A new look for Leicester
The Club's new era at Walkers Stadium coincided with a deviation from the large-collared home shirts which had become the norm for the Foxes since 1998. French manufacturers Le Coq Sportif offered this modern, all blue home kit for the 2002/03 season, adding to the sense of a new beginning for the Blue Army.
Minimal movement in the market
The budget was extremely tight for City's first season back in the old First Division since 1995/96 with only Nicky Summerbee (from Nottingham Forest) and Billy McKinlay (from Clydebank) coming in on free transfers. Importantly, though, Micky Adams was able to retain a host of first team regulars, including Muzzy Izzet, Ian Walker, Matt Elliott and Paul Dickov.
Filbert Way opens
The long-anticipated move to Leicester City's new home took place on 4 August, 2002 as the Foxes hosted Spanish outfit Athletic Bilbao at Walkers Stadium. Bilbao’s Aduriz was dismissed in the 28th minute. The La Liga side then took the lead in the 58th minute when Tiko scored from a direct free kick, before Jordan Stewart's late header for City.
A winning start
As the Premier League's first-ever goalscorer, Brian Deane wrote another piece of history with a brace of goals during the maiden competitive fixture at Walkers Stadium. The former Sheffield United forward's double helped Leicester to a 2-0 success over Watford on the opening day of the new season.
A League Cup journey begins
Starting out in the first round of the League Cup, fate threw up an encounter with former manager Peter Taylor, now in charge of Hull City in the fourth tier. Despite a few scares along the way, a brace from Alan Rogers, plus efforts from Paul Dickov and James Scowcroft, sealed a 4-2 extra-time win for the Foxes at Boothferry Park.
With the Club about to go into administration, City's form on the pitch was at least reassuring. Four wins from five in September (over Wimbledon, Derby County, Bradford City and Wolverhampton Wanderers) enabled Leicester to sit in the automatic promotion places - and it also won Micky Adams the Manager of the Month award.
Winning in the rain
It had become clear that City's main promotion rivals were Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth by the time they visited Fratton Park in November. Torrential rain threatened the match's ability to go ahead, but once it was decided it would, the Foxes left the south coast with three precious points, secured on a waterlogged pitch. James Scowcroft and Matt Elliott got the goals.
An assured showing in Manchester
Following on from successes at Hull City and Sheffield United, Leicester headed to Old Trafford in November to confront Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in the third round of the League Cup. Despite performing well and threatening to cause an upset, David Beckham's penalty and a late effort from Kieran Richardson knocked City out of the cup.
The visit of Millwall to Leicester on 14 December presented the Blue Army the chance to reacquaint themselves with some former Foxes - some more fondly than others. One man certain to get a warm welcome was Steve Claridge, who in fact scored for the Lions inside 60 seconds, but City recovered to win 4-1 at Walkers Stadium.
On course at Christmas
More peculiar weather conditions, extreme fog at Withdean Stadium on this occasion, awaited the Foxes when they tackled Brighton & Hove Albion five days before Christmas. Despite the challenges, Brian Deane's solitarily effort was enough for Leicester to give the Blue Army an early Christmas present and keep their side on course for promotion.
A move forward off the pitch
In the new year, a period of concern for everyone associated with the Club came to an end as Leicester City emerged from administration. It meant the Foxes could once again explore the transfer market, while the Club's long-term future also looked more assured. On the pitch, City continued to impress...
The second-biggest home attendance of the season witnessed a massive victory for Micky Adams' men on 8 April as youngster Tommy Wright sealed a 1-0 success over rivals Nottingham Forest to inch the Foxes ever closer to making an instant return to the Premier League.
Ending the wait
Headed goals from Muzzy Izzet and Jordan Stewart registered a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at Walkers Stadium on 19 April - enough to secure promotion.
Back in the big time!
Despite all their off-field strife and financial limitations, Leicester City could finally celebrate. An incredible season, defined by resilience and quality, ended with the Club defying the odds to stroll to promotion with three games still to play.
The main man
Alongside Brian Deane, Paul Dickov was a vital tool in Micky Adams' attacking arsenal during the 2002/03 campaign. The Scot's 20 goals for Leicester helped them end the season as runners-up and led to him scooping the Club's Player and Players' Player of the Season awards.
Runners-up in the First Division
For just the second time in the Club's history, Leicester City finished as runners-up in the second tier of English football, ending up with 92 points - 12 clear of third-placed Sheffield United. Title winners Portsmouth and play-off victors Wolverhampton Wanderers would join the Foxes in the Premier League in 2003/04.
Signing off with celebrations in the city
A memorable year ended with an open-top bus tour through the streets of Leicester in May - the first time warranting such an occasion since City's 2000 League Cup triumph. Attentions, though, quickly turned to planning for the Foxes' return to the top tier...