Leicester City F.C.
|Full name||Leicester City Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Foxes, The Blues|
|Founded||1884 (as Leicester Fosse)|
|Ground||King Power Stadium, Leicester
|Owner||King Power International|
|2012–13||The Championship, 6th|
|Website||Club home page|
Leicester City Football Club (pron.: / /), also known as The Foxes, is an English professional football club based at the King Power Stadium (previously called the Walkers Stadium) in Leicester.2 They currently play in the Football League Championship, having been promoted as champions from Football League One in the 2008–09 season.
The club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse,3 playing on a field near Fosse Road. They moved to Filbert Street in 1891 and played there for 111 years,4 before relocating to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002.
Leicester were elected to the Football League in 1894. The club's highest ever finish was second place in the top flight, in Division One in 1928–29. The club holds six Second Division titles (prior to its becoming known as the Football League Championship) and one League One title. They have won the League Cup three times (the highest total of a club who has never won the League or the FA Cup), and have been FA Cup runners-up four times, which is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition. The club have only spent one season outside the top two tiers of English football.
Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as "Leicester Fosse", the club joined the Football Association in 1890.5 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 Cricket and Bicycle Grounds.6 The club also joined the Midland League in 1891, 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 the following week, against Rotherham 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.37
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,8 they won the Division Two title in 1924–259 and recorded their highest ever league finish in 1928–29 as runners-up by a single point to Sheffield Wednesday.5 However the 1930s saw a downturn in fortunes, with the club relegated in 1934–3510 and, after promotion in 1936–37,11 another relegation in 1938–39 would see them finish the decade in Division Two.312
City reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949,313 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.1415 Leicester won the Division Two championship in 1954,16 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 1957,17 with Rowley scoring a club record 44 goals in one season.18 Leicester remained in Division One until 1969,19 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 in 1961, they were England's representatives in the 1961–62 European Cup Winners' Cup. In the 1962–63 season, the club reached as high as first place in the First Division, 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 collected silverware in 1964, when Leicester beat Stoke 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 became hugely influential on English football for their version of the "whirl" and the "switch" system which utterly upset the traditional 1–11 formations in England.20 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 Division One champions Arsenal's commitments in European competition, Division Two winners Leicester were invited to play FA Cup runners up Liverpool, beating them 1–0.3 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 1973–74.21
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. City was 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 1980.22 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. Milne left in 1986 and was replaced in 1987 by David Pleat, who 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.3
Brian Little took over in 1991 and by the end of the 1991–92 season Leicester had reached the playoff final for promotion to the newly formed Premiership, losing to Blackburn Rovers. 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 whilst Leicester were top of Division One to take charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers.23
McGhee was replaced by Martin O'Neill.3 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. Following promotion, 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. 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 was lured to Celtic.
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.24 After a long run of poor results, Taylor was sacked in October 2001. 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 from the Premiership.
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.25 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.26 Adams was banned from the transfer market for most of the season, even after the club was rescued by a takeover by a consortium led by Gary Lineker.3 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.
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.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 2007.27 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 MK Dons manager Martin Allen as their new manager with a three-year contract. Allen's relationship with Mandarić became tense and after only four games 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. 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 2–0.28 Despite this, Leicester were relegated from the Championship at the end of the 2007–08 season after drawing 0–0 with Stoke City, marking the 2008–09 season as Leicester's first season outside the top two tiers of English football. Their fall from grace would also see Holloway leave by mutual consent after less than a season at the club, being replaced by Nigel Pearson. The club returned to the Championship at the first attempt, finishing as champions of League One after a 2–0 win at Southend United with 2 games in hand. The 2009–2010 season saw Leicester's revival under Pearson continue, as the club finished 5th and reached the Championship play-offs in their first season back in the second tier. Though after a battling performance 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. On Tuesday 29 June 2010, it was confirmed that Nigel Pearson had left Leicester to become the manager of Hull City because he felt that 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 Wednesday 7 July 2010, Paulo Sousa was confirmed as Pearson's replacement.29
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 a Thai-led consortium named Asian Football Investments (AFI) fronted by King Power Group's Vichai Raksriaksorn.30 Mandarić, an investor in AFI,31 was retained as club chairman.32 On 1 October 2010, after a poor start that saw Leicester bottom of the Championship with only one win out of the first 9 league games, Paulo Sousa was sacked by the club with immediate effect.33 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.34 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.35 Leicester were 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 games, Sven-Göran Eriksson left the club by mutual consent.36 Three weeks later, on 15 November 2011, Nigel Pearson was confirmed to be returning to the club as Eriksson's successor. Pearson would go on to lead The Foxes to a 6th place finish in the 2012-2013 season, ensuring Leicester City were in the Championship play off's after a last gasp 3-2 away win at local rivals Nottingham Forest. However they would go on to lose out in the play off's 3-2 on aggregate to Watford.37
The club's home colours of royal blue and white have been used for the team's kits throughout most of its history.38 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.
