What's harder to believe – that Leicester City were in League One not so long ago or that they've since won the Premier League?
Photo: IAmWillieThorne/Twitter

What’s harder to believe – that Leicester City were in League One not so long ago or that they’ve since won the Premier League? You could even throw the idea of us playing them into the mix if you want. But that ain’t all that hard to believe is it? Nope – we did come up against ’em. After all, why else would we write this intro that’s now starting to go on a bit? Let’s get ourselves back on track then. It’s time find out how we came to meet the Foxes – and what part we played in their eventual (and unlikely) title glory.

Who are Leicester City?

First, as ever, is to find out who the Fox are the Foxes. Soz. A little potato ROFL there for you. Here’s one of those clubs with a long ol’ story to tell and a lot of detail to include. We know you’re busy folk, so we’ll pick out the highlights and let you fill in the gaps.

After starting life as Leicester Fosse in 1884, the Football League brought the Foxes into the fold 10 years later. In those early years, there was one season in a fledgling top flight (1908-9). But it went pretty badly. In ending up bottom and going straight back to Division Two, the club let in 102 goals; including the still-record 12-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest. And the bumpy road wasn’t over there.

Fosse ran into money worries at the end of World War One. And, it seems, they stopped being a thing. But the club reformed right away as the Leicester City we now know today. And the Foxes started to find their feet; spending more time in the top flight in those inter-war years. You can argue, however, that it would be the 1960s when they had their (first) heyday. In the league, being the fourth-best side in England is as good as it got.

But the cups were a different story; denied in the 1960-1 FA Cup final by Spurs’ Double winners and then going on to win the 1963-4 League Cup. They almost defended it the next year too.

Most of the time after that until the invention of football in 1992 would be spent in the top flight. But the Foxes, at first, missed the cut for the Premier League; eventually making it up in 1994. While their time in the Premiership lasted just one season to start with, there was no hanging around; Martin O’Neill taking ’em back in 1996 and establishing the club as a tough proposition. There were also two more League Cup titles in that time too.

Why do we know Leicester City?

The new century didn’t mean new fortunes for the Foxes. Or, if it did, those fortunes were bad ones. After tumbling out of the Premier League in 2002, they went straight back up – only to get relegated again. That second time was a little more permanent too. In fact, the club entered the doldrums for a bit after that; each of the next three campaigns ending up in mediocre lower-half finishes.

The fourth season after the Premier League? It was even worse. In 2008, the Foxes were relegated to League One. For the first time since they joined the Football League in 1894, the club would play their football outside the top two tiers. That’d mean starting their 2008-9 FA Cup run at the First – not Third – round stage too. And after we (eventually) got past Horsham in the Fourth Qualifying Round, our reward would be a trip to the King Power.

What is our record against Leicester City?

Under GW Mk II, we were starting to get into our stride after a bumpy start to the season. Our thoughts of playing the Foxes, as you’d expect, were focused on delivering an upset. Sure, we’d rather be at home. But there’s always a chance, right? The problem is that we came up against a side who, under new boss Nigel Pearson, were fighting back. The job was simply too big for us; them being “bright, intelligent players” that we didn’t get to play every week.

The Foxes eased to a 3-0 home win and ended our hopes with little to-do. We did at least make ’em wait ’til the 37th minute to take the lead. But there was no contest. And we don’t have any complaints. They were the better side.

Leicester City: Boro’s Record

Our head-to-head: P 1 — W 0 — D 0 — L 1 — F 0 — A 3 — Pts 0 — WR 0%
Our last tango: Leicester City 3-0 Stevenage Borough, 08 November 2008

What happened to Leicester City?

In the short-term, the Foxes marched onto a Third Round replay defeat to Crystal Palace – and the League One title. Within seven years, they’d be champions of England. It’s said to be the fastest seven-year rise of any top flight champion since Ipswich Town soared up the ladder between 1955 and 1962. Now, once again, the Foxes are looking sound in the top flight; perhaps a little annoyed their bid for Champions League action fell just short in 2019-20.

Of course, we like to think it was the self-belief we instilled in them on that November day in 2008 that was the catalyst for their eventual domination of English football. But we can think what we like. It doesn’t make us right…


• WANT TO KNOW MORE? – Leicester City club profile

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Pete H is the head of the BoroGuide team; helping to keep the show on the road for the best part of two decades – all because of his love of Boro'. He was relatively late to the scene; first rocking up at Broadhall Way during the 1995-6 season. But that's mainly because he was too young to pledge allegiance before then. There have been more than enough highs (Easter Monday '96) and lows (Kettering '02) since then, however, to keep him occupied. Yes, and the 2010 title win...