Nobody could have predicted Leicester City’s meteoric rise to Premiership Champions. However, they have proven that anything is possible and why you should never write off an underdog.
Leicester City played their home games at Filbert Street from 1891 to 2002 after which the ground was demolished in 2003 and the Club moved into the King Power Stadium.
The highest attendance at Filbert Street came in a Fifth Round FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur, on February 18th, 1928. Almost 48,000 fans crammed in to watch the match with some even finding space on the roof of the North Stand.
During the Second World War it was hit by bombs and also suffered a serious fire. Ironically it was rebuilt by German POWs and returned to its former glory. The capacity of the ground rose to 42,000 and floodlights were installed which were used for a game against Borussia Dortmund in October 1957.
Given its location the ground had development issues due to the fact that it was so close to terraced housing behind the North and East Stands, not to mention the power station behind the Kop. A decision was reaches to knock down the main stand at a cost of £6m and it was rebuilt as the Carling Stand in 1993.
That hat trick
Leicester City have had many famous players grace the turf during their time at Filbert Street, none more famous than Gary Lineker who wrote his name into the Club’s folklore. There have also been some exceptional matches as well, with the game against Arsenal in August 1997 where Dennis Bergkamp scored one of the Premiership’s greatest ever hat tricks.
The atmosphere during the 1997 UEFA Cup clash with Atletico Madrid will be another memory for fans to cherish. Even a 2-0 loss couldn’t dampen spirits. If only they knew that 2016 would bring Champions League football.
The character of these old grounds is unquestionable and Filbert Street was no different during its history. It’s hard to explain death but the demolition of a once supported football ground can almost bring a tear to many a grown man. The site where the ground used to sit is now student housing with one of the streets named after club legend Gary Lineker.
The last league game to be played at Filbert Street was in May 2002 against Tottenham Hotspur. Leicester ran out 2-1 winners with the final goal being scored by rising star Matthew Piper. Fans tore up the seats at the end of the match, giving them a piece of history to take home with them.