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Tigers Family

A look back at 139 years of Leicester Football Club

Who was to know what would come from a meeting between three rugby clubs in Leicester on this day in 1880?

While amalgamation may have been the intended outcome, it’s almost certain that nobody at the George Hotel in the East Midlands city on August 3 was aware of the incredible, successful 139 years to follow - on and off the pitch.

At the table were representatives from Leicester Societies AFC, Leicester Amateur FC and Leicester Alert, who would eventually agree to form The Leicester Football Club - which would play its first match just 12 weeks later, against Moseley.

The fixture ended 0-0 at the Belgrave Cricket and Cycle Ground on October 23 with Leicester wearing black as their club colours and start what was to be an era of the side being known as “The Death or Glory Boys” in rugby circles.

Plenty has gone on since that meeting that saw the trio of clubs come together as one, including the colours changing from black to red, white and green, the adoption of the name Tigers and move to Welford Road stadium in the heart of Leicester.

Ten times English champions, the most of any club in the country, and Cup success domestically and in Europe has Leicester Tigers sitting atop the list of rugby clubs in the silverware stakes.

The club also boasts having brought through household names aplenty, including the game’s world record holding points-scorer Dusty Hare and England’s only World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson.

In addition to those two giants of the game, Tigers has its own icons in the form of Thomas Crumbie, Jack Miles, Percy Lawrie, Chalkie White, David Matthews, Peter Wheeler, Tudor Thomas, Dean Richards, Geordan Murphy, Leon Lloyd, Tom Croft, Tom and Ben Youngs and each and every Tuilagi to wear the badge - to name but a few!

However, as each member of the Tigers Family knows, a jam-packed trophy cabinet and many more legends as well as those above only tell a small, small portion of the story over the past 139 years…

It is the people in the stands at Welford Road who have helped write the chapters in the history pages of the club.

It is those members of Leicester Football Club and supporters of the famous names passing and kicking a ball on the pitch who helped lift Tigers to the heights it has reached and will reach again in the future.

So, to all those who have worn the badge - on the pitch or in the stands - a Happy 139th Birthday to you!

To learn more Tigers Tales from 1880 to now, visit the history page on the club website or find yourself a place in those stands at Welford Road this coming season. Secure your spot with a 2019/20 season ticket or membership online here or by calling the Ticket Office on 0116 319 8888.

A look back at Leicester Football Club in numbers…

Trophy and Title wins:

European Champions

- 2000/01, 2001/02

English Champions

- 1987/88, 1994/95, 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2006/07, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2012/13

Zurich Championship winners

- 2000/01

Cup winners

- 1978/79, 1979/80, 1980/81, 1992/93, 1996/97

Anglo-Welsh Cup winners

- 2006/07, 2011/12, 2016/17

Premiership ‘A’ League winners

- 2004/05, 2005/06, 2009/10, 2010/11

Premiership U21 League winners

- 2002/03

Premiership Academy U18 League winners

- 2017/18, 2018/19

Since ' THAT DAY' on August 3, 1880:

  • 139 years
  • 1,668 months
  • 50,769 days
  • More than … 7,252 weeks
  • More than …1,218,456 hours
  • More than … 73,107,360 minutes
  • More than … 4,386,441,600 seconds