Leicester City F.C.


Leicester City F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Leicester City


fullname = Leicester City Football Club
nickname = The Foxes, Fosse, The Filberts
founded = 1884 (as Leicester Fosse)
ground = Walkers Stadium ("Filbert Way")
Leicester | capacity = 32,500cite news| title = Walkers Stadium Overview| url = http://www.lcfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Stadium/0,,10274~432446,00.html| publisher = Leicester City Football Club| date = 2007-08-08| accessdate= 2008-02-11]
past grounds = Filbert Street |
chairman = flagicon|Serbiaflagicon|USA Milan Mandarić
manager = flagicon|England Nigel Pearson
league = League One
season = 2007-08
position = The Championship, 22nd
(relegated)
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pattern_la3=_blueborder|pattern_b3=_blueshoulders|pattern_ra3=_blueborder
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Leicester City Football Club, (also known as "The Foxes") is an English professional football club based at the Walkers stadium in the city of Leicester. [http://www.stadiumguide.com/walkersstadium.htm] Leicester's highest ever finish was second in the old Division One in 1928-29, and despite getting into the FA Cup final four times, they have never won the cup. They have however won the League Cup three times and the Second Division title six times before it became known as the Football League Championship.

Leicester were founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse,cite web | url=http://www.lcfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/History/0,,10274,00.html | title=The History of Leicester City Football Club | work=lcfc.premiumtv.co.uk] playing on a field near Fosse Road. They moved to Filbert Street in 1891 and played there for nearly 111 years, [ [http://www.lcfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/FilbertStreet/0,,10274,00.html A History of Filbert Street] ] before relocating to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002.

History

:"For a statistical breakdown by season, see Leicester City FC seasons"

Leicester City were founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse as they played on a field by the Fosse Road, and joined the Football Association in 1890. The club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park, before moving to Filbert Street in 1891. The same year, the club joined the Midland League, and was elected to Division Two of the Football League in 1894 after finishing second. Leicester's first ever Football League game was a 4-3 defeat at Grimsby, with a first League win following a week later, against Rotherham at Filbert Street. [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/results2.sd Soccerbase.com] ] The same season also saw the club's largest win to date, a 13-0 victory over Notts Olympic in an FA Cup qualifying game. In 1907-08 the club finished as Second Division runners-up, gaining promotion to the First Division, the highest level of English football. However, the club were relegated after a single season which included the club's record defeat, a 12-0 loss against Nottingham Forest. [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=22659 Soccerbase.com] ] [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/league2.sd?competitionid=5&seasonid=38 Soccerbase.com] ]

In 1919, when League football resumed after World War I, Leicester Fosse ceased trading due to financial difficulties of which little is known. The club was reformed as "Leicester City Football Club", particularly appropriate as the borough of Leicester had recently been given city status. [English city status] Following the name change, the club enjoyed moderate success in the 1920s; under the management of Peter Hodge, and with record goalscorer Arthur Chandler in the side, [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/team_records.sd?teamid=1527 Soccerbase.com Leicester profile] ] they won the Division Two title in 1924-25 [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/league2.sd?competitionid=6&seasonid=54&teamid=1527 www.soccerbase.com - The Internet Soccer Database ] ] and recorded their highest ever league finish in 1928-29 as runners-up to Sheffield Wednesday [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/league2.sd?competitionid=5&seasonid=58&teamid=1527 Soccerbase Season 28/29] ] . However the 1930s saw a downturn in fortunes, with the club relegated in 1934-35 [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/league2.sd?competitionid=5&seasonid=58&teamid=1527 Soccerbase Season 34/35] ] and, after promotion in 1936-37, [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/league2.sd?competitionid=5&seasonid=58&teamid=1527 Soccerbase Season 36/37] ] another relegation in 1938-39 would see them finish the decade in Division Two. [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/league2.sd?competitionid=5&seasonid=58&teamid=1527 Soccerbase Season 38/39] ]

City reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949, [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/cup2.sd?competitionid=58 Socerbase.com FA Cup 1949] ] losing 3-1 to Wolves. However, the club was celebrating a week later when a draw on the last day of the season ensured survival in Division Two. [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/results2.sd Soccerbase result 1948/49] ] [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/league2.sd?competitionid=6&seasonid=78&teamid=1527 Socerbase season 48/49] ] Leicester won the Division Two championship in 1954, [ [http://www.soccerbase.com/league2.sd?competitionid=6&seasonid=78&teamid=1527 Soccerbase season 53/54] ] with the help of Arthur Rowley, one of the club's most prolific strikers. Although they were relegated from Division One the next season, under Dave Halliday they returned in 1957, with Rowley scoring a club record 44 goals in one season. [http://www.soccerbase.com/team_records.sd?teamid=1527 Soccerbase Leicester profile] ] Leicester remained in Division One until 1969, their longest period ever in the top flight.

Under the management of Matt Gillies, one of the club's most successful managers, Leicester reached the FA Cup final another two times, but lost in both 1961 and 1963. In 1961 they were on the losing side to double winners Tottenham, and as a result were England's representatives in the 1961-62 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In 1963, the club reached as high as first place in the First Division, eventually placed fourth, the club's best post-war finish. Gillies collected silverware in 1964, when Leicester beat Stoke 4-3 on aggregate to win the League Cup for the first time. Leicester also reached the League Cup final the following year, losing to Chelsea. After a bad start to the season, Matt Gillies resigned in November 1968. His successor, Frank O'Farrell was unable to prevent relegation, but the club reached the FA Cup final in 1969 for the last time to date, losing to Manchester City.

In 1971, Leicester were promoted to back Division One, and won the Charity Shield for the only time against Liverpool. Unusually, due to Division One champions Arsenal's commitments in European competition, Division Two winners Leicester were invited to play FA Cup runners up Liverpool, beating them 1-0. Jimmy Bloomfield was appointed for the new season, and his team remained in the First Division for his tenure. No period since Bloomfield has seen the club remain in the top division for so long. Leicester reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1974.

Frank McLintock, a noted player for seven years for Leicester successful period from the late Fifties to the mid Sixties, succeeded Jimmy Bloomfield in 1977. Due to City's relegation in at the end of the 1977-78 season and McClintock's subsequent resignation, he is regarded as one of Leicester's worst managers. Jock Wallace resumed the tradition of successful Scottish managers (after Peter Hodge and Matt Gillies) by steering Leicester to the Division Two championship in 1980. Unfortunately, Wallace was unable to keep Leicester in Division One, but they reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1982. Under Wallace, one of City's most famous home-grown players, Gary Lineker, emerged into the first team squad. Leicester's next manager was Gordon Milne, who achieved promotion in 1983. Lineker helped Leicester maintain their place in the First Division but was sold to Everton in 1985, and two years later Leicester went down, having failed to find a suitable replacement. Milne had left in 1986 and was replaced by in 1987 David Pleat, who oversaw one of the club's most unsuccessful periods in its history. He was sacked in January 1991 after a defeat that left City fourth from bottom. Gordon Lee was put in charge of the club until the end of the season. Leicester won their final game of the season, which guided them clear of relegation to the third tier of the football league.

After the Premiership was founded in 1992 Leicester tried desperately to gain promotion to it. Brian Little took over in 1991 and by the end of the 1991-1992 season Leicester had reached the playoff final. Mike Newell, a former Leicester player, would break the clubs heart by converting the winning penalty, to send Blackburn Rovers up to the top flight. A year later Leicester would suffer more playoff heartbreak losing 4-3 to Swindon Town, having come back from 3-0 down. It was third time lucky in 1994 when Leicester, lead by captain Steve Walsh, beat local rivals Derby County 2-1.

Little quit as Leicester manager the following November to take charge at Aston Villa, and his successor Mark McGhee was unable to save Leicester from finishing second from bottom in the 1994-95. Leicester were flying high at the top of Division One when McGhee left the club unexpectedly in December 1995 to take charge at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Oddly this would be the spark of the clubs most successful era, as McGhee was replaced by Martin O'Neill. Under O'Neill, Leicester qualified for the 1995-96 Division One promotion playoffs and beat Crystal Palace 2-1 with a last-gasp Steve Claridge goal securing an immediate return to the Premiership. Leicester established themselves in the Premiership with four successive top ten finishes. O'Neill was the first manager to win silverware for 26 years, winning the League Cup twice, in 1997 and 2000, and Leicester were runners-up in 1999. This meant qualification for the UEFA Cup in 1998 and 2001, the club's first European competition since 1961. O'Neill became a sought-after manager, turning down Leeds United in 1999, but in June 2000 he was lured to Celtic F.C.. He is regarded today as easily the best manager of recent years, and one of the most successful in the club's history.

