Leicester City F.C.

Leicester City
Full name Leicester City Football Club
Nickname(s) The Foxes
Founded 1884 (1884)
(as Leicester Fosse FC)
Ground King Power Stadium
Capacity 32,315[1]
Owner King Power International Group
Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Manager Claude Puel
League Premier League
2017–18 Premier League, 9th of 20
Website Club website

Leicester City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Leicester. The club competes in the Premier League, England's top division of football, and plays its home games at the King Power Stadium.[2]

The club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F.C.,[3] playing on a field near Fosse Road. They moved to Filbert Street in 1891, were elected to the Football League in 1894 and adopted the name Leicester City in 1919. They moved to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002,[4] which was renamed the King Power Stadium after a change of ownership in 2011.

Leicester City won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. They are one of only six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. A number of newspapers described their title win as the greatest sporting shock ever, considering at the start of the season they were favourites to face relegation.[5] Multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport.[6][7][8] As a result, the team was dubbed "The Unbelievables", a spin-off hearkening back to Arsenal's undefeated team "The Invincibles".[9] The club's previous highest ever finish was second place in the top flight, in 1928–29, then known as Division One. Throughout Leicester's history, they have spent all but one season within the top two leagues of English football. They hold a joint-highest seven second-tier titles (six Second Division and one Championship).

The club have been FA Cup finalists four times, in 1948–49, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1968–69. This is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition. Leicester have several promotions to their name, two play-off final wins, and one League One title. In 1971, they won the FA Community Shield, and in 2016, they were runners-up. The club have also won the League Cup three times in 1964, 1997 and 2000, as well as being runners-up in 1965 and 1999. Additionally, Leicester City have competed in European football, with their appearances coming in the 1961–62 European Cup Winners' Cup, 1997–98 UEFA Cup, 2000–01 UEFA Cup, and most recently the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League, reaching the quarter-finals of the competition in that year.



Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as "Leicester Fosse", the club joined The Football Association (FA) in 1890.[10] Before moving to Filbert Street in 1891, the club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park south-east of the city centre and the Belgrave Road Cycle and Cricket Ground.[11] The club also joined the Midland League in 1891, and were 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 Town, with a first League win the following week, against Rotherham United at Filbert Street. 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.[3] 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.[3][12]

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. Following the name change, the club enjoyed moderate success in the 1920s; under the management of Peter Hodge, who left in May 1926 to be replaced two months later by Willie Orr, and with record goalscorer Arthur Chandler in the side,[13] they won the Division Two title in 1924–25[14] and recorded their second-highest league finish in 1928–29 as runners-up by a single point to Sheffield Wednesday.[10] However the 1930s saw a downturn in fortunes, with the club relegated in 1934–35[15] and, after promotion in 1936–37,[16] another relegation in 1938–39 would see them finish the decade in Division Two.[3][17]

Post-World War II

City reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949,[3][18] losing 3–1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers. The club, however, was celebrating a week later when a draw on the last day of the season ensured survival in Division Two.[19][20] Leicester won the Division Two championship in 1954,[21] 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,[22] with Rowley scoring a club record 44 goals in one season.[13] Leicester remained in Division One until 1969,[23] their longest period ever in the top flight.

Under the management of Matt Gillies and his assistant Bert Johnson, Leicester reached the FA Cup final on another two occasions, but lost in both 1961 and 1963.[3] As they lost to double winners Tottenham Hotspur in 1961, they were England's representatives in the 1961–62 European Cup Winners' Cup. In the 1962–63 season, the club led the First Division during the winter, thanks to a sensational run of form on icy and frozen pitches the club became nicknamed the "Ice Kings" eventually placed fourth, the club's best post-war finish. Gillies guided Leicester to their first piece of silverware in 1964, when Leicester beat Stoke City 4–3 on aggregate to win the League Cup for the first time.[3] Leicester also reached the League Cup final the following year, but lost 3–2 on aggregate to Chelsea. Gillies and Johnson received praise for their version of the "whirl" and the "switch" system, a system that had previously been used by the Austrian and Hungarian national teams.[24] 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 1–0.

In 1971, Leicester were promoted back to Division One, and won the Charity Shield for the only time.[3] Unusually, due to double winners Arsenal's commitments in European competition, Division Two winners Leicester were invited to play FA Cup runners-up Liverpool, beating them 1–0[3] thanks to a goal by Steve Whitworth.[25] 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 1973–74.[26]

Frank McLintock, a noted player for seven years for Leicester in a successful period from the late Fifties to the mid Sixties, succeeded Jimmy Bloomfield in 1977. City were relegated at the end of the 1977–78 season and McLintock resigned. 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.[27] 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 were relegated, having failed to find a suitable replacement to partner Alan Smith, who was sold to Arsenal after Leicester went down.

