A disastrous start to the 1990/91 season
Leicester City would lose seven league games in a row over Christmas, a sequence culminating in a 6-0 defeat at Middlesbrough In January 1991. David Pleat (pictured) was sacked and Terry Shipman resigned as chairman of the board.
A new era
First-team coach Gordon Lee became manager, initially on a caretaker basis. Club captain Ali Mauchlen became player/coach. Martin George, (pictured) became the new chairman.
‘Rooster’ Russell’s impact
For the final 13 games, Gordon Lee reintroduced forward Kevin ‘Rooster’ Russell to the forward line after a year out of the first team. His goals were a crucial factor in the Club eventually avoiding relegation.
James' vital goal
In the last game of the season against Oxford United at Filbert Street, Tony James’ goal in a 1-0 victory kept Leicester City from dropping to the Third Division for the first time in their history.
Little arrives at the Club
Brain Little was appointed manager in May 1991. He turned the Club around, leading it to three successive play-off finals and eventual promotion to the Premier League.
Fresh faces at Filbert Street
In October 1991, Gary Coatsworth (pictured), a tough defender, joined his old Darlington manager Brian Little at Filbert Street. Two months later, two other Darlington players, defenders Jimmy Willis and Michael Trotter moved to Filbert Street too. Earlier, Colin Gordon, Nicky Platnauer, Paul Fitzpatrick, Kevin Poole and Ashley Ward also joined.
Leicester City got through to the play-off final at Wembley against Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn Rovers. By this time Phil Gee, Ian Ormondroyd, Simon Grayson and Mike Whitlow had been added to Leicester’s squad. The game became notorious for David Speedie’s alleged dive, resulting in Mike Newell’s penalty, which secured a 1-0 win for Rovers.
A new club crest
After nine seasons, Leicester City’s running fox logo was replaced by this crest, which remains today, although slightly amended through the years. Another departure that season was a reversion to an all-blue kit for the first time in 24 years.
Talented 18-year-old Julian Joachim made his debut in October 1992. His pacey and exciting forward play was an outstanding feature of the season and led to fans wearing ‘Crown Jules’ t-shirts.
Filbert Street updated again
A week after the final home game of the season, against Bristol City, the 72-year-old Main Stand at Filbert Street was demolished to make way for the new Carling Stand, pictured here.
Another play-off final
In May 1993, Julian Joachim’s outstanding goal against Portsmouth in the play-off semi-final against Portsmouth was crucial in ensuring that Leicester secured a Wembley final place. The demolition of Filbert Street’s Main Stand meant that this ‘home’ leg was played at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground.
The hottest ticket in town
Leicester City’s opponents for their second successive play-off final were Glenn Hoddle’s Swindon Town. This is one of the 40,000 tickets purchased by City fans.
More Wembley woe
A dramatic final saw Leicester City recover from 3-0 down to level the scores at 3-3 only to lose by a late controversial penalty.
'Iwan is a Welshman...'
In November 1993, Brian Little signed Huddersfield Town’s Wales international striker Iwan Roberts for £300,000 following Steve Walsh’s cruciate ligament injury.
A third consecutive final
Injury-hit Leicester City qualified for the play-offs, despite only winning two of their last 12 league games. Following a 0-0 draw at Tranmere Rovers in the semi-final first leg, Steve Walsh returned to the side and David Speedie was sent off in a dramatic 2-1 second leg victory.
Leicester in dreamland
In front of a Wembley crowd of over 73,000, Steve Walsh famously scored two goals in a 2-1 victory over favourites Derby County to secure a place in the Premier League. This picture from the Club’s archive shows him celebrating his dramatic late winner.
Following these celebrations on Victoria Park in May 1994, to celebrate promotion to the Premier League, Leicester’s manager Brian Little prepared for the new season by signing Notts County midfielder Mark Draper for a Club record fee of £1.25M.
The big time
Leicester City proudly wore the Premier League shirt sleeve-crest for the first time in the opening fixture of the 1994/95 season. This was a 3-1 home defeat by Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United.
McGhee's tenure begins
Following Brian Little’s resignation in November 1994, to be appointed as Aston Villa’s manager four days later, Leicester City looked to Reading’s Mark McGhee to replace him. He is pictured here with Martin George, who had failed to entice Wycombe Wanderers’ manager Martin O’Neill to Filbert Street.
Another £1M signing
In January 1995, with Leicester bottom of the Premier League, Mark McGhee spent £1M on Norwich City’s Mark Robins, who scored on his debut at a rain-soaked Manchester City to secure Leicester’s only away win of the season.
In April 1995, Leicester City’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks was awarded a testimonial against an international XI at Filbert Street, 28 years after he left the Club. The matchday programme contained tributes from Bobby Charlton, Franz Beckenbauer, Pelé, Alan Ball, Gary Lineker and Peter Shilton.
Heading into a new season
Despite being relegated in 21st place, the Club still had reason for optimism. They released a VHS, the ‘Official Story of the Season’, which captured ‘all the drama of an action-packed season, including the controversial departure of Brian Little and the arrival of popular new boss Mark McGhee’.