The Unprecedented Rise of Leicester City

The Unprecedented Rise of Leicester City

Mar 6, 2017, 2:15:17 PM Sport

The final whistle between Tottenham and Chelsea has been blown. The two teams ended in a 2-2 draw, guaranteeing Leicester City the Barclays Premier League title. On May 2, 2016, Leicester City F.C. became champions. 

Leicester, England -


The club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F.C. by a group of football hungry boys attending the Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys. Leicester joined the Football Association, England's football governing body, in 1890, after six years of amateur football. In the 1908-09 season, the team was promoted to the England's top league after years of moving up and down through the lower divisions. They spent only one season in the first division, getting outclassed by opponents left and right, before being relegated.

Five years later, World War I's breakout saw the breakup of football leagues all across England. Each and every prospective player was needed in some capacity to aid the war effort. Finally, on November 11, 1918, Armistice Day, the world had finally seen the backside of the Great War and just a few months later, the football leagues were reformed and the Leicester Fosse, an Old English colloquial term meaning "ditch", was reformed right along with them, but this time rebranded as Leicester City F.C.

Perpetual Cycle

Throughout the most of the 20th century, the Leicester City Foxes continued to rotate through the top two divisions. In the 1920's, 30's, 40's, and 50's, allowing a break for WWII, the club reached the paramount division repeatedly, only to be repeatedly relegated. It wasn't until 1957 that LCFC was able to enjoy a period of stability in the top flight of the English leagues. Leicester remained in the top league for 12 consecutive season's, the club's longest ever stay in "Tier One".

Alas, in 1969, Leicester began their vicious promotion/relegation cycle once again. The sequence repeated itself all the way through the end of the 2007-2008 season. Unfortunately for their club's supporters, Leicester was relegated to League One, England's third division. For the first time ever, Leicester City was outside the top two divisions.


Something had to be done. A new manager, Nigel Pearson, was hired by the board; it was hoped that Pearson could spark some sort of revival, returning the club to its previous heights of success. Remarkably, he managed to do just that. In his first season at the helm, the Foxes won the League One title, garnering promotion to the Championship, the second league. In the following 2010-11 season, Leicester finished fifth in the English Football Championship, nearly reaching promotion to the Premier League, but ultimately falling just short.

Finally in 2014, after five seasons in the Championship, Leicester City F.C. won the "Championship championship", earning promotion to the Premier League. 

New Beginnings

After a promising beginning to the Premier League season, Leicester fell back to the bottom of the table after 29 games. They had only garnered 19 points from these first 29 games. All looked lost for the Foxes and a return to the Championship seemed probable. Instead of succumbing to the pressure, Leicester City fought back, winning seven of their last nine and only losing three of their last thirteen games. LCFC had once again staved off relegation in one of the most impressive Premier League feats of all time. No team in history had ever escaped relegation while being stuck at the bottom of the table at Christmas.

Fairy Tale

Led by new manager Claudio Ranieri, Leicester City was determined to remain in the Premier League for another season. Leicester was predicted by most pundits to be relegated back to the Championship and they opened the season at 5000/1 odds, to win the title - the lowest in the league. Undaunted, Claudio Ranieri's side remained undefeated for their first six games of the season. During this fantastic run of form, one of the biggest storylines of the season emerged. Star striker Jamie Vardy began his consecutive goal streak against Bournemouth; a streak that continued for a Premier League record 11 games. Vardy went on to place second in the league's Golden Boot race, awarded to the league's top goalscorer, with 24 goals on the season.

Leicester continued to get fantastic results. The Foxes took down traditional powerhouses Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester City. People all over the globe were waiting patiently for Leicester's run of good form to end. It never did.

Leicester City continued to win and draw games, only losing three total Premier League games the entire season. The players' belief continued to grow. They believed that they could do the impossible.

May 2

The final whistle between Tottenham and Chelsea has been blown. The two teams ended in a 2-2 draw, guaranteeing Leicester City the Barclays Premier League title. On May 2, 2016, Leicester City F.C. became champions. 

Leicester City had done it. They completed one of the fastest rises to the Premier League title, rising from 45th in the English Football Pyramid, to 1st in just 7 years. Players and fans alike celebrated; parading through the streets, cheering in pubs, and rejoicing with friends and family. Congratulations poured in from opposing players and managers. Italians congratulated manager Claudio Ranieri, Japanese congratulated forward Shinji Okazaki, Jamaica congratulated captain Wes Morgan, and all of Leicester congratulated their club. Headlines were coming in hot off the press: "History Makers", "Champions!", Leicester in Dreamland", and "Leicester City Kings of England".

People who had placed money on those 5000/1 odds rejoiced, while the bookies held their heads in their hands. The entire country was going insane. The entire world was going insane. Leicester City was trending world-wide. From the UK to Indonesia to Japan, City was the hot topic. The Foxes winning the league triggered an 86% increase in England's normal Twitter activity, according to Twitter UK. Even Leicester's mayor, Peter Soulsby, commented on the magnitude of this event. He said, "Barely 12 months ago we were reburying Richard III in our cathedral and we thought it couldn’t get any better... well it has."

Never before had anything of this magnitude happened in the age of English football.

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Published by Joseph Lowery

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