Milne left in 1986 and was replaced in 1987 by David Pleat, who was sacked in January 1991 with Leicester in danger of relegation to the Third Division. 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.[3]

Brian Little took over in 1991 and by the end of the 1991–92 season Leicester had reached the playoff final for a place in the new FA Premier League, but lost to Blackburn Rovers and a penalty from former Leicester striker Mike Newell. The club also reached the playoff final the following year, losing 4–3 to Swindon Town, having come back from 3–0 down. In 1993–94 City were promoted from the playoffs, beating Derby County 2–1 in the final.[3] 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 season.

McGhee left the club unexpectedly in December 1995 while Leicester were top of the First Division to take charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers.[28] McGhee was replaced by Martin O'Neill.[3] Under O'Neill, Leicester qualified for the 1996 Football League play-offs and beat Crystal Palace 2–1 in the final through a 120th minute Steve Claridge goal to gain promotion to the FA Premier League. Following promotion, Leicester established themselves in the Premier League with four successive top ten finishes. O'Neill ended Leicester's 33-year wait for a major trophy, winning the League Cup twice, in 1997 and 2000, and Leicester were runners-up in 1999. Thus, the club qualified for the UEFA Cup in 1997–98 and 2000–01, the club's first European competition since 1961. In June 2000, O'Neill left Leicester City to take over as manager of Celtic.

Decline in the early 21st century

O'Neill was replaced by former England under-21 coach Peter Taylor. During this time, one of Leicester's European appearances ended in a 3–1 defeat to Red Star Belgrade on 28 September 2000 in the UEFA Cup.[29] Leicester began well under Taylor's management, topping the Premier League for two weeks in the autumn and remaining in contention for a European place for most of the campaign, before a late season collapse dragged them down to a 13th-place finish.

Taylor was sacked after a poor start to the 2001–02 season, and his successor Dave Bassett lasted just six months before being succeeded by his assistant Micky Adams, the change of management being announced just before relegation was confirmed. Leicester won just five league matches all season.

Leicester moved into the new 32,500-seat Walkers Stadium at the start of the 2002–03 season, ending 111 years at Filbert Street. Walkers, the Leicestershire-based crisp manufacturers, acquired the naming rights for a ten-year period.[30] 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.[31] Adams was banned from the transfer market for most of the season, even after the club was rescued with a takeover by a consortium led by Gary Lineker.[3] Adams guided Leicester to the runners-up spot in Division One and automatic promotion back to the Premier League with more than 90 points. However, Leicester lasted only one season in the top flight and were relegated to the newly labelled Championship, previously known as Division One.

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, Levein was sacked, having failed to get the Foxes anywhere near the promotion places. Assistant manager Rob Kelly took over as caretaker manager, and after winning three out of four matches, 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.[3]

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 13 February 2007.[32] On 11 April 2007, Rob 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. On 25 May 2007, the club announced former Milton Keynes Dons manager Martin Allen as their new manager with a three-year contract. Allen's relationship with Mandarić became tense and after only four matches, Allen left by mutual consent on 29 August 2007. On 13 September 2007, Mandarić announced Gary Megson as the new manager of the club, citing Megson's "wealth of experience" as a deciding factor in the appointment. However, Megson left on 24 October 2007 after only six weeks in charge, following an approach made for his services by Bolton Wanderers. Mandarić placed Frank Burrows and Gerry Taggart in the shared position as caretaker managers until a professional manager was appointed.

On 22 November, Ian Holloway was appointed manager, and he became the first Leicester manager in over 50 years to win his first league match in charge, beating Bristol City 2–0.[33] However, this success did not last, and Leicester were relegated from the Championship at the end of the 2007–08 season. Holloway left by mutual consent after less than a season at the club, being replaced by Nigel Pearson.