O'Neill was replaced by former England U-21 coach Peter Taylor. During this time, Leicester's last European appearance ended in a 3-1 defeat to Red Star Belgrade on 28 September, 2000 in the 2001 UEFA Cup. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/uefa_cup/945130.stm Red Star end Leicester dreams] , BBC Sport 2000-09-28. Retrieved on 2007-09-27.] A lot of O'Neill's squad also left around this time, this coupled with some poor dealings in the transfer market would eventually see Taylor lose his job after little more than a season in charge. Taylor was replaced by a management team of Dave Bassett and Micky Adams, but they could not prevent City's last season at Filbert Street ending in relegation.

Leicester moved into the new 32,500-seat Walkers Stadium at the start of the 2002-03 season. Walkers, the Leicestershire based crisp manufacturers, acquired the naming rights for a ten year period. [ [http://www.talkingballs.co.uk/showpost.php?p=51973&postcount=12 Statement by the Foxes Trust on an unofficial forum] ] In October 2002, the club went into administration with debts of £30 million. Some of the reasons were the loss of TV money (ITV Digital, itself in administration, had promised money to First Division clubs for TV rights), the large wage bill, lower than expected fees for players transferred to other clubs and the £37 million cost of the new stadium. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2349397.stm BBC News Business Section] ] Adams was banned from the transfer market for most of the season, until the club was rescued by a takeover by a consortium led by Gary Lineker. Adams guided Leicester to runners-up spot in Division One and automatic promotion back to the Premiership with more than 90 points. Leicester only lasted one season in the top flight and were relegated back to the newly labelled Championship, previously known as Division One. In reaction to Leicester's restructuring of their debts, the Football League changed their rules and now penalises teams going into administration with a ten point penalty.

When Adams resigned as manager in October 2004 Craig Levein was appointed boss. This would prove to be an unsuccessful period and after 15 months in charge and flirting with relegation Levein was sacked. Assistant manager Rob Kelly, took over as caretaker manager, and after winning three out of four games was appointed to see out the rest of the season. Kelly steered Leicester to safety and in April 2006 was given the manager's job on a permanent basis.

In October 2006 ex-Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandarić was quoted as saying he was interested in buying the club, reportedly at a price of around £6 million with the current playing squad valued at roughly £4.2 million. The takeover was formally announced on February 13 2007. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/leicester_city/6355687.stm] .

On 11 April 2007, Robert Kelly was sacked as manager and Nigel Worthington appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the season. Worthington saved the club from relegation, but was not offered the job on a permanent basis, and was released before moving on to the Northern Ireland managerial position. On May 25, 2007 the club announced former MK Dons manager Martin Allen as their new manager with a 3 year contract. Allen's relationship with Mandarić became tense and after only 4 games Allen left by mutual consent on 29 August 2007.

On 13 September 2007, Mandaric announced Gary Megson as the new manager of the club, citing Megson's "wealth of experience" as a deciding factor in the appointment. Former Leicester City favourite Gerry Taggart was appointed as Megson's first team coach. However, Megson left on 24 October 2007 after only six weeks in charge following an approach made for his services by Bolton Wanderers. Milan Mandaric placed Frank Burrows and Gerry Taggart in the shared position as caretaker managers until a professional manager was appointed. On 31 October, the club put on a brave performance against Chelsea in the Carling Cup, but still lost 4-3 at Stamford Bridge.

On 22 November, Ian Holloway was appointed manager. Holloway made history when he became the first Leicester manager in over 50 years to win his first league game in charge, beating Bristol City 2-0. Despite this, Leicester were relegated from the Championship to League One at the end of the 2007-08 season, thus marking the 2008-09 season as Leicester's first season outside the top two tiers of English football, their lowest ever finish.

