got played in two legs. The first leg took place at the Wembley Stadium on April 6, 1997. The game ended in a 1-1 draw after extra time.
The second leg, which took place ten days later, happened at the Hillsborough Stadium. The only goal of the game came in the extra time courtesy of Stephen Edward Claridge. Leicester lifted their second League Cup in their history.
More League Cup Joy For The Foxes
Martin O’Neill, who guided Leicester to a League Cup success in 1997, took the club to another final three years later. His club overcame Aston Villa in the semi-final by 1-0 on aggregate.
The final took place between Leicester City and Tranmere Rovers on February 27, 2000. The Wembley Stadium was chosen as the venue, and 74,313 soccer fans responded with their presence.
The match ended in a 2-1 victory for Leicester. Two goals from Matthew Stephen Elliott was enough to secure the trophy for The Foxes. David Thomas Kelly scored a consolation goal for The Villains. It was Leicester third League Cup triumph.
Martin O’Neill left Leicester in 2000 to manage Celtic. The Foxes maintained their stay in top-flight soccer from 1996 to 2002.
Relegation Hit The Foxes
The 2001-02 Premier League campaign was one to forget for Leicester City fans. The club finished last in the league table and was relegated to the First Division. They managed only five wins and thirteen draws that season.
In 2002, Leicester moved to the Walkers Stadium (King Power Stadium). The stadium had a capacity of 32,314 seats. The East Midlands clubs previously played for 111 years at Filbert Street. They managed to gain promotion to the Premier League again in 2003. Micky Adams was unable to prevent his side from getting relegated the following season.
It was the beginning of a series of bad results for The Foxes. As the years went on, Leicester failed to gain promotion to the Premier League. They had many managerial changes in the next four years. Besides, the club was purchased by Milan Mandarić.
Under Mandarić, the club progress was plodding. The Foxes were relegated from the Championship in 2008. They spent one year in League One before gaining promotion to the Championship the following year.
Revival Of Leicester City
In 2010, Leicester reached an agreement with King Power Group for the sponsorship of their jersey. The contract length was for three years. During the same year, Mandarić sold the club to Asian Football Investments (AFI). He remained as chairman of the club until November 2010.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha took over as the club chairman the following year, replacing Mandarić.
In 2014, Nigel Graham Pearson guided Leicester to their seventh Championship trophy. The Foxes managed to secure promotion to the Premier League by finishing first. It also marked the return to a 10-year absence from the English Premier League.
A Comeback Like Never Before
During the 2014-15 Premier League campaign, Leicester managed to grab only 19 points from their 29 matches. The team was sitting at the bottom of the league table with only nine games left.
Pearson men produced one of the best comebacks in soccer history to escape relegation. Leicester won seven games out of the remaining nine games to finish the season in 14th place with 41 points.
Pearson got sacked before the start of the next Premier League campaign after some disagreements with the club. Italian coach Claudio Ranieri replaced him.
Leicester City Are Premier League Champions
Leicester City started the 2015-16 Premier League campaign with a 4-2 win over Sunderland. During the second game week, Claudio Ranieri men defeated West Ham by 2-1. At this stage of the season, the club looked at amassing as many points as possible.
They kept on performing well, and at the end of Gameweek 13, The Foxes were sitting at the top of the league table. At this stage of the competition, the club had eight wins, four draws, and only one defeat.
Players like Jamie Vardy, N’golo Kanté, Westley Morgan, Kasper Schmeichel, and Riyad Karim Mahrez became quite famous. Their performances on the pitch were simply outstanding.
Leicester juggled between the first and the second place for some time. Eventually, on game week 23, The Foxes returned at the top of the table. They maintained this position until the end of the season and were proclaimed Champions of England.
Defying The Odds
Leicester City became the champions of England for the first time in their history. A team that was fighting relegation one season earlier turned into a world-class club in no time. Claudio Ranieri was labelled a soccer genius. He won many individual honours, including the Premier League Manager Of The Year Trophy and The Best FIFA Soccer Coach Award.
At the start of the 2015-16 Premier League campaign, Leicester were 5000/1 at the bookmakers to become champions. It is understood that many fans backed their team at that time, and they made huge profits.