Third tier to Premier League

The 2008–09 campaign was Leicester's first season outside the top two levels of English football, but they hit this nadir only seven years before becoming the 2015–16 Premier League champions – the fastest seven-year rise to the top of the English football league system apart from Ipswich Town in 1962.[34] Following relegation to the third tier the previous season, Leicester returned to the Championship at the first attempt in 2008–09, finishing as champions of League One after a 2–0 win at Southend United, with two matches in hand. The 2009–10 season saw Leicester's revival under manager Nigel Pearson continue, as the club finished fifth and reached the Championship play-offs in their first season back in the second tier. Though coming from 2–0 down on aggregate, away to Cardiff City, to briefly lead 3–2, they eventually lost to a penalty shoot-out in the play-off semi-final. At the end of the season, Pearson left Leicester to become the manager of Hull City, claiming he felt the club seemed reluctant to keep him, and that Paulo Sousa had been the club's guest at both play-off games, hinting at a possible replacement. On 7 July 2010, Sousa was confirmed as Pearson's replacement.[35]

In August 2010, following agreement on a three-year shirt sponsorship deal with duty-free retailers the King Power Group, Mandarić sold the club to Thai-led consortium Asian Football Investments (AFI), fronted by King Power Group's Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.[36] Mandarić, an investor in AFI,[37] was retained as club chairman.[38] On 1 October 2010, after a poor start that saw Leicester bottom of the Championship with only one win out of the first nine league matches, Paulo Sousa was sacked by the club with immediate effect.[39] Two days later, Sven-Göran Eriksson, who had been approached by the club after the 6–1 loss to then bottom-of-the-table Portsmouth two weeks earlier, was appointed as his replacement, signing a two-year contract with the club.[40] On 10 February 2011, Vichai Raksriaksorn, part of the Thai-based Asia Football Investments consortium, was appointed new chairman of the club after Mandarić left in November to take over Sheffield Wednesday.[41]

Leicester were viewed as one of the favourites for promotion in the 2011–12 season, but on 24 October 2011, following an inconsistent start with the Foxes winning just 5 out of their first 13 matches, Eriksson left the club by mutual consent.[42] Three weeks later, Nigel Pearson returned to the club as Eriksson's successor. Pearson would go on to lead the Foxes to a sixth-place finish in the 2012–13 season, ensuring Leicester were in the Championship play-offs. However, Leicester lost the playoff semi-final 3–2 on aggregate to Watford after Anthony Knockaert missed a late penalty and Troy Deeney scored right at the end after a swift counterattack from a Manuel Almunia double save.[43]

In 2014, Leicester's march up the league system hit a breakthrough. Their 2–1 home win over Sheffield Wednesday, combined with losses by Queens Park Rangers and Derby County, allowed Leicester City to clinch promotion to the Premier League after a ten-year absence. Later that month, a win at Bolton saw Leicester become the champions of the 2013–14 Championship, the seventh time they had been champions of England's second tier.

Leicester started their first season in the Premier League since 2004 with a good run of results in their first five league matches, starting with a 2–2 draw on the opening day against Everton.[44] The Foxes then claimed their first Premier League win since May 2004, with a 0–1 win at Stoke City.[45] On 21 September 2014, Leicester went on to produce one of the greatest comebacks in Premier League history to beat Manchester United 5–3 at the King Power Stadium after coming back from 3–1 down with 30 minutes left to score four goals. They also made Premier League history by becoming the first team to beat Manchester United from a two-goal deficit since the league's launch in 1992.[46]

During the 2014–15 season, a dismal run of form saw the team slip to the bottom of the league table with only 19 points from 29 matches. By 3 April 2015, they were seven points adrift from safety. This could have brought a sudden end to Leicester's seven-year rise, but seven wins from their final nine league matches meant the Foxes finished the season in 14th place with 41 points. They finished the season with a 5–1 thrashing of relegated Queens Park Rangers. Their upturn in results was described as one of the Premier League's greatest ever escapes from relegation.[47][48] They also became only the third team in Premier League history to survive after being bottom at Christmas (the other two being West Bromwich Albion in 2005 and Sunderland in 2014), and no team with fewer than 20 points from 29 matches had previously stayed up.

2015–16: Premier League champions

The usual starting line-up of the Premier League winning team [49]

However, on 30 June 2015, Pearson was sacked, with the club stating, "[T]he working relationship between Nigel and the Board is no longer viable." The sacking was linked to a number of public relations issues involving Pearson throughout the season, with the final straw involving his son James' role in a "racist sex tape" made by three Leicester reserve players in Thailand during a post-season goodwill tour.[50][51][52] Leicester reacted by appointing former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri as their new manager for the new 2015–16 Premier League season.[53] Under Ranieri, the club made an exceptional start to the season. Striker Jamie Vardy scored 13 goals over 11 consecutive matches from August to November, breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy's Premier League record of scoring in 10 consecutive matches.[54] On 19 December, Leicester defeated Everton 3–2 at Goodison Park to top the Premier League on Christmas Day, having been bottom exactly 12 months earlier.[55] A 2–0 victory at Sunderland on 10 April, coupled with Tottenham Hotspur's 3–0 win over Manchester United, ensured Leicester's qualification for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.[56]

