Leicester City Through The Years: 1940-1950
An FA enquiry in 1940 found Leicester guilty. All but two of the directors were suspended for life or for a period of three-five years.
Leicester City signed Wolverhampton Wanderers youngsters (and future England stars) Billy Wright (left) and Jimmy Mullen (right) for the season as guest players.
To add to the Club’s problems, the Main Stand was bombed by the Luftwaffe on the night of the great raid on Coventry. The future of Leicester City looked bleak.
Wartime Midland Cip
In 1941, Leicester City beat Walsall at Filbert Street to secure the Wartime Midland Cup.
More damage at Filbert Street
A fire broke out, destroying much of the Main Stand, as this photograph of Sep Smith (by now reinstated after his year’s suspension) shows.
Following a mediocre 1942/3 season, the Club adopted Middlesbrough Swifts as a nursery club, from whom they signed the future Leicester and England star Don Revie in July 1944
FA Cup appearance
This picture of Leicester’s team was taken en route to Chelsea for their first FA cup-tie after the war in 1946. League football wasn’t restored until 1946/7.
1946/47 team photo
Leicester City’s squad for the resumption of post-war League Division 2 football. Four of them (Jones, Griffiths, Dewis and Sep Smith) had played in the last game before the war.
Worst winter of the century
In the century’s harshest winter of 1947, (notice the handle of the snow clearer) Joe Calvert, Don Revie and Mal Griffiths spend time with schoolboy Leonard Cook (who still lives in Filbert Street).
First post-war international star
Wales selected outside right Mal Griffiths for the international against Northern Ireland making him Leicester’s first post war international player.
A new dawn
Not included in this 1947/8 squad is teenage prodigy Derek Hines, whose six goals in his first nine games late in the season heralded the start of an illustrious Leicester City career.
Movement in the market
Leicester transferred these five players, Cheney (loan transfer ), Egglestone, Hartley, Calvert and Osborne to Watford on the same day. The transfer of a sixth, Dewis, was also proposed.
Another big arrival
West Brom’s Peter McKennan, a big signing, is welcomed to the Club by Sep Smith (centre) and manager Johnny Duncan but he left for Brentford after 18 games
Club history marked
For the second successive season Leicester finished ninth in Division 2. In the close season, the Leicester Evening Mail’s Noel Torbotton published this Club history.
First Club crest
In 1948, Leicester City introduced this fox’s head as their first-ever shirt crest. It was also worn for their FA Cup Final that season.
Smith's time comes to a close
Sep Smith, pictured in his penultimate game for Leicester, 20 years after his debut. This meant he missed out on the incredible run to the1949 FA Cup Final.
A VIP programme for Leicester’s 1949 Semi-Final at Highbury against League champions Portsmouth. Two goals from Don Revie, who missed the Final through injury, helped Leicester to win 3-1.
One of the silk headscarves given to players’ and directors’ wives. It charts Leicester’s route to the Final against Wolverhampton Wanderers. This included an epic 18-goal Fifth Round tie against Luton Town.
FA Cup Final ticket
One of the more expensive FA Cup Final tickets (52½ p). A crowd of just under 99,000 watched Leicester’s final against Wolves at Wembley. City lost 3-1.
Ted Jelly's boots
These boots, worn for the Final in 1949 by right-back Ted Jelly, were customised with his initials being nailed into the sole.
The Cup Final, which Leicester lost, medal awarded to outside-left Charlie Adam. The following week he played three vital games in four days thereby helping Leicester to avoid relegation to Division 3.
Post-Final dinner menu
This menu card belonging to director WSG Needham and signed by a VC winner was for the post-Final banquet at London’s May Fair Hotel.
A week later, another celebration dinner was held at Leicester’s Bell Hotel. Two days earlier, a 1-1 draw at Cardiff meant Leicester avoided relegation, with Nottingham Forest going down instead.
Wembley story souvenir
Following their souvenir booklet ‘Leicester’s Year’, which charted the Club’s route to the Final, the ‘Leicester Mercury’ then produced this illustrated souvenir account of the Cup Final.
1949/50 team photo
This 1949-50 team photo was quickly out of date. Manager Duncan left in October 1949, followed by back room staff Ritchie and (Sep) Smith, and players Don Revie, Ken Chisholm, George Dewis and Billy Frame.
The five-year plan
When Bury manager Norman Bullock, (pictured here in an England cap), was appointed Leicester’s manager, he had a five-year plan to get the Club back into the top division.