1. We’re not too welcome at La Manga
When most clubs turn up at La Manga training camp in Southern Spain, a few days of intense training and team bonding lay ahead. But when Leicester City turned up prior to their 2000 League Cup Final, there was a lot more of the latter than the former. Boss Martin O’Neill decided to stay at home for the trip, and must have regretted it when he listened to his phone messages on the first evening. A very intoxicated Ian Marshall decided that it would be a good idea to call the Gaffer and ask for an extension on the strict curfew given to the players. By the time O’Neill had listened to his voicemails, the Foxes players had already been kicked out of the resort after Stan Collymore set off a fire extinguisher in the bar.
In May 2004, when the club was finally allowed to return to La Manga, Micky Adams’ Premier League strugglers managed to hit front pages after nine players were embroiled in a rape scandal. Three German women accused the players of sexual assault whilst out celebrating Jordan Stewart’s birthday. The men were eventually cleared; but not before Paul Dickov, Frank Sinclair and Keith Gillespie had been banged up in Cartagena nick for a week.
2. Penalty shootouts are not our forte
Yann Kermorgant’s penalty miss during the 2010 Play-off Semi-Final got a lot of media coverage, and quite rightly so. It was a poor penalty, at a very crucial time. However, it wasn’t the clubs’ worst penalty shootout loss. In the late 1890’s, four Leicester Fosse players were nominated to take penalties with an oversized ball. Against an elephant! The first three strikes were saved by the Jumbo Goalie, but striker William Keech managed to bag his penalty by feinting to one side before striking the ball.
3. We’ll always have a presence in our rivals’ stadium
The rivalry between Leicester City and Coventry City is a fairly recent one. Having spent a lot of time in separate leagues, both clubs held rivalries with other clubs. But over the last few years, many Leicester fans have started to consider the M69 Derby (named after the motorway connecting the two cities) as their biggest game of the season. That is why during the construction of Coventry’s Always Empty Ricoh Arena, a group of Leicester supporting builders decided it would be a good idea to bury a Leicester City jersey deep into the foundations. However the “curse” isn’t working, as we’re still yet to win in the Stadium.
4. We have famous fans. Sort of
Gary Lineker is probably our most famous supporter, having been born in the city and coming through the ranks of the club; but who else claims to follow the Foxes? Kasabian hail from Countesthorpe, just outside the city and are avid Leicester fans, The Football League Show’s Manish Bhasin also follows the Blue Army. Bill Maynard, Lembit Opik, Gary Newbon, Showaddywaddy, Willie Thorne and Engelbert Humperdinck are all Foxes, but my favourite has to be David Neilson, A.K.A. Coronation Street’s Roy Cropper. In fact, he even managed to sneak a couple of Leicester references into Corrie. In one episode, when asked for a serial number from a kitchen appliance, Roy stated “LCFC97” referring to the club’s 1997 League Cup victory over Middlesbrough. And shortly after Steve Claridge’s move to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1998, Roy was seen waving goodbye to a café customer whilst saying “Goodbye Mr Claridge”.
5. Our players have always put football first
Well, most of the time. In April 1909, an already relegated Leicester Fosse were tonked 12-0 by local rivals Nottingham Forest. They were beaten so badly that the Football League ordered an enquiry into the game, and it didn’t take them long to find the problem. The previous day had seen former team-mate Bob “Leggy” Turner celebrate his wedding in Leicester, and his ex-colleagues had decided to join in with the celebrations. In fact, they enjoyed themselves so much that many of the Fosse side played the game whilst still heavily intoxicated! Even stranger, the FA decided that this was an acceptable excuse, and decided that no further action was needed.