On Friday May 23rd 2008 the club and Ian Holloway parted company by mutual consent. Nigel Pearson was appointed to replace him on June 20 2008.

Nigel Pearson's first game in charge of the club was successful - beating MK Dons 2-0 at home, with Matty Fryatt scoring both. His second game in charge, against Stockport, led to the team's first back to back wins in just under a season beating Stockport County 1-0 in the league cup 1st round.

Colours, crest and traditions

The club's home colours of royal blue shirt with white shorts were first used in the 1910s [http://www.rivals.net/default.asp?sid=889&p=2&stid=154933] and have been used every season since the mid 1940s, bar one [http://www.rivals.net/default.asp?p=2&sid=889&stid=214988] . In the 1972-73 season, the home shirt was changed to white, apparently inspired by Leeds United's success. This change was unpopular, and dropped at the end of the season. The first commercial logo to appear on a Leicester kit was that of Admiral Sportsware, the kit designers, in 1976. The first sponsorship logo to appear on a Leicester shirt was that of Ind Coope in 1983. Walkers Crisps held a long association with the club, sponsoring them from 1987 to 2001. The club have recently signed a sponsorship deal with Topps Tiles, who replace Alliance & Leicester, and the JJB Sports kit deal has been replaced by a deal with JAKO. The new kit features a 3-way crest around the club logo.

An image of a fox was first incorporated into the club crest in 1948, as Leicestershire is known for foxes and fox hunting. [ [http://www.ratetheref.co.uk/Club/ClubProfile.aspx?TeamID=80 Club profile at ratetheref.co.uk] ] This is the origin of the nickname "the Foxes". The club mascot is a character called "Filbert Fox". There are also secondary characters "Vickie Vixen" and "Cousin Dennis", though only Filbert is currently seen at games. The current shirt badge has been unchanged since 1992. In another reference Leicestershire's tradition of hunting, the club adopted the Post Horn Gallop in 1941, although the origin is a 19th century coachman's tune to signal mail was arriving. [Official History DVD, 00:32:00] It was played over the PA system as the teams came out of the tunnel at all home games. However, perhaps unwisely, the club has replaced it in the past few seasons with a jazzed-up modern version, with the apparent idea that this would appeal to younger fans. This was not a popular decision, but still it remains as the Club's opening music of choice.

Stadia

Leicester have played at numerous grounds, but only two since they joined the Football League. When first starting out they played on a field by the Fosse Road, hence the original name Leicester Fosse. They moved from there to Victoria Park, which at the time was a racecourse. Due to this fact the team also played on Mill Lane and Belgrave Road. When Mill Lane was earmarked for redevelopment the club played at the County Cricket ground on Aylestone Road for the early part of the 1890 season. That year the club secured the use of an area ground by Filbert Street and thirteen months later they moved in to their new home.

Filbert Street remained virtually unchanged until 1927 when a new two tier stand was built, named the Double Decker, a name it would keep till the grounds closure in 2002. The ground wasn't developed any further, apart from compulsory seating being added, till 1993 when work began on the new Carling Stand. The stand was impressive while the rest of the ground were untouched since at least the 1920s, this led manager Martin O'Neill to say he used to "lead new signings out backwards" so they only saw the Carling Stand. [ [http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/095235361X Author notes on "Farewell to Filbert Street"] ]

The club moved away from Filbert Street in 2002 to a new 32,500 all-seater stadium. Amidst a strong feeling that the naming rights had been underpriced, the stadium was named the Walkers Stadium, although many supporters refer to the ground as Filbert Way, the road on which it is situated. The first match the Walkers hosted was a friendly against Athletic Bilbao, and the first competitive match was a 2-0 victory against Watford. The stadium has since hosted an England international against Serbia and Montenegro, as well as internationals between Brazil and Jamaica, and Jamaica and Ghana. More recently the stadium has been used to host the Heineken Cup European Rugby semi finals for the Leicester Tigers rugby club, itself based within a mile of the Walkers Stadium.