Leicester won the Premier League on 2 May 2016 after Tottenham threw away a 2–0 lead against Chelsea, drawing 2–2 at the "Battle of Stamford Bridge".[57][58] This completed the fastest seven-year rise to the title except for Ipswich Town in 1962, and Leicester faced a far more unequal top tier than Ipswich did back then.[34][59] Bookmakers thought Leicester's victory was so unlikely that Ladbrokes and William Hill offered odds of 5,000–1 for it at the start of the season. Neither bookmaker had ever paid out such long odds, and the trophy resulted in the largest payout in British sporting history with total winnings of £25 million.[60][61][62] The scale of the surprise attracted global attention for the club and the city of Leicester.[63][64] The Economist declared it would be "pored over for management lessons".[65] Several commentators have viewed it as an inspiration to other clubs and fundamentally transforming the expectations similar sized clubs face in English football.[66] Ranieri's Leicester became known for their counterattacking style of play, "incredible pace in the areas it is most essential" and defensive solidarity.[67] Players were often praised for their work ethic and togetherness which was apparent throughout the squad. Reacting to City winning the Premier League, Executive chairman Richard Scudamore said:

A film has been planned of the story, centred on Jamie Vardy.[68]

Ranieri to Puel

Just ahead of the opening match of the 2016–17 season, Ranieri cautioned against excessive hope of City retaining the title arguing that the other clubs now understood Leicester's break tactics. His principal objective, as last season, was to avoid relegation. He also warned against overconfidence against relegation favourites – by implication, their next opponents, newly promoted Hull City.[69] His view on Leicester's chances were shared by Gary Lineker, who said that N'Golo Kanté, who left the club during the summer to join Chelsea, had been Leicester's most important player and essential to Ranieri's system.[70]

Leicester initially struggled in their domestic form during 2016–17, spending much of the first few months in the bottom half of the table. In December 2016, Ranieri was awarded coach of the year and Leicester team of the year at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.[71] However, on 23 February 2017, Ranieri was sacked due to the club's continuing poor form, resulting in them being only one point above the relegation zone. Gary Lineker called the sacking "very sad" and "inexplicable",[72] while Manchester United manager José Mourinho blamed it on "selfish players".[72] Rumours began emerging some days later that players had been meeting with the owners to discuss Ranieri's sacking without Ranieri knowing, which sparked widespread outrage over social media.[73] Commenting on the collapse in form of the team and particularly Jamie Vardy during the first 20 matches of the 2016–17 season, Alan Shearer said Vardy had signed a "bumper new contract", but was no longer doing what brought him success last season, and that the entire club was "no longer doing the basics".[74]

Less than a week after Ranieri was sacked, Craig Shakespeare took over as caretaker manager, and in his first match in charge, Leicester won 3–1 against fifth-placed Liverpool, with Vardy scoring a brace.[75] In his second match as caretaker, Shakespeare led Leicester to another 3–1 victory, over Hull City.[76] Following two impressive results and initiating "the type of positive response that we hoped change would bring", the club's owners then decided Shakespeare would become the club's manager until the end of the season.[77] The 2016–17 campaign was also the first season in 15 years that Leicester qualified for European football. Leicester were placed in Group G of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League, alongside Porto, Copenhagen and Club Brugge. In their inaugural Champions League campaign, they went undefeated in their first five matches to progress to the knockout stages as group winners.[78] The Foxes then faced La Liga club Sevilla in the round of 16 and defeated the Spanish side 2–0 on the night, and 3–2 on aggregate to advance to the quarter-finals.[79]

In the quarter-finals, they faced Atlético Madrid, and drew 1–1 on the night, but lost 1–2 on aggregate after losing 1–0 in the first leg. This put an end to Leicester's 2016–17 European campaign, as they finished as Champions League quarter-finalists.[80] Despite the loss, Leicester remained unbeaten at home in the 2016–17 Champions League campaign.

Commenting on the first match of Leicester's 2017–18 season, a close-fought 4–3 loss to Arsenal, The Guardian newspaper reported that Vardy was extremely well-suited to the current Leicester team – the "embodiment of pure Leicester-ism" – but a much more difficult fit for other teams.[81] Shakespeare was sacked in October 2017 after four months officially in charge, with Leicester in 18th place in the table. [82] Claude Puel was appointed as Leicester's new manager on 25 October 2017. By Christmas, Leicester were in 8th position in the Premier League.

