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  • Building started on the 32,500-capacity stadium that would replace Filbert Street in summer 2001
  • Former Leicester City striker Gary Lineker opened the new ground on 23 July 2002
  • In July 2011, the stadium was renamed King Power Stadium, after the Club’s Thai owners duty free business

From Filbert Street to Walkers Stadium

For 111 years, Leicester City Football Club played at Filbert Street. Throughout that time, the ground was steadily developed with a new Main Stand in 1993. By the end of the 20th century, a new all-seater stadium was needed. Building started on the 32,500-capacity stadium in summer 2001. Former Leicester City striker Gary Lineker opened the new ground on 23 July 2002. It was called Walkers Stadium as part of a sponsorship deal with Walkers Crisps.

From Walkers to King Power

In August 2002, the first competitive match was played at Walkers Stadium. Leicester City beat Watford 2–0 before a crowd of 31,022. At the end of the season, despite severe financial problems, the Club was promoted back to the Premier League. In July 2011, the stadium was renamed King Power Stadium, after the Club’s new Thai owners duty free business. This started a time of transformation for the Club. The first game at King Power Stadium was a friendly against Real Madrid.

 

King Power 3 larger
Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha - credit - LCFC/Plumb Images

Success and Tragedy

In 2015/16, Leicester City achieved amazing success, becoming the English Premier League Champions under manager Claudio Ranieri. With the odds on them winning set at 5000/1 at the beginning of the season their title win was called the greatest sporting story of all time. The win received world wide press coverage and resulted in huge celebrations across Leicester ending in a victory party at Victoria Park. Next season, the Club reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

A terrible tragedy occurred on 27 October 2018. The helicopter carrying the popular and respected Club owner, Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, crashed shortly after taking off from the stadium. All five people on board the helicopter lost their lives and a beautiful memorial garden has been created in their memory at the stadium.

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Gallery

Roman Leicester

(47- 500) A military fort was erected, attracting traders and a growing civilian community to Leicester (known as Ratae Corieltauvorum to the Romans). The town steadily grew throughout the reign of the Romans.

Medieval Leicester

(500 – 1500) The early years of this period was one of unrest with Saxon, Danes and Norman invaders having their influences over the town. Later, of course, came Richard III and the final battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought on Leicester’s doorstep.

Tudor & Stuart Leicester

(1500 – 1700) The wool trade flourished in Leicester with one local, a former mayor named William Wigston, making his fortune. During the English Civil War a bloody battle was fought as the forces of King Charles I laid siege to the town.

Georgian Leicester

(1700 – 1837) The knitting industry had really stared to take hold and Leicester was fast becoming the main centre of hosiery manufacture in Britain. This new prosperity was reflected throughout the town with broader, paved streets lined with elegant brick buildings and genteel residences.

Edwardian Leicester

(1901 – 1910) Electric trams came to the streets of Leicester and increased literacy among the citizens led to many becoming politicised. The famous 1905 ‘March of the Unemployed to London’ left from Leicester market when 30,000 people came to witness the historic event.

Modern Leicester

(1973 – present day) Industry was still thriving in the city during the 1970s, with the work opportunities attracting many immigrants from all over the world. While industry has declined in recent years, excellent transport links have made Leicester an attractive centre for many businesses. The City now has much to be proud of including its sporting achievements and the richness of its cultural heritage and diversity.

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