Leicester City winning the EPL 2015-2016 season. Photo:90min.com
Leicester is an English Football club that is filled with an abundance of history behind it, just that it is not as colourful and fancy as some of their Midlands rivals. In their records, they have triumphed over various big name teams, securing several Second Division titles and 3 league cups victory. However, none can be as notable as the 2016 EPL season where they went against all odds and finished 1st. Leicester City is well-known for their long-standing rivalry against Nottingham Forest, where most people will refer it to the East Midlands derby. Another rivalry that they have forged over the years is the Derby County Club too.
Origin of Leicester City F.C
Picture of Leicester Fosse Team in 1884. Photo : LCFC.com
Leicester City F.C was first founded in 1884, under a previous alias called Leicester Fosse. Settling down was hard for Leicester when they had to switch between 5 different grounds before making a final call on Filbert Street in 1891. The club was then elected to become a member of the Football League in 1894 and after a couple of second-rate seasons in the Second Division, their efforts paid off with the promotion to the First Division in 1908. However, it did not go as smoothly when their first season with the big boys ended up being a disaster. Inclusive of the fact that Leicester Fosse was relegated immediately, the season left a bitter taste within fans with the 12-0 thrashing at the hands of Nottingham Forest, marking the club’s biggest defeat of all time.
After the defeat came the financial scandal, which led the club to be reformed as the Leicester City that we know of today in 1919. Following the name change, the club went on to enjoy moderate success in the 1920s. Being led by Arthur Chandler, the club’s top goalscorer of all time, gaining a total of 273 goals in 33 appearances, Leicester City made its way back to the First Division in 1925 and ended the season as runners-up with just a mere 1 point behind Sheffield Wednesday in 1929.
Records Over The Years
Leicester City team with coach, Matt Gillies , in 1958. Photo: lcfc.com
However, in the 1930s, Leicester City went downhill, with frequent relegations and promotions. The club did not make the headlines ever again, only until Matt Gillies was appointed as coach in 1958. Under his guidance, the man’s keen eye for talent helped with reforming a team that went forward to reaching two FA Cup finals in 1961 & 1963 and a win in the 1964 League Cup. And with the coach’s resignation in 1968, it wasn’t long before Leicester went back down to Second Division again.
After that, Leicester had a series of bad transfer signing, but at the expense of them being in the Championship again, where they stayed on till 2008 before getting relegated again. However, under the new leadership of Nigel Pearson, the club managed to return to the Championship the following year.
In between that in 2007, Leicester City was actually bought over by new owner Milan Mandaric. And in 2010, the club was then taken over by a Thai-led consortium called the Asian Football Investment, overlooked by King Power’s Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who became Chairman in 2011. With his son, Khun Aiyawatt Srivaddhanapraba, they placed a heavy investment into Leicester City F.C, in hope of incurring good results.
The Srivaddhanaprabha father-son duo with Leicester City. Photo:moodiedavittreport.com
It wasn’t until 2014 when Leicester proceeded to shock the crowd and produce one of the greatest comeback in the entire English Premier League history, beating Manchester United with a score of 5-3 , after coming back from 3-1 down, leaving Leicester City to score 4 goals in the span of 30 minutes. They also made another Premier League history by becoming the very first team to beat Manchester United in such a fashion from a two-goal deficit since the league’s formation in 1992.
Another notable event for Leicester City was the 2014 -2015 season. The club was nearing the end of the season, placing fourteenth with only 41 points. However, they once again managed to turn the table with the convincing win of 5-1 against Queens Park Rangers. With that, the sequence of events was described as one of the English Premier League’s greatest ever dodge from relegation.
Present Day Leicester City
English Premier League victory in 2105 – 2016 season. Photo: dailymail.co.uk
In spite of what was mentioned earlier, nothing was more shocking and legendary than the 2015 – 2016 English Premier League. Under the management of Claudio Ranieri, the club ended up standing at the very top. One way to describe how crazy it was for Leicester City was through the gambling odds. Prior to the season, British bookmarkers listed the club as a 5000 to 1 shot to winning the English Premier League. Being in that sort of predicament put Leicester City winning the league was a long shot and nearly impossible. Neither bookmarker had ever paid out such winning in such long odds, with the trophy resulting in the largest payout in British sporting history, a total winnings of £25 million.
Although Leicester City may not be one of the top clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool or Arsenal with a huge influential power among its audience and fans, this scale of surprise ended up attracting global attention for not only the club but the homeland of Leicester as well. Several analysts gave their hindsight as viewing the victory as an inspiration to other clubs and fundamentally altering the expectations similar sized clubs face in English Football.