Rivalries

Being based in the East Midlands, there are many teams that Leicester can play local matches against (known colloquially as "derbies"). Most regularly, these are against Derby County and Nottingham Forest, teams with whom Leicester have shared Leagues during many recent seasons. Other teams in the East Midlands are Notts County, Northampton Town, Mansfield Town, Lincoln City, Boston United and Chesterfield, although due to not being in the same League, matches against these clubs have been limited to Cup games in recent years. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/leicester/content/articles/2007/04/05/lcfc_derby_home_06apr2007_event_feature.shtml BBC - Leicester - Sport - Leicester v Derby ] ] [ [http://home.skysports.com/list.aspx?hlid=141085&CPID=10&clid=&lid=&title=Foxes+fell+Forest Sky Sports | Football | Championship ] ]

The local rivalries can be known to stretch as far as the West Midlands as well, and in recent years the main rivalry for Leicester has been with Coventry City, only 24 miles away. The game between the two clubs has become known as 'The M69 Derby', taking its name from the motorway connecting the two cities. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/leicester/content/articles/2007/02/16/lcfc_coventry_home_17feb2007_event_feature.shtml BBC - Leicester - Sport - Leicester v Coventry ] ]

Other matches against West Midlands opponents include Birmingham City, West Brom, Wolves and Aston Villa which are simply known as Midlands derbies. Games with Aston Villa took on greater significance when Brian Little [http://www.soccerbase.com/managers2.sd?managerid=252 Timeline shows little left Leicester for villa] left Leicester to take the managers job at Villa and more recently the appointment of Martin O'Neill as the current manager of Villa. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/aston_villa/5246190.stm O'Neill appointed Villa boss]

Club honours

National competition:
*Football League First Division [Since 1992 the top division has been known as the Premier League]
**Runners-Up 1929
*Football League Second Division [From 1992 the second tier of English football was known as Football League First Division. Since 2004 it has been known as the Football League Championship.]
**Champions 1925, 1937, 1954, 1957, 1971, 1980
**Runners-Up 1908
*Football League First Division [From 1992 the second tier of English football was known as Football League First Division. Since 2004 it has been known as the Football League Championship.]
**Runners-Up 2003
**Playoff Winners 1994, 1996
**Playoff Runner-Up 1992, 1993
*"'FA Cup
**Runners-Up 1949, 1961, 1963, 1969
*League Cup
**Winners 1964, 1997, 2000
**Runners-Up 1965, 1999
* Charity Shield [ The Charity Shield was renamed the Community Shield in 2002]
**Winners 1971Regional competition:
*War League South
**Champions 1942
*Midland War Cup
**Winners 1941

Managers

Leicester have had 36 managers, with Peter Hodge and Dave Bassett taking in two spells (Bassett's second was as caretaker manager). Here is a shortened list of the club's most significant managers, including the current holder of the position. For a full list see here. There have been 7 managers in the 7 years since the loss of Martin O'Neill. Ian Holloway became the first manager to win his first league game in charge with a 2-0 victory over Bristol City, since David Halliday 1955 but also became the first manager to see Leicester relegated to the third flight of English football.

References, Footnotes & Bibliography

* [http://www.lcfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/HistoryDetail/0,,10274~396833,00.html In Depth History of the Club at the Official Site]
* [http://www.lcfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/HistoryDetail/0,,10274~396500,00.html Potted History of the Club at the Official Site]
* [http://www.rsssf.com/ Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.]
* [http://norfox.net/60s.htm City in the 60s at Norfox.net]
* [http://www.rivals.net/default.asp?sid=889&p=2&stid=154933 History of the clubs colours and badges]



* Dave Smith and Paul Taylor, Of Fossils and Foxes: The Official Definitive History of Leicester City Football Club (2001) (ISBN 1-899538-21-6)
* Dave Smith and Paul Taylor, The Foxes Alphabet: Complete Who's Who of Leicester City Football Club (1995) (ISBN 1-899538-06-2)
* Leicester City FC, The Official History Of Leicester City Football Club DVD (2003) (Out of print)

External links

* [http://www.lcfc.com Leicester City Official website, includes messageboards]
*
* [http://www.foxestalk.co.uk FoxesTalk - An Independent Fans Forum]
* [http://www.bentleysroof.co.uk Bentleys Roof - Fan site and forum]
* [http://www.foxes-online.co.uk Foxes Online - An Independent Fans Site]

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