An image of a fox was first incorporated into the club crest in 1948, as Leicestershire is known for foxes and fox hunting.39 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". The current shirt badge has been used since 1992. In the 2009–10 season which was the 125th year anniversary the home kit featured no sponsor and a new central crest with "125 Years" below. The crest was slightly changed, this change included the fox in the crest to have a white area under its nose. The circles in the crest were also moved around.40
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.41 It was played over the PA system as the teams came out of the tunnel at all home games. However the club since replaced it with a jazzed-up modern version, although now it is played live on pitch before the teams emerge from the tunnel.
- 1962–1964: Bukta
- 1976–1979: Admiral
- 1979–1983: Umbro
- 1983–1988: Admiral
- 1988–1990: Scoreline
- 1990–1992: Bukta
- 1992–2000: Fox Leisure
- 2000–2005: Le Coq Sportif
- 2005–2007: JJB
- 2007–2009: Jako
- 2009–2010: Joma
- 2010–2012: BURRDA
- 2012–present: PUMA42
- 1983–1986: Ind Coope
- 1986–1987: John Bull
- 1987–2001: Walkers
- 2001–2003: LG
- 2003–2007: Alliance & Leicester
- 2007–2009: Topps Tiles
- 2009–2010: No main Sponsor on home shirt, Jessops on the rear of the Home shirt. Loros, a local charity, featured on the away shirt.
- 2010 – present: King Power
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,43 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.43 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 1891.43
Some improvements by noted football architect Archibald Leitch occurred in the Edwardian era, and in 1927 a new two tier stand was built,43 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.44
The club moved away from Filbert Street in 2002 to a new 32,500 all-seater stadium.45 The stadium was originally named Filbert Way and later renamed to Walkers Stadium in a deal with food manufacturers Walkers whose brand logo can be found at various points around the outside of the stadium.46 The first match the Walkers hosted was a friendly against Athletic Bilbao, the game was drawn 1–1 with Tiko of Bilbao being the first scorer at the stadium and Jordan Stewart being the first City player to score,47 and the first competitive match was a 2–0 victory against Watford.48 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. 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.
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.49 On 7 July 2011, Leicester City confirmed that the Walkers Stadium would now be known as the King Power Stadium.
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.5051
As of the 2011-12 season, Leicester had the 5th best home support outside the Premier League and the 4th best away support in the Football League.5253 Famous supporters of the club include Engelbert Humperdinck,54 Former City and England striker and Match of the Day presenter, Gary Lineker,55 Football League Show and Late Kick Off presenter, Manish Bhasin,56 Kasabian members, Tom Meighan and Serge Pizzorno,57 as well as soap stars Thomas Law and David Neilson.5859
- Main articles: Leicester City F.C. and Nottingham Forest F.C. rivalry, Derby County F.C. and Leicester City F.C. rivalry, M69 derby
Despite being based in the West Midlands, Leicester's other rivals in more recent years have been Coventry City, who are based just 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.61
- English second tier (currently Football League Championship)
- War League South
- Champions (1): 194263
- Midland War Cup
- Winners (1): 1941
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".64
Leicester have had a total of 9 permanent secretary/managers and 34 permanent managers (not including caretakers). Current manager Nigel Pearson and Peter Hodge have both had two separate spells in charge the club. Dave Bassett also had a second spell as caretaker manager after his spell as permanent manager. Listed below is Leicester's complete managerial history (permanent managers and secretary/managers only, caretakers are not included).65
|1919–1926||Peter Hodge||Football League Second Division Champions 1924–1925|
|1926–1934||William Orr||Football League First Division Runner-up 1928–29 – The highest league finish in the club's history|
|1936–1939||Frank Womack||Football League Second Division Champions 1936–37|
|1946–1949||Johnny Duncan||FA Cup Runner-up 1949|
|1949–1955||Norman Bullock||Football League Second Division Champions 1953–54|
|1955–1958||David Halliday||Football League Second Division Champions 1956–57|
|1958–1968||Matt Gillies||Longest serving full manager. Managed the most games in the club's history. FA Cup Runner-up 1961 and 1963. Football League Cup Winner 1964 and Runner-Up 1965.|
|1968–1971||Frank O'Farrell||FA Cup Runner-Up 1969. Football League Second Division Champions 1970–1971|
|1978–1982||Jock Wallace||Football League Second Division Champions 1979–80|
|1982–1986||Gordon Milne||Promoted to the Football League First Division 1982–83|
|1986–1987|| Gordon Milne and
|1991–1994||Brian Little||Promoted to the Premier League 1993–94|
|1995–2000||Martin O'Neill||Promoted to the Premier League 1995–96. Football League Cup winner 1997 and 2000 and Runner-up 1999|