Colours, crest, nicknames and traditions

Leicester City's first home colours worn from 1884 to 1886.

The club's home colours of royal blue shirts, white shorts, and either white or royal blue socks have been used for the team's kits throughout most of its history.[83] The first sponsorship logo to appear on a Leicester shirt was that of Ind Coope in 1983. British snack food manufacturer Walkers Crisps held a long association with the club, sponsoring them from 1987 to 2001.

The club have three main nicknames – The Foxes, The Blues and City. "The Foxes" is the most common nickname for the club, whereas "The Blues" and "City" are more local terms, usually used by supporters. Other names include "The Filberts" and "The Fossils".[84] An image of a fox was first incorporated into the club crest in 1948, as Leicestershire is known for foxes and fox hunting.[85] 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." Since 1992, the club's badge has featured a fox's head overlaid onto a Cinquefoil; the Cinquefoil is similar to the one used on the coat of arms of Leicester. Prior to 1992, the club's badge had a range of designs. In the 2009–10 season, the club's 125th anniversary year, the home kit featured no sponsor and a new central crest with "125 Years" written beneath it. [86]

In 1941, the club adopted the playing of the Post Horn Galop prior to home matches.[87] It was played over the PA system as the teams came out of the tunnel at all home games. The club since replaced it with a modern version, which is now played as teams emerge for the second half. For the first half, the post horn has been played live on pitch by Paul Hing since 2009.[88] "Foxes Never Quit" is the club's motto, which is placed above the tunnel entrance as the teams head out onto the pitch.

On 8 July 2016, the club launched their new third away kit for the 2016–17 Premier League season. It featured in their 2016–17 UEFA Champions League campaign, and was also in use for Leicester's debut match in the competition. The design took inspiration from the 1983–84 kit, boasting a clean white design with thin blue pinstripes on the shirt and a textured form stripe design across both the shirt and shorts.

Kit manufacturers and sponsors

Since 2018, Leicester City's kit is manufactured by Adidas.[89] Previous manufacturers have included Bukta (1962–64, 1990–92), Admiral (1976–79, 1983–88), Umbro (1979–83), Scoreline (1988–90), Fox Leisure (1992–2000), Le Coq Sportif (2000–05), JJB (2005–07), Jako (2007–09), Joma (2009–10), Burrda (2010–12),[90] and Puma (2012–18).[91]

The main shirt sponsor is King Power, a company also owned by the club's owners. The first sponsorship logo to appear on a Leicester shirt was that of Ind Coope in 1983. British snack food manufacturer Walkers Crisps held a long association with the club, sponsoring them from 1987 to 2001. Other sponsors have included John Bull (1986–87), LG (2001–03), Alliance & Leicester (2003–07), Topps Tiles (2007–09), Jessops (2009–10), and Loros (2009–10). Siam Commercial Bank became their first sleeve sponsor. The deal was valid for the 2017–18 season.[92] For the 2018–19 season, the sleeve sponsor is Bia Saigon.[93]


In their early years, Leicester played at numerous grounds, but have only played at two since they joined the Football League. When first starting out they played on a field by the Fosse Road,[94] hence the original name Leicester Fosse. They moved from there to Victoria Park, and subsequently to Belgrave Road. Upon turning professional the club moved to Mill Lane.[94] After eviction from Mill Lane the club played at the County Cricket ground while seeking a new ground. The club secured the use of an area of ground by Filbert Street, and moved there in 1891.[94]

Some improvements by noted football architect Archibald Leitch occurred in the Edwardian era, and in 1927 a new two tier stand was built,[94] named the Double Decker, a name it would keep till the ground's 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 was 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.[95]

The club moved away from Filbert Street in 2002 to a new 32,500 all-seater stadium.[96] The stadium was originally named The Walkers Stadium in a deal with food manufacturers Walkers, whose brand logo can still be found in some areas around the outside of the stadium.[97] The first match hosted at Walkers was a 1–1 friendly draw against Athletic Bilbao, with Bilbao's Tiko being the first scorer at the stadium and Jordan Stewart being the first Leicester player to score.[98] The first competitive match was a 2–0 victory against Watford.[99] The stadium has since hosted an England international against Serbia and Montenegro, which finished 2–1 to England, as well as internationals between Brazil and Jamaica, and Jamaica and Ghana. 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 King Power Stadium.