Chelsea bought N’Golo Kanté from Leicester at the end of the season. Wilfred Ndidi replaced him in midfield after he was signed from Genk.
Leicester City Fan Base
Leicester City fan base sky rocketed after their Premier League triumph. In 2015, the club had a total of 736,554 followers from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram combined. As their performances grew better in the league, this number started to increase drastically.
In 2016, a new survey was carried out to see how the number of followers changed, and the results were spectacular. Leicester fan base grew by over 518%. The club, which had 736k followers in August 2015, had over 3 million followers in April 2016.
The increased number of followers helped the team make more profits thanks to television rights, t-shirt sales and season tickets. Besides, The Foxes attended different tours, which brought them much financial success.
The 2016-17 Champions League
Leicester City booked their ticket for the 2016-17 Champions League group stages after their Premier League heroics. They qualified for the knock-out stages by topping their group with 13 points.
In the Round of 16, Leicester faced Sevilla in a two-legged fixture. Sevilla won the first leg by 2-1. The Foxes managed to advance to the quarter-finals thanks to a 2-0 win in the return leg.
In the quarter-finals, they faced Atlético Madrid. Diego Simeone side won the first leg by a score of 1-0. Leicester could not secure qualification as the second leg match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Losing Their Best Players And Manager
Claudio Ranieri was sacked by Leicester less than one year after guiding them to the top of the Engish Premier League. Several replacements happened, but none proved successful.
Leicester players were attracting the interests of top clubs worldwide. It became almost impossible for the team to retain most of its superstar players. Kanté earlier left for Chelsea, and more players were tempted by the opportunity to move to other clubs.
Danny Drinkwater moved to Chelsea in 2017, while Riyad Mahrez became a Citizens in 2018. One year later, Harry Maguire signed for Manchester United for a record 80 million pounds deal.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha And The Helicopter Tragedy
On October 27, 2018, Leicester City played against West Ham United at the Kind Power Stadium. Club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha attended the match. Vichai was a soccer lover, and his love for The Foxes was simply magnificent.
After the match, Vichai and three other members boarded the helicopter. Soon after taking off, the tail rotor control linkage broke, resulting in the helicopter’s crash outside the stadium.
Vichai, the pilot, and the three other people lost their lives due to the crash and the heavy flames that invaded the helicopter. This tragedy will always be remembered by Leicester City and the whole soccer community.
Brendan Rodgers As Leicester City Manager
Brendan Rodgers was appointed as The Foxes manager on February 26, 2019. The former Liverpool coach replaced Claude Puel.
In his first season, Rodgers guided Leicester to a 9th place finish. He instilled his attacking style of play in the club, and The Foxes finished 5th during the 2019/2020 Premier League campaign. They managed the secure promotion to the UEFA Europa Cup.
In the Europa League, Leicester finished first in the group stage matches to qualify for the Round of 32. Slavia Prague eventually knocked them out by 2-0 on aggregate.
Under Rodgers, Leicester has again turned into a top soccer side. They have the faculty to match themselves to the top clubs in the world. Their fans are certainly awaiting their next trophy.
The 2021 FA Cup Finals
Under the management of Brendan Rodgers, Leicester booked their ticket to the fifth FA Cup final in their history. In the semi-finals, the Foxes overcame Southampton by 1-0.
The final took place at the Wembley Stadium on May 15, 2021. The opponents of the Foxes were Thomas Tuchel side, Chelsea. A total of 21,000 fans were allowed in the stadium due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Youri Tielemans scored the only goal of the game on the 63rd minutes to give Leicester their first ever FA Cup trophy. The club, the players and the fans dedicated the success to the late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. The year 2021 will be engraved in the history of the Foxes.
End Of Line
Leicester City performance has risen during the past few years. Their Premier League title triumph in 2015-16 remains one of the soccer world’s most significant achievements. It was undoubtedly a season no soccer fans will ever forget.
The East Midlands club fanbase has increased immensely during the past years. The credit goes to their attacking style of play. Their fans can proudly look forward to the club’s future.
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