|2002–2004||Micky Adams||Football League First Division Runner-up 2002–03|
|2007||Nigel Worthington||Put in charge for the last six games after Kelly was sacked|
|2008–2010||Nigel Pearson||Football League One Champions 2008–09. Pearson had the best win ratio of any permanent manager in the club's history at 51.40%.|
|2010||Paulo Sousa||First manager from outside the British isles|
|2011–Present||Nigel Pearson||Current manager. In charge for his second spell with the club after returning from Hull City in November 2011.|
Graham Cross holds the record for the most Leicester appearances, with the defender playing 599 games between 1960–1976. Though Adam Black holds the record for the most appearances in the league with 528 between 1920–1935.66
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.5 The most goals managed in single season for the club is 44 by Arthur Rowley, in the 1956–57 season.5 The fastest goal in the club's history was scored by Matty Fryatt, when he netted after just nine seconds against Preston in April 2006.67
The record transfer fee paid by Leicester for a player was around £5 million for the then Wolves striker Ade Akinbiyi. However, in 2011 then completed the signing of Reading F.C. defender Matt Mills and he could potentially become Leicester's record signing after signing for an initial fee of £3.5 million which could rise to just over £5.5 million. The highest transfer fee Leicester have ever received is £11 million for the deal taking Emile Heskey to Liverpool.citation needed
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, is 32,148 for a competitive match against Newcastle United on 26 December 2003.68 However, the highest ever attendance of 32,188, was seen at a pre-season friendly against Spanish giants Real Madrid on 30 July 2011.69
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.70 Their longest run of consecutive victories in the league is 7, which they have achieved on four separate occasions.71
Since their election to the football league in 1894 Leicester have spent much of their history yo-yoing between the top two tiers in 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, but were promptly promoted back as champions. Leicester have never played lower than the third tier of English football.
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: 46
- Seasons spent at Level 2 of the football league system: 59
- Seasons spent at Level 3 of the football league system: 1
- Seasons spent at Level 4 of the football league system: 0
- As of 30 March 2013.72
For a list of notable past players in searchable-table format see List of Leicester City F.C. players
For a list of all Leicester City players with a Wikipedia article see Category:Leicester City F.C. players
As of 2012 September 30[update]
|Head Physiotherapist||Dave Rennie|
|Assistant Physiotherapist||Tom Freeman|
|Club Doctor||Dr Ian Patchett|
Leicester City's Player of the Season award is voted for by the club's supporters at the end of every season.64
The following have played for Leicester and have been inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame:
- Gordon Banks 2002 (Inaugural Inductee)
- Peter Shilton 2002 (Inaugural Inductee)
- Gary Lineker 2003
- Don Revie 2004 (Inducted as a manager)
- Frank McLintock 2009
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. It also included Premier League players, and the following former Leicester City players were included:
The following players have been selected by their country in the World Cup Finals, while playing for Leicester.
- John Anderson (1954)
- Willie Cunningham (1958)
- Ken Leek (1958)
- Gordon Banks (1966) – Won the 1966 World Cup while at Leicester
- John O'Neill (1982, 1986)
- Paul Ramsey (1986)
- Gary McAllister (1990)
- David Kelly (1990)
- Matt Elliott (1998)
- Kasey Keller (1998)
- Muzzy Izzet (2002)
The following players have been nominated for the Ballon d'Or award for European footballer of the year (World footballer of the year since 1995) while playing for Leicester:
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):
The following players have won the golden boot for being the top goalscorer in the second tier of English football while at Leicester:77
- David Skea (1894–95)
- Arthur Chandler (1924–25)
- Jack Bowers (1936–37)
- Arthur Rowley (1952–53), (1956–57)
- Willie Gardiner (1955–56)
- Gary Lineker (1982–83)
The following players have been named the best player in their division in the Football League Awards while at Leicester:
The following players have been named the PFA Team of the Year while at Leicester:
- 1979 – Second Division – Mark Wallington
- 1982 – Second Division – Mark Wallington
- 1989 – Second Division – Gary McAllister
- 1990 – Second Division – Gary McAllister
- 1996 – First Division – Garry Parker, Steve Claridge
- 2003 – First Division – Muzzy Izzet, Paul Dickov
- 2009 – League One – Jack Hobbs, Matt Oakley, Matty Fryatt
- 2011 – Championship – Kyle Naughton, Andy King
- 2013 – Championship – Kasper Schmeichel, Wes Morgan
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- 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)
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Leicester City F.C.|
- Leicester City Official website
- Leicester City F.C. on BBC Sport:
- BBC Leicester – In pictures: 125 years of Leicester City
- Leicester City Fans Forum