On 19 August 2010, it emerged that the new owners King Power wanted to rename the stadium The King Power Stadium, and had plans to increase the capacity to 42,000 should Leicester secure promotion.[100] On 7 July 2011, Leicester City confirmed the Walkers Stadium would now be known as the King Power Stadium. In 2015, vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha stated plans were in place to increase the capacity of the stadium to around 42,000.[101] Relocation to a bigger stadium has also been considered.[102] In April 2018, it was announced that initial planning for the expansion and development of the King Power Stadium is underway.[103]

The King Power Stadium has also honoured past greats of the club, by naming suites and lounges inside the stadium after the club's former players Gordon Banks, Adam Black, Arthur Chandler, Gary Lineker, Arthur Rowley, Sep Smith, Keith Weller and former manager Jimmy Bloomfield.[104]


Leicester moved to their current stadium in 2002 after exiting Filbert Street, and since then average home attendances have never dropped below 20,000, even when the club were relegated to League One in 2008 for the first time in their history. In the Football League Championship, Leicester were regularly in the top five for their home and away attendances. In the Premier League, the club are continually well supported in numbers home and away.

The club have several supporter groups in England,[105] and alongside the support in the UK, Leicester City also have fans around the world. Since being bought by the King Power group in 2011, Leicester have developed a following in Thailand, the home of their owners.[106] In Thailand, Singha Corporation is an "Official Club Partner". Leicester City supporters share good relations with fans of European teams VfL Bochum and Anderlecht. Regularly, supporters travel over to Europe to support these two teams, and vice versa.[107]

Rival clubs

Some Leicester fans consider Nottingham Forest to be their main rivals. The club's other rivals are Derby County. An East Midlands Derby is any match involving two of these three clubs.[108]

Leicester also have a rivalry with Coventry City, 24 miles away. The game between the two clubs has become known as the M69 derby, named after the M69 motorway which connects the two cities together.[109]

European record

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1961–62 European Cup Winners' Cup PR Glenavon 3–1 4–1 7–2
1R Atlético Madrid 1–1 0–2 1–3
1997–98 UEFA Cup 1R Atlético Madrid 0–2 1–2 1–4
2000–01 UEFA Cup 1R Red Star Belgrade 1–1 1–3[nb 1] 2–4
2016–17 UEFA Champions League GS Porto 1–0 0–5 1st place in Group G
Club Brugge 2–1 3–0
Copenhagen 1–0 0–0
R16 Sevilla 2–0 1–2 3–2
QF Atlético Madrid 1–1 0–1 1–2
  • Goals by Leicester are listed first.
  • PR: Preliminary round
  • 1R: First round
  • GS: Group stage
  1. 'Away' leg held at the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium, Vienna, Austria




Regional competitions


Managerial history

Up until Peter Hodge was hired after World War I, the club had no official manager. A nominal role of secretary/manager was employed, though the board and the selection committee took control of most team affairs. It was Hodge who instated a system at the club for the manager having complete control over player and staff recruitment, team selection and tactics. Though Hodge was originally also titled "secretary/manager" he has retrospectively been named as the club's first official "manager".[111]

Leicester have had a total of nine permanent secretary/managers and 36 permanent managers (not including caretakers). Nigel Pearson and Peter Hodge have both had two separate spells in charge of the club. Dave Bassett also had a second spell as caretaker manager after his spell as permanent manager.[112]

Records and statistics

Graham Cross holds the record for the most Leicester appearances, with the defender playing 599 games between 1960–1976, although Adam Black holds the record for the most appearances in the league with 528 between 1920–1935.[113]

Striker Arthur Chandler is currently the club's all-time record goal scorer, netting 273 in his 12 years at the club; he also found the net in 8 consecutive matches in the 1924–25 season.[10] The most goals managed in a single season for the club is 44 by Arthur Rowley, in the 1956–57 season.[10] The fastest goal in the club's history was scored by Matty Fryatt, when he netted after just nine seconds against Preston North End in April 2006.[114]

Jamie Vardy broke the Premier League record for scoring 13 goals in 11 consecutive league games, in the 2015–16 Premier League season. Vardy is also the ninth player to score 20 top-flight goals in a season, following Arthur Chandler, Ernie Hine, Arthur Rowley, Jimmy Walsh, Ken Keyworth, Jackie Sinclair, Frank Worthington and Gary Lineker. Vardy's goal at Sunderland on 10 April 2016 saw him become the first player since Gary Lineker in 1984–85 to score 20 top flight goals for the club, having already become Leicester's highest Premier League scorer in a single season.[115]

The record transfer fee paid by Leicester for a player was around £29 million for Sporting CP striker Islam Slimani. The highest transfer fee received for a Leicester player was approximately £60 million from Manchester City for midfielder Riyad Mahrez.

