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Tigers ABC to Z: L is for Letters, Lions & Lloyd

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The Tigers ABC to Z today reaches the letter 'L' and, well, letters.L is for Lawrie Born in Lutterworth, Percy Lawrie set the club’s record for try-scoring with 206 in his 318 appearances between 1907 and 1924, a total which would have increased significantly if he had not lost four years of his career to the First World War. He was the club’s top try-scorer in six successive seasons and captain on 165 occasions, a total beaten by only Martin Johnson in 135 years. Capped twice by England, Lawrie also served Leicestershire rugby for 30 years after his playing retirement.   L is for Leicester Home of the Leicester Tigers. The club is one of the city’s major attractions, as illustrated by a recent trip Advisor award. The Welford Road stadium has received a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor after earning consistently great reviews from visitors, making it one of the top attractions in the city. Click here to find out more. L is for Leicestershire Regiment The Tigers have long-standing links with the Armed Forces, and 43 players have served with the Leicestershire Regiment, including Major-General Douglas  Kendrew, a British Lion in 1930 and later governor of Western Australia; Lieutenant Frank Tarr, an England full-back lost among the First World War dead; and Captain Bobby Barr, one of only two men to serve the club in the three senior positions of captain, secretary and president.   L is for Letters As famous as the red, white and green hoops, Tigers shirts carried letters rather than numbers until 1998 when professional, televised rugby looked for standard numbering for all teams. Originally, back in 1926/27, only the forwards carried any identification on the back of their shirts, and this spread through the whole team in 1931. ABC became the front row, through to O for full-back, though the back row was lettered from left to right, therefore flankers were F and H, with No8 wearing G, the seventh letter of the alphabet. Richard Cockerill reintroduced letters above the club crest on the front of the shirts in homage to the club’s traditions.   L is for Lions The club boasts 40 men who have toured with a British Isles / Lions squad since the first trio joined an Anglo-Welsh party who toured New Zealand, Australia and Canada in 1908. Tom Smith appeared in 21 of 26 matches on that ground-breaking tour. Bernard Gadney was the first Tiger to be selected as a tour skipper, in Argentina in 1936, with Martin Johnson becoming the first man to lead two Lions tours more than 60 years later. Seven clubmates joined Johnson on the 2005 tour to New Zealand and in 2013 the club celebrated the selection of six of its players, including five who had graduated from the Tigers academy, for the victorious tour to Australia.   L is for Liley Yorkshire-born John Liley stepped into massive boots as successor to world record points-scorer Dusty Hare in the Tigers full-back shirt, but he showed the cool head of a top-rank goalkicker over more than 200 games to become a crowd favourite and only the second man to top 2,000 points for the club. Liley wasted no time in settling in, setting a club record 439 points in his first season in 1988/89, and totalled 2,518 points – with 74 tries – in 230 appearances up to 1997. He played for England A and toured with the senior squad, and for a while, he was joined by younger brother Rob, a fly-half, at Welford Road.   L is for Leon Lloyd Signed from junior rugby in Coventry, as a teenager Lloyd was selected by Bob Dwyer ahead of legend Rory Underwood for a crucial European tie in the intimidating atmosphere of Pau and responded with a match-winning try to announce his arrival on the Tigers scene. On an even bigger European stage, he will be forever linked with the late try that won the club’s first European Cup, in Paris in 2001. Austin Healey made the break and took the man-of-the-match honours, but it was Lloyd who showed clinical finishing skills to dot down for the second time in an unforgettable final – though Tim Stimpson may have liked a better angle for the cup-winning conversion! You can re-live that great moment by clicking here. Lloyd went on to total 84 tries in 260 appearances – and marked his return in a Gloucester shirt with an interception try at Welford Road, picking off a pass from his pal Andy Goode.