Leicester City Profile
|Major Honours||Premier League (1), League Cup (3)|
Their miracle 2016 Premier League title put the club at the forefront of the world’s attention, but there’s more to Leicester than just that one glorious season. Here, Planet Sport profiles the Foxes.
Leicester City are a soccer club from Leicester, England, currently playing in the Premier League.
Known as The Foxes, Leicester play their home matches at the King Power Stadium. They are most famous for winning the 2015/16 Premier League under Claudio Ranieri after they had been widely tipped as relegation candidates before the season began.
Leicester have since become a consistently competitive force in the Premier League, spurred on by goals from Jamie Vardy and the tactical astuteness of current manager Brendan Rodgers.
Foundation and early history
Leicester City FC were founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse FC. They moved from a field near Fosse Road to Filbert Street in 1891 and became part of the Football League in 1894.
In 1907/08, Leicester finished as Second Division runners-up and gained promotion to the top flight of English soccer for the first time. They did not settle well and were relegated at the first attempt, suffering a club record 12-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest along the way.
In 1919, after the First World War, financial trouble forced Leicester Fosse to stop trading and the club was reformed as Leicester City FC.
With Peter Hodge as manager and club record goalscorer Arthur Chandler leading the line, Leicester won Division Two in 1924/25.
In 1928/29, Leicester finished second in the First Division, losing the league title to The Wednesday (later renamed Sheffield Wednesday) by a single point.
Leicester would then have to wait some time before any further success as the 1930s saw them bounce between the top two divisions.
Leicester City made their first ever FA Cup final in 1949, losing 3-1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
After Arthur Rowley's 44 goals helped Leicester secure promotion to the top flight in 1957, they remained there for 12 years - the longest stint in the division in the Foxes' history.
Under the guidance of manager Matt Gillies and his assistant Bert Johnson, Leicester reached the FA Cup final in both 1961 and 1963. The first of those finals saw them lose 2-0 to double winners Tottenham Hotspur. Two years later, they went down 3-1 to Manchester United despite a goal from Ken Keyworth.
Leicester represented England in the 1961/62 European Cup Winners' Cup. The following season, they led the First Division over the British winter thanks to their superb form on icy and frozen pitches. The Leicester team of this era earned the nickname The Ice Kings. Leicester ultimately finished fourth in the league.
In 1964, Gillies led Leicester to their first major trophy, the League Cup. They had lost the previous year's final 3-2 on aggregate to Chelsea, but this time, they beat Stoke 4-3.
Gillies resigned in November 1968 and was succeeded by Frank O'Farrell. Despite reaching the 1969 FA Cup final, which they lost 1-0 to Manchester City, Leicester were relegated.
Leicester spent much of the next three decades yo-yoing between divisions. They went 33 years between 1964 and 1997 without a major trophy, but the emergence of legendary England striker Gary Lineker in the late 1970s and early 1980s gave Leicester fans something to shout about.
Lineker scored 95 league goals in 194 appearances for Leicester between 1978 and 1985. He then moved on to Everton and later Barcelona, Tottenham and Nagoya Grampus.
Martin O'Neill era
Martin O'Neill took over as Leicester City manager in 1995. He won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs in his first season and this proved to be a sign of things to come.
In 1997, O'Neill ended Leicester's 33-year trophy drought when he guided them to a 1-0 replay victory over Middlesbrough in the League Cup final, having drawn the initial match 1-1.
Three years later, a brace from Matt Elliott saw Leicester beat Tranmere Rovers 2-1 to win the trophy again under O'Neill.
O'Neill led Leicester to ninth in the Premier League in 1997, 10th in the following two years and eighth in 2000. He left for Celtic in the year of his second League Cup win and highest league finish with Leicester. A difficult period followed for the Foxes.
League One and Premier League comeback
Leicester were relegated to League One in 2008 under Ian Holloway, just four years after they had last been relegated from the Premier League.
Holloway left by mutual consent at the end of the 2007/08 season and was replaced by Nigel Pearson, who won immediate promotion back to the Championship.
Leicester made two play-offs over the next four seasons but failed to get promotion to the Premier League on both attempts. Under Pearson, the Foxes lost the 2009/10 play-off semi-final against Cardiff City on penalties.
After Pearson left to manage Hull City, Leicester went through stints under Paulo Sousa and Sven-Goran Eriksson before Pearson returned in 2011. He led Leicester to another play-off in 2012/13, but they lost in the semi-finals to Watford following Anthony Knockaert's late penalty miss.
Finally, in 2013/14, Leicester won the Championship to earn promotion to the Premier League.
Miracle relegation escape and Premier League title
Leicester City won seven of their last nine league games in the 2014/15 season under Pearson to pull off a sensational escape from relegation, which had seemed all but certain.
Pearson was controversially replaced by Claudio Ranieri ahead of the 2015/16 campaign. Ultimately, it proved to be a masterstroke. Inspired by the form of striker Jamie Vardy, winger Riyad Mahrez and midfielder N'Golo Kante, Ranieri led the Foxes to the Premier League title despite odds of 5000/1 at the start of the season.
Kante left for Chelsea after the season ended and Mahrez moved to Manchester City ahead of the 2018/19 campaign. However, Vardy stayed to lead the line for Leicester in a new era.
Ranieri lost his job during a difficult 2016/17 season. After Claude Puel steadied the ship during his stint in charge, Brendan Rodgers became Leicester manager in February 2019.
After an impressive end to the 2018/19 season, Rodgers led Leicester to fifth place in the 2019/20 campaign, qualifying for the Europa League group stage.
On October 27, 2018, shortly after take-off from the King Power Stadium following a match against West Ham United, a helicopter crash killed five people including Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, also known as Khun Vichai.
His consortium had purchased Leicester eight years earlier and led them from the Championship to the top of the Premier League. Khun Vichai was honoured throughout the soccer fraternity following his tragic passing.
Leicester City have local rivalries with Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Coventry City.
The East Midlands derby with Nottingham Forest is widely viewed as Leicester's primary grudge match. Leicester have won 40 of their 104 meetings compared with Forest's 38 victories, but Forest did inflict Leicester's largest ever defeat (12-0 in 1909).
The city of Leicester is widely known for the Leicester Tigers rugby team, arguably the most prestigious rugby union side in the country. However, in recent years, their soccer club has gained fans from all over the world, largely due to their 2015/16 Premier League triumph.
Leicester have supporters groups across various continents and are also famous for the Foxes Pride organisation, which works with the LGBT community and club supporters.
Leicester City are the 19th most valuable soccer club in the world according to Forbes, with a value of $500million as of June 2019.
Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, the son of the deceased Khun Vichai and current CEO and chairman of King Power, is Leicester City's chairman and has a net worth of $4billion according to Forbes.
Leicester City News
- Apr 09, 2021
- Mar 19, 2021