The club's record attendance is 47,298 against Tottenham Hotspur at Filbert Street, in a fifth round FA Cup clash in 1928. The highest league record at their current home, the King Power Stadium, was 32,242 for a competitive match against Sunderland on 8 August 2015. The highest ever attendance for a non-competitive football match of 32,188, was seen at a pre-season friendly against Spanish giants Real Madrid on 30 July 2011.[116]

Leicester's highest ever league finish is first in the Premier League in 2015–16. Their lowest ever league finish was first in League One in 2008–09. Leicester are joint equal with Manchester City for having won the most English second tier titles (7). The club has reached four FA Cup finals, yet lost them all.[10] This is the record for the most FA Cup final appearances without winning the trophy.

Leicester's longest ever unbeaten run in the league was between 1 November 2008 and 7 March 2009, to which they remained unbeaten for 23 games on their way to the League One title.[117] (This was their only ever season in the third tier of English football). Their longest run of consecutive victories in the league is nine, which they achieved between 21 December 2013 and 1 February 2014 (in the Championship).

In the 2015–16 season, Leicester won what The Daily Telegraph described as "one of the most astonishing league titles of all-time"[118] and achieved many new historical, club records. They had the fewest away defeats in any top flight season, as they were defeated only twice on their travels. They also recorded the fewest losses in any of the club's Premier League seasons, losing just three matches throughout their entire campaign. The club produced another record for the most consecutive wins in the top flight, each coming against Watford, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Sunderland. Coincidentally, they kept a record of five-straight clean sheets all set against each of the same five opponents. The King Power Stadium home crowd in 2015–16 saw City beaten just once in the Premier League all season.[115]

Leicester made their UEFA Champions League debut in the 2016–17 season, their fourth appearance in European football. The club became the third English team to win on their Champions League debut, after Manchester United in 1994 and Newcastle United in 1997. They are also the first English team to win away on their Champions League debut, and win all three of their opening games in the competition.[119][120] They are the first team in Champions League history to keep clean sheets in each of their opening four games in the competition.[121]

In the club's 2015–16 Premier League title winning season, between September 2015 and November 2016 the team went 20 league games unbeaten at home. The stint was ended by West Bromwich Albion on 6 November 2016 in a 1–2 defeat.[122][123]

In March 2017, the club became the 50th team to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

League history

Since their election to the Football League in 1894, Leicester have spent much of their history within the top two tiers of English football. Leicester have played outside the top two tiers only once in their history to date; during the 2008–09 season they played in League One, the third tier of English football, after relegation from the Championship the season prior. However, they made a swift return to the second tier, as they were promoted as champions in the 2008–09 season. The club have never played lower than England's third tier.

L1 = Level 1 of the football league system; L2 = Level 2 of the football league system; L3 = Level 3 of the football league system.
  • Seasons spent at Level 1 of the football league system: 50
  • Seasons spent at Level 2 of the football league system: 62
  • Seasons spent at Level 3 of the football league system: 1
  • Seasons spent at Level 4 of the football league system: 0

(up to and including 2017–18)


Current squad

As of 11 August 2018[124]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 GK Kasper Schmeichel (vice-captain)
2 DF Danny Simpson
3 DF Ben Chilwell
4 DF Çağlar Söyüncü
5 DF Wes Morgan (captain)
6 DF Jonny Evans
7 MF Demarai Gray
8 FW Kelechi Iheanacho
9 FW Jamie Vardy
10 MF James Maddison
11 MF Marc Albrighton
12 GK Danny Ward
14 DF Ricardo Pereira
15 DF Harry Maguire
17 GK Eldin Jakupović
No. Position Player
18 MF Daniel Amartey
20 FW Shinji Okazaki
21 MF Vicente Iborra
22 MF Matty James
23 MF Adrien Silva
24 MF Nampalys Mendy
25 MF Wilfred Ndidi
27 MF Fousseni Diabaté
28 DF Christian Fuchs
29 DF Yohan Benalouane
31 MF Rachid Ghezzal
35 DF Callum Elder
37 MF Andy King
38 MF Hamza Choudhury
39 DF Darnell Johnson

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
16 DF Filip Benković (at Celtic until 30 June 2019)
19 FW Islam Slimani (at Fenerbahçe until 30 June 2019[125][126])
No. Position Player
33 MF Bartosz Kapustka (at OH Leuven until 30 June 2019)
MF Harvey Barnes (at West Bromwich Albion until 30 June 2019[127])

