Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Leicester City - King Power Stadium

Leicester City 3-0 Blackburn Rovers

26th February 2013

This trip represented one of the longest journeys I have made for a single football match.  When Wife enquired how I could be bothered driving all that way, I told her the secret was to take along a good book.  A talking book, of course.  And on this occasion my long drive was made in the company of the delectable Jenny Agutter; she narrating (to me personally) Jonathan Coe’s poignant and heart-rendingly sad “The Rain Before It Falls".

I was so caught up in the yarn as it reached its dénouement that I found myself slowing almost to a crawl as I approached Leicester itself, wanting to ensure the story was completed before my journey was.  With the result, my first sight of the King Power Stadium was made with a sizeable lump in my throat as Jenny finally relayed Imogen’s fate. 

I often resent having my emotions manipulated by authors in such a way, but Mr Coe achieved it so dextrously, I could forgive him just this once.

My dawdling notwithstanding, I still arrived at the ground in good time to ensure I was able to take a number of photographs of the exterior in daylight.  The early arrival also forded the opportunity for a wander around the city itself. 

And a pleasant vibrant place it seemed to be, but goodness me I have rarely seen a city with so many bicycles.  No, that is not true, for I have been to Copenhagen.  What I meant is that I have never visited anywhere with so many cyclists using the pavements.  They all seemed at it.  I was nearly bowled over twice; once on the path which runs alongside the River Soare and later on the Upperton Road Bridge.  Although, I was inordinately pleased when my second assailant called me “Sir” when apologising.  I could learn to like this place.

I had always assumed that Leicester City’s previous ground Filbert Street had been named after either a road which wound its way to a local district of that name, or perhaps in memory of some long-dead public dignitary: Lord Filbert De Montfort, say.

But no. The street (and hence the football ground, I suppose) had been named after the humble nut.  Or so I have to assume, given I came across a Hazel Street, an Almond Road and a Brazil Street on my perambulations.  Which nut Lineker Street was named for I could not say.  (Actually, that is a bit unfair for, even as a foreigner, I have nothing but respect for Good Old Gary).

King Power Stadium, Leicester.

King Power Stadium, Leicester.

On the River Soar side of the ground could be found this small memorial garden.

King Power Stadium, Leicester.

Just across the road from The King Power Stadium is this slightly scary
looking collection of power supply units. 

From this pylon just opposite the ground, I could hear slightly alarming
crackling and fizzing sounds.  And I could swear my scalp
tingled in a not unpleasant manner as I passed beneath the thing. 

King Power Stadium, Leicester.

King Power Stadium, Leicester.

King Power Stadium, Leicester.

King Power Stadium, Leicester.

The King Power Stadium itself looked pretty unassuming from the outside, with the main entrance seemingly wilfully hidden around a corner.  But inside I was pleasantly impressed.  For rather in the manner of Pride Park, the enclosed bowl seemed to retain and amplify the din made by the crowd.  

The more excitable ones appeared to congregate in the Air Asia stand where they, encouraged by a drummer, were allowed by the stewards to stand and sing for much of the game.  In addition to this lot, there were other smaller pockets of equally noisy folks throughout the arena, so that the atmosphere never became funereal, as I know it can occasionally do inside these new stadia.

And this Leicester City side required all the encouragement it could get, as they were presently going through a decidedly wobbly spell.  For after occupying one of the automatic promotion spots for much of January, they had failed to win any their previous four matches and had dropped down to fifth place in the league.

And things could easily have got worse had not Kasper Schmeichel conjured up a breathtaking stop from a deflected Pedersen shot after 23 mins with the match still scoreless.  Better than Jim Montgomery’s in 1973?  Perhaps not quite - but certainly the most impressive I think I have ever seen in the flesh. 

Just five minutes later home winger Ben Marshall (who I felt was the most accomplished player on show this evening), crossed for Chris WOOD to open the scoring, with Harry KANE heading in another just before the break.  Blackburn, it has to be said, were dreadful, and had the Leicester City shooting not been so wayward the match could have been put to bed long before half-time.

Rovers made a couple of substitutions at the break, but still found it impossible to make any headway against a mean Leicester defence.  The visitors never really looked like scoring at all during the second period and, when they chose to withdraw their top scorer and to rely on thirty-yard pot-shots, it became clear they had run out of ideas.

As the match moved into the closing stages, a home fan behind me began incanting “One more, one more, one more”.  And in stoppage time Andy KING obliged.

The final three goal margin was undoubtedly no more than Leicester deserved against a woeful Blackburn side, who had conceded three headed goals from within their own 6-yard box.  Leicester in the first half had been excellent, but had appeared to drift into autopilot in the second, and I did wonder if their decision to bring out the pipe ‘n’ slippers may not, on another day, been punished by one or two of the more capable sides in the Championship. 

Anthony Knockaert
Wes Morgan takes a tumble......

....then does Jordan Rhodes

Blackburn line up a free-kick in the first-half.

Wes Morgan heads clear a corner-kick

Morten Gamst Pedersen

Just prior to Leicester City's second goal.

Harry Kane rises highest to score.  (Not quite sure what Wes Morgan is trying to achieve here).

Danny Murphy and Jack Keane begin the post-mortem.

Despite what this may appear, this is not the third goal.
Rather this was a corner kick which flew across the goal eluding everyone.

Wes Morgan heads towards goal.

Andy King's stoppage time third.

Panorama of King Power Stadium, Leicester.

Panorama of King Power Stadium, Leicester.

Panorama of King Power Stadium, Leicester.



  1. Good read and good photos too. Appreciate it.

  2. Thanks, Ian read this after reading your post on Foxestalk - ,ight be worth posting on some other Leicester fan siters like Talkingballs and Bentleys roof.


  3. Great read, thanks.

  4. Super mate, some nice pics...especially Morgan falling on his head, didnt spot that on the night! Liked your write up too, nice easy to read style and an accurate description of the action...please come and visit us again!

  5. Good read, let's hope we can go on a long run of form! Sounds a much better game than the Charlton match which is v encouraging!! It's within our reach this promotion lark :-D

    Simon - Rutland

  6. Great read! better than the dribble on foxestalk, thanks for visiting the KP!

  7. Good read and some nice photos too. Always interesting to hear a neutral's view of your own city, club and performance - especially when as well written.

  8. PS. Regarding the electricity substation - the land on which the ground was built was, to the best of my knowledge, purchased from the electricity generation company Powergen (now e-On).

  9. Good read Sir

  10. Enjoyed that, thankyou!

  11. Thanks to all for their kind feedback. It makes the long haul worthwhile.

  12. Great photos once more Ian. You obviously work hard for a good shot looking at all the different positions of the ground. Well dome mate