Reserves and Academy

Former players

Club staff

As of 30 June 2018[128][129][130]

Board members & Directors
Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha
Chief Executive Susan Whelan
Executive Director Supornthip Choungrangsee
Executive Director Malcolm Stewart-Smith
Director of Football Jon Rudkin
Football Operations Director Andrew Neville
Finance Director Simon Capper
Operations Director Kevin Barclay
First Team Management
First Team Manager Claude Puel
First Team Assistant Manager Jacky Bonnevay
First Team Coach & Goalkeeping Coach Mike Stowell
First Team Coach Adam Sadler
Head of Fitness & Conditioning Matt Reeves
Head of Senior Player Recruitment Eduardo Macià
Head Scout David Mills
Academy Director Jon Rudkin
Head Physiotherapist Dave Rennie

Player statistics


Dates Name
1987–1992 Ally Mauchlen
1992–1993 Steve Walsh
1993–1994 Gary Mills
1995–1996 Garry Parker
1996–1999 Steve Walsh
1999–2005 Matt Elliott
2005–2006 Danny Tiatto
2006–2007 Paddy McCarthy
2007–2008 Stephen Clemence
2008–2011 Matt Oakley
2011–2012 Matt Mills
2012– Wes Morgan

Player of the Year

Leicester City's Player of the Year award is voted for by the club's supporters at the end of every season.[111]

English Hall of Fame members

The following have played for Leicester and have been inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame:

Football League 100 Legends

The Football League 100 Legends is a list of "100 legendary football players" produced by The Football League in 1998, to celebrate the 100th season of League football.[136] It also included Premier League players, and the following former Leicester City players were included:

World Cup players

The following players have been selected by their country in the World Cup Finals, while playing for Leicester.

International honours

As of 14 July 2018

The following players have been selected by their country while being playing for Leicester City (including players both on loan at and away from the club). The number of caps won whilst at the club are given, along with the date of the first cap being won while with Leicester City. Players listed in bold are current Leicester City players.

Players with over 300 appearances for Leicester

Includes competitive appearances only. Current players in bold.[111][113]

Players with 50 or more goals for Leicester

Includes competitive appearances only. Current players in bold.[111][137][138]

Personnel honours and awards

Ballon d'Or nominees

The following players have been nominated for the Ballon d'Or while playing for Leicester; the award is also referred to as the World or European Footballer of the Year.

PFA Player of the Year

The following players have been named the PFA Player of the Year whilst playing for Leicester:

FWA Footballer of the Year

The following players have been named the FWA Footballer of the Year whilst playing for Leicester:

English Golden Boot

The following players have won the English Golden Boot for being the country's top goalscorer, while at Leicester (Note: This applies only to players playing in the top tier of English football):

English Second Division Golden Boot

The following players have won the golden boot for being the top goalscorer in the second tier of English football while at Leicester:[144]

Football League Awards Player of the Year

The following players have been named the best player in their division in the Football League Awards while at Leicester:

LMA Manager of the Year

The following managers have been named the LMA Manager of the Year or won their division award while at Leicester:

Best FIFA Men's Player nominees

The following players have been shortlisted for the Best FIFA Men's Player, while playing for Leicester:

Best FIFA Men's Coach winners

The following managers have been shortlisted and won, the Best FIFA Men's Coach award while managing Leicester:

BBC Sports Personality Coach of the Year Award

BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year Award

ESPN Team of the Year

FIFA FIFPro World11 nominees

The following players have been shortlisted for the FIFA FIFPro World11, while playing for Leicester:

PFA Team of the Year

The following players have been named in the PFA Team of the Year while at Leicester:


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Further reading

  • Dave Smith and Paul Taylor, Of Fossils and Foxes: The Official Definitive History of Leicester City Football Club (2001) (ISBN 978-1-899538-21-8)
  • Dave Smith and Paul Taylor, The Foxes Alphabet: Complete Who's Who of Leicester City Football Club (1995) (ISBN 978-1-899538-06-5)
  • Leicester City FC, The Official History of Leicester City Football Club DVD (2003) (Out of print)
  • John Hutchinson, From Shed to Stadium: Illustrated history of LCFC. (2014) ISBN 978-1-909872-18-9
  • John Hutchinson, Neil Plumb, Rob O'Donnell, Leicester City Classic Shirts 1949–2016 (2015) ISBN 978-1-909872-76-9

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